One of the best things we’ve gotten from the pandemic is our valued Family Movie Nights. Every week we find a movie to sit and enjoy as a family. It may seem odd since we’re all in the house most of the time but usually, after dinner, all the kids go off and head back to their rooms or jump on their tablets. On Family Movie Night we keep it device-free for the whole family and just enjoy our featured film. This week that film was Raya and the Last Dragon.
We’ve been super excited to see this film since we saw promo information about the movie. One of the biggest things we were excited about was its connection to the Southeast Asian Culture. As an African American family we understand the importance for minorities to see their culture represented on the big screen.
Sitting down to watch the film none of us had any expectations for the movie at all. I just thought it would be a great family film for us to enjoy and a great way to learn something about another culture. We started the movie and immediately it drew our younger kids into the beautiful scenes around the fictional land of Kumandra and baby Raya.
Storytelling in this movie was captivating from the very first scene in the movie. We were drawn in immediately and I could tell we would all enjoy this film that was sure to become a family favorite in our home. The intro of the movie was great to watch the relationship with Raya and her father. Learning about the different lands of Kumandra.
One of the first things the movie highlighted was the importance of making assumptions about people that you don’t know. Something I think is very important in the current world that we live in. Peace was another meaningful lesson that was mentioned early and continuously highlighted in the film.
Within the first few minutes of the film my family and I were upset with Raya and some of her choices. Making friends was something important to her and a valuable lesson can also be learned in that portion of the film as well. It was a great movie to also create conversations and encourage learning for families.
We all loved the legendary dragon Sisu, she had so much personality. Being voiced by Awkwafina was for me one of the main reasons why. The actress really did an awesome job including parts of her personality into Sisu. Her sense of humor and radiant personality were two that if you know the actress you could tell immediately it was her. She left her stamp and showed how much she has to offer the industry.
Watching the journey with Raya and Sisu was fun and exciting to watch. It sucks you in from the time they meet and you feel like you’re going along with them complete their quest. The people they meet along the journey also help with showing Raya how to work on her trust and with reuniting all the lands of Kumandra.
Overall the movie was a beautiful representation of a culture that I would love to learn more about and to share with my children. If you’re looking for a film that is entertaining, captivating, filled with life lessons, and a great conversation piece then Raya and the Last Dragon is one film you want to add to your family movie night list. You can now purchase the film on digital platforms giving you early access to the movie.
About Raya and the Last Dragon
Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans, and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good.
However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world—it’s going to take trust as well. From directors, Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, co-directors Paul Briggs and John Ripa, producers Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho, the film feature the voices of Kelly Marie Tran as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu.