YOU (South Africa)
What to watch
Animated fantasy. Voices: Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina and Gemma Chan. Directors: Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Paul Briggs and John Ripa. PG V.
In the ancient land of Kumandra (inspired by several Southeast Asian cultures), humans and dragons unite to fight off the Druun, evil spirits that turn living creatures to stone. They manage to stop the Druun, but at a cost: while humans are brought back to life, dragons remain statues.
Five centuries later, Kumandra has split into five tribes and one chief ’s dream of uniting his people is shattered by treachery, leading to the return of the dreaded Druun.
Now it’s up to the chief ’s daughter, Raya (Tran), to move past her hurt and anger at the devastating betrayal. She must find the last living dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), to help fight the Druun and bring peace to Kumandra. But she’ll need to regain her trust in people if she’s to have any chance of success.
With a heart-warming story, beautiful visuals and the usual light comedic moments you expect from Disney, Raya and the Last Dragon is a delight and sure to entertain both children and adults.
Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Awkwafina (Crazy
Rich Asians) do a stellar job of carrying the film, and they’re ably supported by a starry cast – including Chan (Humans) as antagonist Namaari, Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) as Raya’s dad and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) as Namaari’s mom.
You might feel the absence of those catchy songs that make Disney animated flicks so memorable. Without them the film loses steam from time to time, which highlights the formulaic plot.
But the excellent fight scenes and warm character work should keep viewers entertained throughout.