Before we get into the review, I want to address something. Certain commenters (who shall, by virtue of me being the bigger mouse, remain nameless) stated in my last review that I have been “negative” and “harsh” on the Disney canon of late.
Let’s call this out for what it is: VICTIM BLAMING.
It’s a pernicious practice, and I will not tolerate it particularly if I’m the victim. Have I been harsh on Disney recently? Scathing? Even cruel? Yes. But who threw the first punch?
Raya is a historically significant film and definitely represents a demarcation point in the history of the canon. This is, after all, the first canon movie to go straight to streaming (although it did receive a restricted theatrical run). It also, to me, represents the irrevocable “shrinking” of movies. There are no big releases any more, there are no big unifying cultural moments. A few years ago I remember walking home one night and hearing a group of girls on the other side of the road spontaneously bursting into a chorus of “Let it Go” but it kinda feels like that kind of culturally ubiquitous megahit can’t happen any more. There’s too much content. We’re all watching different things. A movie being released in the cinema was kind of an imprimatur of significance, but the cinema might not have survived the decade even without Covid shoving it into a shallow grave. Gloria Swanson was right, she was just off by half a century.
Sorry, this is all frightfully maudlin. I guess for me Raya is less a movie and more a totem of a strange and tragic moment in history.
Also, I don’t really want to talk about it because it sucks and apparently that’s a dangerous opinion. Lindsay Ellis talked shit about this movie and I’m pretty sure she’s dead now or in witness protection or something.
Anyway. Raya and the Last Dragon. Thank you Covid, for sparing me the price of a cinema ticket. I don’t care what they say, ya ain’t all bad.(more…)