Should Raya and The Last Dragon Get the Live-Action Treatment?

Disney went on a run for a while when it came to its live-action movies, and to be honest, it’s still a desire to give this treatment to several of their movies since Pinocchio, another version of it anyway, is coming out eventually with none other than Tom Hanks starring as Geppetto. There are plenty of animated movies that could easily become live-action movies, but Raya and The Last Dragon might not be one of them. That is to say, it might not be one of the easiest since it would rely on quite a bit of CGI to make this movie work. The practical effects for this movie don’t feel like they would measure up when compared to the CGI, but with the right director and the right team, it would be a worthwhile attempt to watch no doubt since the settings and the characters would be fun to see come to life. This story feels as though it has been underrated when compared to many other Disney movies, since the fact that many of those receiving the live-action treatment have been sitting to the side for many years, but were put front and center when the live-action ideas started coming down the pipeline. 

It could be that this idea is on the back burner already at Disney, but hasn’t been mentioned yet. If the idea isn’t in the process of being looked at however it would be kind of a travesty since the idea of bringing this to light as a live-action movie would be great. It would be even better if a few things were added to or perhaps toned down to create an even greater sense of urgency since the main idea of the story brings several elements together in a great way but could be added to in a few distinct ways. The adventure that the main character, Raya, goes on to retrieve the shards of crystal that will summon the dragon, Sisu, are great, but they’re also a bit unrealistic in a lot of ways. 

While this makes for a great movie when animated, in reality, it would become a little cheesy here and there, and might need a bit of help here and there to make it work. But a live-action version of this movie would be a lot of fun, especially if the same actors were brought back since it could go a long way to helping people relate to the characters once again. Of course, it’s fair to say that this might not be possible since, by the time a live-action movie was to be used, a few of the characters might have to bow out or have their roles altered just a bit to make them accurate. Plus, the baby with the three monkeys might be kind of difficult to replicate, since the baby would have to be a CGI creation. Of course, a young child could be placed in this role with three CGI monkeys, and it might work. A live-action version of this movie would require heavily on CGI to be certain, but it feels as though it could be even more terrifying in some instances than it could have been in the animated movie. 

The Drun, those formless blobs of destructive energy that robbed people of their souls and turned them into statues, could be insanely intimidating if given over to a live-action movie since the effects that would show people turning to stone could be insanely creepy. Plus, it feels as though a few seconds more to spend on the statues of each person and creature that was petrified might enhance the emotional content in a big way. But then again, I’m a writer and not a director, so who knows. But giving Raya the live-action treatment sounds intriguing enough that one can only hope that  Disney might be thinking about it eventually, and will bring it to life in a big way. If not, then the movie is still just as good since it’s a lot of fun and pushes a lot of great lessons within the story that are easy to see, but aren’t so overblown that they detract from anything. 

Live-action movies from Disney, those that started as animated anyway, are a lot of fun when they’re done right. They’re all going to receive some sort of criticism, as even the most popular movies have been called out for one or more elements that people didn’t think worked right. But the fun part of creating such movies is that they offer a different perspective since animation is great, and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s hard to relate to an animated character as compared to a real-life, flesh-and-blood individual. The fact that this story already has a strong moral center and a lot of great lessons would only make it better in live-action. 

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