Leave it to Disney to make their first original movie since Moana barely original at all. I think most were excited when the trailer for Raya and the Last Dragon dropped. A well deserved break from the questionable live action remakes of the last decade was welcomed by many (and with high expectations). So, how does such an enjoyable, fun and visually beautiful movie get to continue Disney’s recycling of cliché, star-studded stories right under our noses?
If you’ve watched any 90’s Disney classic, then you’ve already seen Raya’s story spun out in full. Almost every plot beat, character arc and eventual climax can be seen from a mile away by any Disney fan. The editing also creates a real structural mess, which is, honestly, a real shame to say, since the world building, characters and visual look are overflowing with energy. Kudos to the animation department for holding my eyes hostage throughout, as every particle and movement is a spectacle to behold.
The voice acting cast all match the same upbeat energy, constructing characters that are bright and fun-loving for the whole runtime. All these little factors make Raya a really fun movie for the most part, but in sum it’s nothing to write home about after the credits roll. The movie ends in the way you expect it, leaving the large, vivid world untapped and empty, much like Disney’s promises for the next big thing.
“Six out of ten, don’t miss the monkeys.”