Disney offers strong female lead in “Raya and the Last Dragon”

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Photo Courtesy of Plugged In

Raya and Sisu the dragon share a moment together. One of the movie’s focuses is developing friendships.

Bridget Janis, Features Editor

A strong female lead is always something to look forward to in a movie. In Disney’s latest Disney+ release “Raya and the Last Dragon,” a fantasy warrior princess steals the screen in her role as the main character.

This movie has a lot of the classic Disney-animated movie traits. Everyone knows no Disney movie would be complete without the cute little sidekick. Just like the legendary Pascal and Abu, Raya also has a fun little animal that helps her out. 

Her main sidekick Tuk Tuk is an armadillo-like creature, one that Disney is going to make a fortune selling themed items about, especially the baby version of Tuk Tuk.

For Disney this movie had a lot more adventure than their average animations. Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) has to travel around the five Kingdoms to piece together a gem after stumbling upon the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina). 

The only reason the dragons become extinct is because the monsters, known as the Druun, attacked both humans and dragons. The dragons sacrificed themselves to save the humans. Now the Druun are back and it’s up to Raya and Sisu to save everyone.

Of course, the animation was extremely well done. The effects and powers the dragons held were super well done and gave off good impressions. It would have been an amazing movie to experience on the big screen at a movie theater. The colors were vibrant and the dragons were interesting. Simply put, it was fun to look at.

A lot of things were going on in the movie. There were a lot of components that went into the story line, and sometimes they seemed a little underdeveloped. But this target audience is kids, so I understand the hesitation to explain things in a lot of detail because it could make it harder to follow. Still, the story matters, and for this reason I don’t think it will go down in history as a Disney fan favorite. 

The cast was great. Awkwafina did amazing in the role of the dragon, she always does great in every role she plays. Her voice acting in this film did not disappoint. 

The reason this movie stands out against other Disney movies is because this warrior princess is fighting her own battles. Everyone loves a female empowerment film and this one is another hit from Disney in that perspective and that perspective only. It can set a great example for this generation of kids to follow. 

While the film gives off total “How to Train Your Dragon” vibes, it was nice to see Disney take a steep dip into a fantasy world that isn’t focused on a fairytale.

While it was interesting to watch, I still wouldn’t justify buying it on Disney+. I would just wait until it becomes free. At this point, I don’t think buying movies on a streaming platform will ever be deemed as worth it to me.

Rating: 4/5 stars