Is Raya and the Last Dragon Worth $30?

The Disney Plus Logo

The Disney Plus Logo

Andrew Powers, Staff Writer

Disney recently released their newest 3-D animated movie, “Raya and the Last Dragon”, on their $7.99 a month streaming service Disney+. However, if you want to watch the two-hour-long film you must pay an additional $29.99 to view it. Now, while you can view the movie as many times as you like for this price, is it worth it? To help answer this question, I will be going over my thoughts on various aspects of the movie. 

The film follows the same style of 3-D animation Disney has been using for the past decade and lives up to the expectations of quality one would expect from a Disney movie. The movie is wonderfully animated with detailed backgrounds using many vibrant colors that almost always perfectly fit the tone of the scene. All of the beautiful animation and designs are inspired by Southeastern Asian culture. One thing that surprised me was how realistic the water looked. When a character jumped into the water, the water reacted and looked just how it would be in the real world. Speaking of characters, the character design I also thought was well-done. 

Moving on from Disney’s routinely gorgeous animation, I would like to express my thoughts on the voice acting and score in the movie. First off, the voice acting I thought was stellar. There wasn’t a performance that stood out as being poor or even mediocre I would say. That being said, I do think that Kelly Marie Tran held the spotlight with her performance of the titular Raya. As for the score, I thought it was a bit of your typical Disney score. It is not one of those movies where the characters break out into a song during otherwise normal conversations. Overall, the score didn’t stand out to me as being particularly better or worse than average. 

Now the writing of Raya and the Last Dragon, and this will include minor plot spoilers, but nothing that could not be gleaned from the trailer. I found the story of the movie to be pretty good, with likable side characters and a nice message about trust and unity between groups of people. To give a general summary of the story, Raya must find a way to reunite all of the five nations of Kumandra together with the help of Sisu, the last dragon, before all of humanity is doomed. My one complaint is that some of the characters felt one-note and underdeveloped, but aside from that, the script provides an interesting narrative. 

In conclusion, Raya and the Last Dragon is a beautifully animated, nicely written film with a cast that adds an extra layer of excellence to the film. I would say it is well worth the price of admission to anyone who enjoys animated films or other Disney movies.