Raya and the Last Dragon is a lovely, great surprise. Its huge selling factor is that it’s the very first Disney animated film to include Southeast Oriental personalities, but like so numerous movies that begin in terms of representation, it narrates that’s in fact woven from reassuringly acquainted parts. I didn’t mind that in the smallest.
The film, is directed by the Disney professional Don Hall and the animation “newbie” Carlos López Estrada, brings us into a dream world generally speaking a fantasy world, that’s been wonderfully envisioned as well as populated with appealing personalities, and also it builds to an emotional climax that I’m still thinking of days later on.
“Fantasy worlds that mirror real-life cultures have a long history in storytelling. Middle-earth, the Four Lands, Narnia, Westeros, Earthsea: These are fictional places populated by imaginary creatures and characters, but with politics, faiths, and cultural dynamics that resemble our own. They give their creators license to world-build with allegories for contemporary issues, but without worrying too much about fidelity to reality. For Disney’s animated films, such fantasy lands—Wonderland, Neverland, even Atlantis—are part of the studio’s cinematic legacy. But when depicting non-Western cultures, Disney has sometimes flattened the various cultures of a region into one stereotype-heavy location. Agrabah, in the animated Aladdin, was a visual mishmash of Middle Eastern cultures, and was originally described in song as “barbaric / But hey, it’s home.” The characterization was more reductive and offensive than blessed by Disney magic.
Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney’s first animated film to star a Southeast Asian heroine, attempts to be more culturally accurate than any Disney project before it. Like the team behind Moana, which was inspired by Polynesian cultures, Raya’s filmmakers created a “story trust” of Southeast Asian historians and anthropologists working as consultants to ensure the film’s authenticity. They also recruited the Vietnamese American writerQui Nguyen and the Chinese Malaysian writerAdele Lim for the script, as well as the Thai artist Fawn Veerasunthorn as their head of story. The directors, Don Hall and Carlos López Estrada, trekked through Laos, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia to gather material that would help them sculpt Kumandra, the fantasy world that serves as Raya’s setting.”Source