"Raya and the Last Dragon" - A Home Run for Disney?
The last few years have proven to be difficult for the world, as you may expect during a pandemic. Though, also as expected, the Disney corporation is still producing a few movies each year. Before 2021, the last film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios was Frozen II in November of 2019.
With a budget of around $150 million, the film did incredibly well at the box office, grossing around $1.45 billion. This incredible success was expected after the first film, Frozen, did nearly $1.3 billion in 2013. Basically, Frozen II was a massive success at the box office. What about Walt Disney Animation Studio’s last film? Unfortunately, it didn’t do nearly as well.
Raya and the Last Dragon was released in March of 2021. Amid the reopening of theaters across the world, the film grossed around $91.5 million at the box office. Though that doesn’t sound great compared to the $100 million budget, it is already the sixth highest grossing animated film of 2021. Critics remain fairly content with the film, as its score on rottentomatoes.com sits at a 94%. The audience score is at 87%. Please, watch the film.
Raya and the Last Dragon is about a future in which there are evil forces (think of a cartoon version of the monster from Bird Box) roaming that turn all humans to stone. The last few dragons come together to fight off these “druun” and ultimately use their magic to create an orb that fends the druun away. While it is effective for the people, it turns all of the dragons to stone, except for one dragon named Sisu who disappeared. The fight for power over the lands results in a divided people. When the orb shatters, nearly everyone turns to stone, except for Raya. Raya, who had been training with her father to be a protector of the orb, then goes on a hunt across the lands to find the lost dragon, Sisu, and help bring everyone who turned to stone back to life.
The film was gorgeous. The animation was astounding, and the voices were incredible. The plot was fast-paced, and the friendships were beautiful. This film deserved a better response at the box office. It was one of the first notable Disney films without any hint of romance, which made Raya that much stronger. The entirety of the movie was about her finding who she was, making friends, and bringing the people back together. The characters were funny, the soundtrack was gorgeous, and the themes were perfect.
If you like Disney movies, or had doubts about this one (as I did) I encourage you to watch it for yourself.
Raya and the Last Dragon is available to rent on Disney+ and is currently showing in movie theaters. WATCH IT.