“Raya and the Last Dragon” (Disney)
By Catholic News Service
To defeat the dark force that has brought turmoil to her once-tranquil world and turned many of its inhabitants into stone statues, a teen (voice of Kelly Marie Tran) teams with a dragon (voice of Awkwafina) on a quest to reunite the five fragments of a magical gem that, once made whole again, will restore peace and revive the petrified. Along the way, they enlist the help of, among others, a young mariner (voice of Izaac Wang) and a fearsome but good-hearted warrior (voice of Benedict Wong).
Co-directed by Don Hall and Carlos Lopez Estrada, this lively and colorful animated adventure promotes trust of adversaries, primarily through the character of a peer of the protagonist’s (voice of Gemma Chan) from a rival realm who once betrayed her, and showcases the ills produced by greed and aggression. Yet, as scripted by Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim, the film includes quasi-religious behavior that might confuse impressionable viewers. Well-catechized teens, by contrast, will easily shrug off such elements.
Nonscriptural practices, stylized combat, including swordplay and martial arts fighting, potentially frightening sights, childish scatological humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.