Raya and the Last Dragon Review

1 year ago Triangle 0

Written by: Isabelle Hendrich, staff writer 

*Warning: this review does contain spoilers 

DAYTON, Tenn. — Raya and the Last Dragon was released on March 5, 2021 in limited theaters and on DisneyPlus for $30 with a monthly subscription. 

The $100 million dollar-budget movie made $8.6 million its opening weekend. This is low for a Disney movie, especially considering Tom and Jerry made $14.1 million its first weekend. 

Raya and the Last Dragon is rated PG for “some violence, action and thematic elements.” 

*Spoilers begin here 

Raya and the Last Dragon is a Disney animated movie featuring Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess. In hopes of saving her people, Raya and her sidekick Tuk Tuk search for the last dragon and shattered pieces of a dragon gem. 

Raya is played by Kelly Marie Tran, who also played Rose in Star Wars episodes VIII and IX. Sisu the dragon was played by Awkwafina, Namaaarie by Gemma Chan and Tuk Tuk by Alan Tudyk. 

Kumandra, where Raya lives, includes five sections: Heart, Spine, Fang, Talon and Tail. Raya and her father, who is the chief of her people, live in Heart. As chief, Raya’s father is the protector of the dragon gem and so is Raya, as princess. 

Kumandra used to be one people group, but after the dragons sacrificed themselves for the people of Kumandra, they became divided. When Ray’s father invites the five tribes to Heart, Namaari, part of the Fang tribe, tries to steal the dragon gem but breaks it. Evil forces are released because of this and turn some people to stone, including Raya’s dad. 

Raya and the Last Dragon is a colorful, action-adventure movie about trust. The five tribes had to learn the value of trust to save their people. Although Namarrie’s and Raya’s relationship is complicated because Namarrie betrayed Raya, they eventually learn to trust each other. 

For most of the movie, Raya searches for the Last Dragon and the rest of the gems, which the leaders of each tribe possess. 

Most of the Raya and the Last Dragon was made in over 400 homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Elements of the movie also mirror what is happening in the world presently. For parts of the movie, Raya wore a buff over her nose and mouth for protection from the elements, much like a mask. 

The people who turned to stone in the movie were stone for 6 years until Raya saved them. Raya had hope that she would see her dad and other people who were stone again but she also knew the dangers of her quest. If someone is a Chrisitan, they know they will see their loved ones again in heaven if they also had faith in God, but it does not make it any easier. Raya only had to wait six years, and by her own power, she rescued her dad. Christians have no power to save themselves except choosing to believe in Christ. In Jesus, there is hope in heaven like Raya had hope in seeing her dad again. 

Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (ESV). 

Although it was difficult, Raya found the Last Dragon, Sisu, and sacrificed her own pride to save her people. She trusted Narmarrie and her band of fellow warriors, instilling hope for the future of Kumandra. Like Raya, we all need to sacrifice what we want to do God’s will. 

Isabelle Hendrich is a communication major and history minor at Bryan College. Besides running, Isabelle likes to read and do crafts. She is a triplet whose siblings, Benjamin and Savannah, are also attending Bryan College.