After watching Raya and the Last Dragon, one could argue that she might or might not be a Disney Princess.
I am not quite sure what qualifications are to be nominated as a Disney Princess or if they have a group that decides or votes on who becomes one. However, I am sure Raya should be part of the long-running characters representing that title.
The story begins with a tale of Sisu five hundred years ago. She is the last surviving dragon. Her siblings handed her gems that contained their powers that drove away the evil Druun. Sisu managed to utilize the gems' power and revived the people, not her siblings. The people are divided into five nations that each represent each gem.
Fast forward to the present, Chef Benja of the Heart tribe trains his daughter Raya to protect the gem. He holds a feast to reunite the other nations. Raya befriends Namaari, the daughter of Chief Virana of the Fang tribe, and tells her the story about the legendary Sisu. She shows the chamber where they keep the dragon's gem, but Namaari betrays her. The gem was broken during the commotion, and Druun was re-released. As the evil entity slowly turns everyone to stone, Chief Benja notices its weakness is water. He runs to save Raya before succumbing to the powers of Druun.
Six years have passed. Raya continues her search to locate the legendary Sisu. She goes on a journey that leads her to meet the mythical dragon and a path to reunification.
Raya and the Last Dragon is quite an enjoyable animated movie. It has moral lessons that any family can appreciate, and it has a lot of humor mixed into it. The film is a breath of fresh air that enables you to enjoy every minute of it. It also contains excellent animation packed with moving action sequences that may make you feel like you are part of Raya and Sisu's roller-coaster journey.
The voices of Awkwafina, Kelly Marie Tran, Benedict Wong, and many more brought this magical Disney movie to life.
Raya and the Last Dragon pay homage to Southeast Asians, as most of its film features a couple of their traditions. It's pretty refreshing to see a movie respecting other people's cultures.
Overall, this movie has the right kind of adventure, humor, and action. It is a delightful popcorn film that everyone can just sit around and relax.
A good 4 out of 5 stars.