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Review: Raya and the Last Dragon Home Video Release

Raya and the Last Dragon Blu-rayWalt Disney Animation Studio’s  Raya and the Last Dragon is now available on home video.  It is also currently available on Disney Premier Access on Disney+ and digitally in several formats.  The film takes you to the world of Kumandra for an action/adventure film where Raya teams up with a cast of characters including Sisu, the last dragon, to save the land from the Druun (monsters that turn people to stone).  For more on the film here is Maggie’s review from its initial release.

The home video release includes streaming choices of 4K, HD and SD as well as physical DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.  For more on the technical specifications and options here is the full press release.

I was sent the Multi-Screen Edition including a Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Code).    The discs include the film, “Us Again” short and an assortment of bonus features.   Here is a quick listing and my first impressions of the bonus features:

  • Taste of Raya (22 min) – A virtual meal with the films creative team hosting by Kelly Marie Tran (the voice of Raya) featuring a Southeast Asian menu.  On their Zoom session they discussed some of what it was like finishing the film remotely and the Southeast Asian influences of the film.  I thought this unique twist on the standard making of type featurette was interesting and clocking in at over 20 minutes made it feel like a good length conversation.
  • Raya: Bringing it Home (14:35) – This was the most interesting featurette for me.  It showed some of the effort that went into transitioning to work from home.  Most of the production of the final film was done from over 450 different houses as the team was not able to be in Burbank due to the pandemic.   They talked to the technical team that transitioned from a single building to working from home in a very short turnaround to keep the production moving forward.  Me being the tech geek that I am and from the experience with my job found this really interesting and even though it was over 14 minutes I still wanted more.
  • Martial Artists (5:49) – This featurette discusses some of the research and choices of various martial arts that are used in the film.
  • We are Kumandra (9:09) – This featurette introduces the Southeast Asia Story Trust and delves into the cultural influences that inspired the film.
  • Outtakes (2:23) – A short featurette showcasing how the voice cast recorded from home and some of the unique challenges of everyone being remote.
  • Fun Facts & Easter Eggs (4:16) – A look at some of the hidden items in the film ranging from characters you may recognize from previous films to hidden Mickeys.   Also a run down of some of the numbers to illustrate what it took to create the film.
  • The Story Behind the Storyboard with John Ripa (5:02) – Co-Director John Ripa  walks through a storyboard sequence and gives a brief overview of what storyboarding is.
  • Deleted Scenes (19 min) – Five deleted scenes are introduced and then played in storyboard form.
  •  “Us Again” included a brief introduction by the director to give some background on the short.

This initial home video release has about 90 minutes of bonus features.  For a first release this seems above average now a days.  I found the ones discussing the unique circumstances of working from home during the pandemic the most interesting to watch.

This home video release of “Raya and the Last Dragon” is a nice addition to a Disney film library.  It offers several format choices and a healthy array of bonus features.   I have not seen the listing of bonus features that will be available on the Disney+ release but based the release of “Soul” there will be a couple features exclusive to these formats and not available once the film is released on Disney+.

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