Raya and The Last Dragon
This joyful film is Disney at its best.
I saw this charming movie with my dear friend Belle Choate. To give you an idea of its impact, we wiped tears off our cheeks on several occasions. Need I really say more?
Well, let me try. Dragons sacrificed themselves over 500 years ago to destroy the evil Druuns and save humanity. Sisu, voiced by Awkwafina, is the one survivor, but remains in seclusion. She is needed again as the Druuns have resurfaced with their horrible skill of turning anyone they touch into stone.
Raya, a lone warrior, united with Sisu to try and find the remnants of a magic crystal that will destroy the Druuns. The country, known as Kumandra, has fragmented into several distrustful societies and Raya, Sisu and a small group of committed friends begin a dangerous journey.
Several things contribute to this film’s emotional success. To begin with, Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, is in many ways a female version of Peter Pan. Her relationship with Sisu, who can transform into a young woman, forms a partnership that rivals Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Add her team of cohorts ranging from an overweight man, a young boy and three adults that look like babies, and magic invades every scene.
However, it is her relationship with Namari, voiced by Gemma Chan, that adds another bit of glorious icing to this cinematic cake. A former friend who is now a rival under her mother’s leadership, she and Raya are two smart, beautiful women who must find a way to bridge the gap that separates them.
Though unintended, this film reminded me of the schism separating our country from joining hands to conquer the Druuns lurking in the shadows. Wouldn’t it be a gift from the Gods if Raya and Sisu could convince MSNBC, CNN and Fox News to join hands to unite in our own version of Kumandra?
How about we revisit our past and re-implement the classic mantra embraced by the news legends Walker Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley, “The News—Fair and Balanced.” We’d be a more balanced, not to mention progressive country, wouldn’t we?