Starring: Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, Izaac Wang, Thalia Tran, Alan Tudyk, Lucille Soong, Patti Harrison, Ross Butler
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Disney’s animated fantasy directed by Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada. The story is set in the mysterious land of Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, and centers on warrior Raya (Kelly Marie Tran) as she seeks for the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), before Druun, an evil force destroys the realm.
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Our Favorite Quote:'It may feel impossible, but sometimes, you just have to take the first step, even before you're ready.' Sisu (Raya and the Last Dragon) Click To Tweet
Young Raya: I know what you’re thinking. A lone rider. A dystopian world. A land that’s gone to waste. How did this world get so broken? Well, that all began five hundred years ago.
Young Raya: Kumandra. This is what we used to be. When our land was whole, and we lived harmoniously alongside dragons. Magical creatures who brought us water, and rain, and peace. It was paradise. But then, the Druun came. A mindless plague that spread like wildfire, multiplying as they consumed life, and turned everyone they touched into stone.
Young Raya: The dragons fought for us the best they could. But it wasn’t enough. That’s when the Mighty Sisudatu, the last dragon, concentrated all her magic into a gem and blasted the Druun away. Everyone that was turned to stone came back. Except the dragons. All that was left of Sisu was her gem.
Young Raya: It should have been this big inspirational moment, where humanity united over her sacrifice. But instead, people being people, they all fought to possess the last remnant of dragon magic. Borders were drawn, Kumandra divided. We all became enemies, and the gem had to be hidden. But that’s not how the world broke. That didn’t truly happen until five hundred years later, when I came into the story.
Benja: For generations, our family has sworn to protect the gem. Today, you will join that legacy. Raya, Princess of Heart, my daughter, you are now a Guardian of the Dragon Gem.
Benja: [referring to the other tribes] I invited them.
Young Raya: But they’re our enemies.
Benja: They’re only our enemies because they think the Dragon Gem magically brings us prosperity.
Young Raya: That’s ridiculous. It doesn’t do that.
Benja: They assume it does, just like we assume things about them.
Benja: [to Raya] Listen, if we don’t stop and learn to trust one another again, it’s only a matter of time before we tear each other apart. This isn’t the world I want you to live in. I believe that we can be Kumandra again. But someone has to take the first step. Trust me.
Young Raya: [as the other tribes join them] Things look a little tense, Ba.
Benja: Don’t worry, I’m going to open with a joke.
Young Raya: Please don’t.
Benja: I’m kidding. I’m kidding.
Young Raya: Hand-to-hand or swords?
Young Namaari: Blades all day.
Young Raya: Right?
Young Namaari: Okay, dressy or casual?
Young Raya: Only a monster would choose to wear this outfit on the regular.
Young Namaari: Fang may look nice on the outside, but we have some pretty big holes on the inside.
Young Namaari: [after she knocks down Raya] In a different world, maybe we could have been friends. But I have to do what’s right for Fang.
Benja: [as the other tribes want the piece of Dragon’s Gem] Listen to me! We have a choice. We can tear each other apart, or we can come together and build a better world. It’s not too late. I still believe we can be Kumandra again.
Benja: Raya, you have to listen. You are the Guardian of the Dragon Gem.
Young Raya: Ba, why are you saying this?
Benja: [referring to the piece of gem] There’s still light in this. There’s still hope.
Young Raya: No! We can make it together. You’re okay.
Benja: Raya. Don’t give up on them. I love you, my dewdrop.
[he tosses her into the river and the Druun turn him into stone]
[as she’s trying to roll a now giant looking Tuk Tuk on his shell]
Raya: You’re getting a little too big for this, bud.
Raya: Six years of searching, and we end up at a literal shipwreck. That’s not a bad sign, is it?
Raya: Sisudatu, I don’t know if you’re listening. I’ve searched every river to find you, and now I’m here at the very last one. Look, there’s not a lot of us left, and we really need your help. If I can be honest, I really need your help. I made a mistake. I trusted someone I shouldn’t have, and now the world’s broken. Sisudatu, I just really, really want my ba back. Please.
Raya: You are Sisu?
Sisu: And you’re people. What’s your name?
Raya: Raya. I’m Raya.
Sisu: And you’re not made of stone. Which means, it worked! We did it! You hear that, Pengu? It worked! I didn’t mess it up!
Sisu: Is that food? I was so focused on saving the world, I forgot to have breakfast today.
Raya: Today? When exactly do you think today is?
Sisu: Also, you broke the gem!
Raya: But I still have a big chunk of it though.
Sisu: Is that supposed to make me feel better? If you lost a puppy, and I said, “Well, we still have a big chunk of it.” Would that make you feel better?
Sisu: I’m going to be real with you, alright? I’m not like the best dragon, you know?
Raya: But you saved the world.
Sisu: I did do that. That’s true. But have you ever done like a group project, but there’s like that one kid who didn’t pitch in as much, but still ended up with the same grade? Yeah, I wasn’t the one who actually made the gem. I just turned it in.
Raya: You’re glowing.
Sisu: Oh, thank you. I use aloe and river slime to maintain my…
Raya: No. No. Look!
Sisu: Oh! This is my little sister Amba’s magic. I got the glow!
Raya: Your little sister’s magic?
Sisu: Yeah, every dragon has a unique magic.
Raya: Okay, what’s yours?
Sisu: I’m a really strong swimmer.
Raya: You touched this gem piece, and it gave you powers. You know what this means, right?
Sisu: I no longer need a night light?
Raya: What? No! You’re still connected to the gem’s magic. And that means you can still use it to save the world.
Sisu: Why are you looking at me like that?
Raya: Nothing. I’m just not used to seeing dragons.
Sisu: Impressed, huh? Wait until you see my backstroke. I’m wicked when I hit that liquid. I got water skills that kill. I slaughter when I hit the water. I’m like really good at swimming, through rhyme.
Sisu: We forgot to bring a gift for the Tail chief.
Raya: I’m sorry. A gift?
Sisu: Yeah. A gift says, “You can trust me, can I trust you?”
Sisu: This beetle’s got a booty.
Raya: Careful. It’s a Toot N Boom.
Sisu: Why is it called a…
[the beetle toots and explodes]
Sisu: Got it. Noted. Makes sense.
Sisu: Oh. We were doing a jumpy thing? So sorry. My bad. I get it now. I’m with it.
Sisu: I just shape changed! Into people!
Raya: Dragons can do that?
Sisu: This was my sister Pranee’s thing. Look at my people arms, and my people face. Look how close my butt is to my head!
Namaari: [to Raya] What’s dripping, dep la? Oh, I see you’ve finally made a new friend. And here I was worried you were going to end up becoming a cat lady, like me.
Sisu: Something tells me you’re not besties.
Raya: [to Namaari] Say hi, Sisu.
Sisu: Hi! It’s very nice to meet you. And I love your hair. And your cats hair.
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