BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST movie REVIEWER
Reya and the Last Dragon Five out of five stars
Disney Animation Studios once again shows why they are the gold standard of modern animation. Their latest feature, Raya and the Last Dragon, is so affecting and candid, about failure, selfishness, and the faith required for second chances, that you could be forgiven for forgetting that it’s an animated movie for kids, about a girl attempting to save her mystical realm by locating a dragon.
The story is set in the fantasy realm of Kumandra, a place where humans and dragons once lived in harmony. That is, until a monster army known as the Druun swept the land, before a dragon named Sisu cast a spell that stopped them – but imprisoned the dragons in stone.
The voice casting is outstanding: Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars The last Jedi) as Reya, and Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) as her nemesis Namari, are particularly affecting. Both of their characters essentially seek the same outcome, and their rivalry is handled deftly. The film’s other characters include a pickpocketing baby, hyperactive monkeys, a future chef, and others.
Rated 5 out of 5 stars, because you will want to see Reya and The Last Dragon in theatres more than once and to pre-order the Blu Ray for your home viewing collection. It’s a simply outstanding film on all points.