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OMLandshark
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Apr 2009
86121 posts

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
The reviews are actually pretty good for it (95% on RT), but half of every review I’ve read so far is more about virtue signaling to the crew and cast that they’ve been basically a bunch of fricking racists for making this movie. So the concept of the movie is it’s set in a fictional world inspired by Southeast Asia, and it’s a mostly Asian cast, but that’s not good enough. In these people’s opinions, Awkwafina and Daniel Dae Kim are fricking racists since her ancestry is Chinese and his Korean and took roles from Southeast Asian actors. This is insane. From IGN

quote:

Of course, Raya and the Last Dragon is debuting to an audience with higher expectations around cultural representation than those who grew up with Mulan. At a moment where the number of Asian-centered films is steadily climbing, yet still limited — and where Southeast Asian actors are underrepresented in comparison to East Asian actors — this puts particular pressure on Disney’s first Southeast Asian princess.

Disney did a fair amount of research. Similar to Moana, Disney created what they call a “Story Trust” of artists, academics, and others, which they leaned on for issues of cultural accuracy. The team visited Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Screenwriters Adele Lim and Qui Nguyen are both Southeast Asian, as is Kelly Marie Tran who voices Raya. But there’s the fact that most of the other voice actors — a packed roster of talent that includes Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Awkwafina, and Sandra Oh — are East Asian. And because Kumandra is a “fantasy” world drawing from a number of different countries in a larger region, it risks blurring cultural references to the point where they become unrecognizable or incoherent to the people who expected to identify with the movie.

It’s a fine line to tread, and part of a larger conversation about the extent to which films featuring unrepresented ethnic groups are asked to carry the burden of “accurately portraying” that group. The idea that any one film, even if it meets the highest standards of research and casting, could capture “Southeast Asia” already falls apart. There is no single identity, as Southeast Asians aren’t a monolith. And like Mulan, this film mostly reads as distinctly American, with jokes about things like working on group projects at school that feel a bit out of place in a world that is supposedly fantastical.


And here’s Den of the Geek that calls it the best Disney film since Mulan but also puts this out:

quote:

Rigidly faithful live-action adaptations of the animated classics that millennials grew up with are now recognized for their narrow romantic messaging, and the often racist, colonialist world-building that’s used to prop up this type of storytelling. Meanwhile Walt Disney Animation Studios has attempted to complicate and modernize the Disney Princess template in interesting ways, but they’ve never quite nailed it narratively.

Frozen was a step in the right direction with its emphasis on sisterly love, but it couldn’t resist shoehorning a thematically superfluous romance into its plot with the Kristoff character. Moana, which features Disney’s first Polynesian heroine, makes great strides in giving viewers a more authentic representation of a non-European culture, but still makes some classic colonialist mistakes—blindspots that will always surface when the chief creative forces behind a film are appropriating a culture or cultures they are paid to understand—that keep its fresh setting from truly shining.

Disney is working to tell more modern stories not because it is good for our culture and world (though individuals involved in the production of Disney films might be motivated by this value), but because there is money to be made in telling new stories that give us fresh, feminist takes on the many cultures that influence the melting pot (or salad bowl) that is modern America and the territories of the larger global box office. Raya and the Last Dragon, which will be in theaters and available via Disney+ Premier Access on March 5, makes headway from both the thematic surplus of Frozen and the cultural appropriation of Moana. In doing so, it gives us the best, post-Renaissance “Disney Princess” story yet.


I mean seriously, what the frick is this shit? This isn’t a review. This is simply virtue signaling and blatant racism. What kind of a review is “Yeah it’s good, but frick Daniel Dae Kim and Awkwafina for basically being racists portraying an animated character on a fictional planet and culture”?

And Paramount relaunched the Avatar universe where the Earth Kingdom is based on China, the Fire Nation is based on Japan, the Air Nomads are based on Tibet, and the Water Tribe is based on the Inuits. They’re for sure going to shite all over every white person who ever voiced a character in the franchise, but are they going to shite all over Koreans and SE Asians for voicing characters as well? Then you got Tibet that has 3.1 million people genetically from that region. Going to find many skilled voice actors from there? And even worse is there are less than 150,000 people descended from Inuits worldwide, most of which can’t speak English. The 3 Inuit people in Hollywood have to portray everyone from their race now?

These reviews are insane and show where we are as a society. I’m willing to bet this movie is actually excellent given the reviews are disparaging and have to reluctantly admit the film is good, but not before lecturing the audience, the crew, and the cast on why these a-holes sitting on their couches are better people than you.
This post was edited on 3/1 at 11:21 pm


OMLandshark
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Apr 2009
86121 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
And hell this is gold and blatant racism from Den of the Geek:

quote:

The world of Raya and the Last Dragon is both teeming and accessible at the same time, suggestive of a richness and depth that welcomes rather than intimidates. It is more reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender than anything Disney has done before.

To be clear, like Avatar before it, Raya and the Last Dragon is still very much an American story. While the setting may be a fictionalized world inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, Raya‘s premise is classic Hollywood: Raya suffers a familial tragedy and then must set out on her own quest to save the world. Raya brings that storytelling structure into the 21st century by eschewing the traditional trappings of romance or personal glory (which can be done in modern, interesting ways, but, given the redundancy of those stories needs to be worked harder toward), and leaning into themes of healing, forgiveness, and community. The biggest stakes here aren’t about securing a love or marriage—which, at least in Western media, has inextricable ties to the consolidation of privilege and power—but rather the (figurative) soul of humanity.

While Raya is, broadly speaking, a princess (her father Chief Benja is the leader of Kumandra’s Heart land), Raya’s quest to collect all of the pieces of the Dragon Gem is explicitly depicted to be about a fair redistribution of power and resources. The Druun are simple monsters, yes, but they are also effective stand-ins for the much more intangible forces that threaten our present and future: namely climate change and the devastating conflict that arises from the instability it creates. In Raya, our heroine’s mission is never about regaining or consolidating power. It’s about healing a community and, with it, the natural world—two necessary pieces of the same solution.

Raya and the Last Dragon has a diverse team behind its story. Written by Vietnamese-American playwright Qui Nguyen (Dispatches From Elsewhere, The Society) and Malaysian-born American Adele Lim (Crazy Rich Asians), the movie was co-directed by American filmmaker (and Moana co-director) Don Hall and by Mexican-American filmmaker Carlos López Estrada (Blindspotting). Thai artist Fawn Veerasunthorn served as the Head of Story for the film. It’s hard to imagine a predominantly white creative team telling this same story with anywhere close to the same success.


Since you’re favorably comparing this movie to Avatar, remind me who wrote and directed Avatar? Oh right, three white dudes. So yeah, pretty easy to imagine. Congrats on the self serve. Just a point blank racism.
This post was edited on 3/1 at 11:34 pm


Muthsera
Florida Fan
Member since Jun 2017
6834 posts
 Online 

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

To be clear, like Avatar before it, Raya and the Last Dragon is still very much an American story. While the setting may be a fictionalized world inspired by Southeast Asian cultures, Raya‘s premise is classic Hollywood: Raya suffers a familial tragedy and then must set out on her own quest to save the world


Maybe I'm ignorant, but I was under the impression this story structure was both ancient and universal, hardly confined only to Hollywood, USA.


OMLandshark
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Apr 2009
86121 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Maybe I'm ignorant, but I was under the impression this story structure was both ancient and universal, hardly confined only to Hollywood, USA.


It’s another self serve since that’s the exact plot of Mulan. This person is an incredibly clueless overt racist.


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Havoc
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2015
12569 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
Blah blah blah.

Sympathetic leftist media reports it. Okay. But every non-partisan word repeated after that only helps legitimize it.


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Saint Alfonzo
Syracuse Fan
Member since Jan 2019
10700 posts
 Online 

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
The people who write these type of idiotic reviews need to do a couple of things. Either stfu or make your own movie that incorporates their own insane level of woke bull shite. See how that does at the box office.


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200
PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
17991 posts
 Online 

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind


Jay Are
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Nov 2014
3224 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind


I'd really like to pump the brakes on IGN and Den of Geek representing all of "society".


sgallo3
USA Fan
Dorne
Member since Sep 2008
22623 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
No shite. Most people arent taking the time to write movie reviews


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SLafourche07
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2008
8113 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
You really can’t win.

Make a story about under represented cultures then you're appropriating and get shite on for not doing it right and only doing it for the money.

Don’t, and “where’s muh stories?!”


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100
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Lawyered
Ole Miss Fan
The Sip
Member since Oct 2016
13093 posts
 Online 

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Frozen was a step in the right direction with its emphasis on sisterly love, but it couldn’t resist shoehorning a thematically superfluous romance into its plot with the Kristoff character. Moana, which features Disney’s first Polynesian heroine, makes great strides in giving viewers a more authentic representation of a non-European culture, but still makes some classic colonialist mistakes—blindspots that will always surface when the chief creative forces behind a film are appropriating a culture or cultures they are paid to understand—that keep its fresh setting from truly shining.


Good lord what a word salad of horseshitee

They won’t ever stop complaining


Salmon
USA Fan
On the trails
Member since Feb 2008
77148 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind


what % of "society" do think these views represent?

5%? maybe?


Athos
Missouri Fan
Member since Sep 2016
9880 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

what % of "society" do think these views represent?

5%? maybe?


Less. This is yet another tired snowflake melt about a tiny group of people.


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1110
sparkinator
LSU Fan
Lake Claiborne
Member since Dec 2007
3774 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
It may represent a small fraction but the attention they get garner more than just raw numbers. Anytime you have influencers promoting an idea and other media picking it up tennis those numbers escalate quickly.


Salmon
USA Fan
On the trails
Member since Feb 2008
77148 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

but the attention they get garner more than just raw numbers. Anytime you have influencers promoting an idea and other media picking it up tennis those numbers escalate quickly.


I guarantee these type of reviews garner more outrage attention than agreement.


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TheeRealCarolina
South Carolina Fan
Member since Aug 2018
12435 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
Why is anyone reading reviews anyways?

Also, Hollywood cast damn Yankees as Southerners for decades and I didn’t hear a peep from the circlejerk media so forgive me if I don’t give a shite about some Koreans voicing a fictional representation of Thailand.


Arksulli
Arkansas Fan
Fayetteville
Member since Aug 2014
20724 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
A lot of reviewers out there aren't happy unless they have something to be unhappy about I fear. I call it the "I bitch therefore I am" school of thought.


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hth52
Louisiana Tech Fan
Member since Jun 2016
2194 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Also, Hollywood cast damn Yankees as Southerners for decades and I didn’t hear a peep from the circlejerk media so forgive me if I don’t give a shite about some Koreans voicing a fictional representation of Thailand.


This whole subject is not a big deal.
But these are not really comparable.


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skrayper
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2012
21689 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
People complain because it generates clicks and sells ad space.

So long as they get clicks from both sides, they'll keep doing it.


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41
skrayper
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2012
21689 posts

re: Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon reviews show that society has lost its damn mind
quote:

Maybe I'm ignorant, but I was under the impression this story structure was both ancient and universal, hardly confined only to Hollywood, USA.


Pretty sure you're correct. It's the classic hero's journey coupled with a family tragedy. Family tragedies litter every compilation of stories from pretty much every civilization we have any recorded stories from.

I mean, there might be some long dead civilizations that didn't include these story elements, but I'm hardly going to fret over insulting Atlanteans.


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