Disney have been trying to spread a wider net in terms of cultural inspiration for their films of late, and so far they’re one and one for their efforts. The Polynesian-inspired Moana? One for the ages. The live action Mulan? Widely derided for its ham-fisted cultural depictions of ancient China. Now comes Raya and the Last Dragon, which draws on a wide but complimentary range of South East Asian cultures for its setting and plot. How does it stack up? Well, let’s see…

Decades after the race of dragons sacrificed themselves to free the world of Kumandra from a supernatural plague called the Druun, the land has been divided into five Kingdoms who are all more or less mistrustful of each other. After the Kingdom of Fang betrays the Kingdom of Heart during a peace negotiation, Heart Princess Raya (Kelly Marie Tranh) sets off on a years-long quest to a) find the last dragon, Sisu (Awkwafina), and b) reunite the sundered pieces of the Dragon Heart Gem, which should put paid to the Druun once and for all. Standing in her way are all kinds of threats and obstacles, not the least of which is her rival Namaari (Gemma Chan), warrior princess of the Fang…

Read more at Flicks.com.au.

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