Raya and the Last 10 Dragons
Raya and the Last Dragon is a solid fantasy offering, delivering a movie chock full of big set pieces, exciting action and an original story that bucks a lot of the conventional Disney tropes.
If you’ve finished streaming this one and are looking for alternatives – fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle with our top picks for alternate viewing.
So without further ado, we present 10 movies to check out when you’ve finished watching Raya and the Last Dragon.
Back in 2008, DreamWorks kicked off an unlikely animated franchise with a role Jack Black was born to play. With a combination of great humour, some fast-paced action and a memorable cast of characters, Kung-Fu Panda is a wonderful movie from start to finish. It’s also one that still holds up all these years later.
The Chinese setting is brilliantly captured and the voice cast is certainly impressive too. However, Jack Black stands out and brings Po to life in the best possible way. It’s hard to imagine another actor pulling off a charismatic and enigmatic panda quite like him. Because of that, Kung-Fu Panda is easily one of the best panda movies ever made.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kubo & The Two Strings is quite simply a stunning piece of art. This Japanese-flavoured story combines stop-motion and CGI animation against gorgeously rendered landscapes to help it stand out next to other animated movies of its kind.
The story revolves around a young storyteller called Kubo, who’s thrust out of his quiet life when he accidentally summons a mythical spirit from his past. On the run, Kubo teams up with unlikely duo Monkey and Beetle on a thrilling quest to save his family from the approaching evil.
From the creative designs of monsters to the atmospheric music that oozes authentic strings and chimes from feudal Japan, Kubo is a visual and storytelling treat. This is definitely one you should have on your radar to watch.
Moana is set deep in the heart of Ancient Polynesia with a distinct pacific island vibe that helps it stand out from other Disney movies of its kind. The colourful, vibrant setting lends itself nicely to some gorgeous water effects and an excellent use of colour throughout.
The story here revolves around a sea voyaging enthusiast called Moana. With a family well-known for embarking on sea-faring voyages to lands afar, a terrible curse landlocks the tribe. Thanks to Demigod Maui stealing the heart of goddess Te Fiti, Moana sets out to find this demigod and return the heart before it’s too late.
Armed with some incredibly catchy, bouncy songs and a tightly written plot, Moana is certainly one of Disney animations better modern offerings.
With a host of colourful characters, a sharp wit and a couple of memorable tracks, Tangled doesn’t reinvent the wheel but does polish it up enough to give this conventional Disney princess formula some shine.
At the heart of this is magically long-haired Rapunzel. Having spent her entire life in a tower, her life is changed forever when she runs into a a runaway thief called Flint. When he encourages her to leave the tower and explore the world, Rapunzel’s life is changed forever.
The movie features some great moments and the visuals are absolutely stunning throughout. In fact, the movie that followed this (Frozen) suffers quite a lot thanks to scaling back on the CGI effects.
Speak of the devil, Frozen came roaring out the gates in 2013 with seemingly one message – double down on everything that makes Disney movies great. The result is a movie brimming with catchy songs (Let It Go became an overnight sensation, taking the music world by storm).
There’s more to this picture than just music though, and with two Disney princesses, two comedy sidekicks and two antagonists, Frozen really does throw absolutely everything into this one.
The result is a movie that’s undoubtedly a hit with the kids while perhaps more polarizing for adults. Nevertheless, Elsa and Anna’s adventures in Arundel eventually caused Froze to become a cultural phenomenon that refuses to let it go.
How To Train Your Dragon
Much like Raya and the Last Dragon, How To Train Your Dragon is a movie steeped in mythology and dragon lore. Instead of Asia though, HTTYD sets its sights on the Viking age and with a hapless young Viking called Hiccup.
With his Father acting as the chief of the village, Hiccup is trained to hunt and kill dragons. Only, when he stumbles upon and befriends a young dragon himself, Hiccup realizes there’s more to these creatures than first meets the eye.
Well written, packed with decent jokes and armed with a lovely theme of friendship and acceptance at its core, How To Train Your Dragon is one of Dreamworks’ best animations in quite some time – and a movie that both kids and adults alike will enjoy.
Big Hero 6
Set in the futuristic city of San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 is a beautifully rendered animation with a decent amount of drama, action and comedy.
The protagonist here comes in the form of 14 year old Hiro Hamada, who spends his time making money from illegal robot fights. When his older brother Tadashi saves Hiro from a dangerous gang, tragedy befalls the family. It’s around this time that Hiro discovers an inflatable health care robot called Baymax, created in the past by his brother.
After this terrible life-changing accident, Hiro and Baymax team up with four other nerds (Go Go Tomago, Wasabi, Honey Lemon and Fred) to save their hometown from an evil super villain who’s intent on using Hiro’s own inventions against him.
It’s a classic superhero story in truth but Big Hero 6’s execution makes this one of the better animated offerings in this field.
Pocahontas is a magical movie with strong themes about Indian culture and nature. The latter is, of course, quite reminiscent of what’s showcased in Raya and the Last Dragon.
At the center of this film is a young Native American called Pocahontas, who finds herself in a relationship with Captain John Smith. Together, they journey to the New World with other settlers, intent on beginning a new life. Pocahontas’ powerful father, Chief Powhatan, is not best pleased with their relationship though and wants his daughter to marry a native warrior.
In the midst of this brewing family conflict, Smith’s fellow Englishmen find themselves intent on robbing the Native Americans of their gold. With relationships pushed to the limit, Pocahontas finds herself forced to choose a side.
With some beautiful songs and a great message, Pocahontas is definitely one of Disney’s more underrated offerings.
Much like Raya and the Last Dragon’s unique setting, Brave abandons the mythical landscapes and obvious backdrops of old Disney films for a distinctly Scottish movie, set deep in the heart of Scotland.
The movie centers on aspiring archer Princess Merida, daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. With her parents determined to have her wed, Merida defies her parents and inadvertently plunges the kingdom into chaos.
Determined to right her wrongs, Merida seeks help from an eccentric witch who grants her an ill-fated wish. Unfortunately this wish brings with it a whole world of consequences, forcing Merida to scramble to save the kingdom before it’s too late.
While quite polarizing and not as good as some of the other movies on this list, Brave manages to brave the storm and produce an enjoyable animated picture.
Not to be confused with the remake, the original Mulan was a brave, bold movie that brought an accessible slice of Asian culture to the western animated market.
Retelling an old Chinese folktale, Mulan centers around a young Chinese maiden called Mulan who disguises herself as a boy and takes her Father’s place in the army.
Unbeknownst to her though, Mulan’s mission is know by her ancestors who send a tiny dragon called Mushu to join her, determined to use this dragon to force her into abandoning her plan. When he meets Mulan however, Mushu soon changes his mind. Together, they set out to stop the opposing Hun army, led by the monstrous and imposing Shan Yu.
Beautifully written and armed with some very strong themes around belonging and identity, Mulan is a real classic and another must-watch animation.
So there we have it, our 10 Movie picks to keep you busy after watching Raya and the Last Dragon.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!