Raya narrates how dragons used to roam the lands nearby hundreds of years ago, until some dark magic force, called the Druun, took over and turned anyone it touched into stone. When the humans thawed, they all fought for a powerful gem that Sisu, the last living dragon preserved her magic into.
Young Raya tries to access the stone, but her father stops her, although in a kind way. He invites people from the divided tribes to come together and gain trust in one another. Raya becomes “friends” with Namaari, a girl around her age who “shares the same interests with her.” However, Naamari turns out to be against Raya’s side and the two fight, which leads to the gem breaking and the Druun reviving. Raya’s father turns into stone as do many of the others.
Six years later, Raya still journeys across Kumandra and prays for forgiveness of her big mistakes. Little does she know that she revives Sisu, the last dragon.
Along the way, Raya and Sisu round up a young boy named Chef Boun, a baby and her monkey friends, and some additional allies. The group ventures out to find the gem pieces in different parts of the Kumandra to return peace to society.
This movie consists of a lot of highlights, such as the importance of trust, but also how you can’t trust everyone you meet.
Speaking of which, I hoped for a romantic relationship between Raya and Naamari, as a way to support the LGBTQ community. I won’t spoil anything major, but the two didn’t fall in love.
The film also provides lots of twists and turns, such as the baby and her monkey friends being stronger and fiercer than one could imagine. But I also admire Sisu for her naive personality, her struggles to make good decisions, and above all, how she could turn into a human at will.
The story also reminded me of the plot of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Gathering gem pieces does share similarities with destroying horcruxes, especially with defeating the wicked and restoring peace to everyone who deserves it.
While this film does not contain musical numbers, unlike many Disney classics, it still pleased me very much, particularly with a strong and tough female lead.
I would recommend “Raya and the Last Dragon” to everyone and give it 5 out of 5 stars.