Raya and the Last Dragon shows the world’s need for trust

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Photo Credit: photo via Disney

Raya and the Last Dragon uses beautiful animation to show the importance of trust. Raya has also become the first South Asian princess in Disney history.

By: Katherine Albuquerque, Editor

Raya and the Last Dragon is Disney’s newest film that can captivate audiences of all ages. Raya and the Last Dragon puts an emphasis on the power of trust in a world that is often divided by differences.

Overview 

Raya and the Last Dragon hit Disney+’s streaming service on March 5, 2021, with premiere access. The film shows us what greed, hatred,  and distrust can do to the world. The protagonist, Raya, played by Kelly Marie Tran, spent the last six years looking for the last dragon, which would save and unite the people of Kumandra.

Origin of the problem

Five hundred years before, dragons and humans lived in peace and harmony. However, one day the Druun, evil monsters that turn people to stone, invaded Kumandra. In an effort to save the humans, the dragons sacrificed themselves and put all their magic together. Sisu, the last dragon who is played by Awkwafina, compressed their magic along with hers into a gem, then she disappeared into the river. 

The remaining civilians of Kumandra divided into 5 tribes- Fang, Talon, Spine, Tail, and Heart. Chief Beja of the Heat tribe, who is Raya’s father, was the guardian of the gem. As time goes on, Raya became a skilled warrior, and eventually her father declared her as the guardian of the gem. 

One day Chief Benja decided to hold a feast, inviting all the tribes in hopes of unifying again. During the feast, Raya met Namaari, princess of the Fang tribe. The two began to bond over their fascination with Sisu. Namaari then gave Raya a Sisu pendant as a gift, trying to earn her trust. Raya took Namaari to the temple of the gem in order to show her trust in Namaari. 

However, Namaari betrayed Raya and attempted to steal the gem. She signaled for her tribe to come into the temple, and with that the other tribes followed. All 5 tribes battled against each other for the gem, which caused it to break into 5 pieces. The destruction of the gem caused the Druun to reappear, turning all of the people, including Raya’s father, into stone.

Plot of the film

Six years passed and Raya finally reached the last river where she tried to summon Sisu. Sure enough, Sisu was awakened and began working with Raya to get the four remaining pieces of the gem. Along their journey, they team up with Boun, Noi, the Ongis, and Tong, who were from different tribes. Through their journey, they learn to trust each other despite their differences, unifying for the greater good of Kumandra. 

This PG rated film presents the need to have unity and trust in the world. Full of evil and hate, it shows how trust and unity are the only way to overcome division. 

Review

This film was definitely what the world needed right now. There has been so much division and hate focused on our differences that it is negatively affecting everyone in some way. I see this film as a reflection of today, and the movie’s message as our solution- trust and unity. 

The story of the divided world of Kumandra was beautifully displayed through the animation, which was fantastic. It was so realistic; from the water, to the fur and hair on the characters, I had to keep reminding myself this was an animated film. Disney definitely stepped up their animation game and truly did an amazing job. 

Although there was a lack of music in the film, each scene was enhanced with sound effects that helped it come alive. Frankly, I believe the lack of music was to emphasize on the state of the land- silence representing division and music representing harmony. 

Overall, I give this movie a 10 out of 10. It really displayed the importance of trust and unity in a beautiful way, which really touched my heart (I was crying by the end). It was like a mirror to our world today, showing just how terrible division can be. I think everyone needs to watch this film, since it will help us reflect on our need for unity and trust, and can ultimately bring us together in the end.

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