|Carlos López Estrada|
I had very much wanted to see Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) in the theater. Disney and Pixar are creating big-screen-worthy films left and right, and I already have two Pixar films under my belt since December that I will see if they're re-released post-COVID.
For some time, Disney has been making Princess movies from all over the planet, from Frozen, to Moana, to Tangled and now Raya and the Last Dragon. I admit to some confusion in this film because the film skips around a wide swatch of Southeast Asia and the various islands and archipelagos, but it's all Disney Fantasy Land, so I think marrying yourself to any particular culture here is as useless as figuring out which Scandinavian country where Frozen takes place. But, nonetheless, you may find yourself saying "is this Vietnam, or Thailand, or...?"
Anyway, I was surprised in a very good way that RatLD turned out to be an action/adventure picture - really the first in the modern Disney era. Expect no song and dance sequences - this is a straight adventure where the Maguffin is "friendship". Because Disney. But, yeah, Disney has definitely done non-musical movies in recent years with the Wreck-It-Ralph movies, Zootopia and Big Hero 6, but if you see "princess" and think "what is her 'I Want' song?", you will be disappointed.