As Disney pushes toward inclusion, movies like Raya and the Last Dragon will become more commonplace. That is an absolutely wonderful thing.
Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about Raya is it introduces children and adults alike to cultures, people and traditions that may not be their own.
It’s set in Kumandra, where an ancient civilization rules. A young warrior, Raya, tries to save her family — and the world at large — from foes that threaten to wipe out the human race. So does so with help from the last dragon in existence.
Perhaps most wonderful is this film features a huge Asian-American cast, including Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina and Gemma Chan. It’s lovely to see films that do not prominently feature cis white characters become mainstream, and Raya has enough bold action, beautiful style and interesting characters to make things stick.
The one thing I will say is Raya’s character doesn’t have much to solidify her and tell her apart from Moana or the new Mulan. I just wish they were more distinctive, and hope this will come with time.
As it stands, I’d be happy to have another outing with Raya and her dragon, and this is a family film that’s sure to be memorable for all.