Walt Disney Animation has been on an incredible hot streak over the last decade, living up to early hopes that a second renaissance was on the cards. In the last ten years, both of the Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph movies, Big Hero 6, Zootopia and Moana all drew strong reviews from critics and pulled in huge numbers at the box office, although the outfit’s latest effort Raya and the Last Dragon will obviously fail to hit the same commercial heights given the Coronavirus pandemic.
The fantasy adventure did open at the top of the domestic chart last weekend, but a haul of less than $6 million was viewed as a disappointment despite the fact that it released simultaneously on Disney Plus locked behind the Premier Access paywall, especially when HBO Max’s Tom and Jerry pulled in over twice as much the week before.
However, it’s kept up the impressively consistent levels of critical acclaim, with Raya and the Last Dragon currently holding a Rotten Tomatoes score of 94%, as the eye-popping animation and surprisingly action-heavy narrative comes in for particular praise, along with the accomplished performances of the voice cast.
At this point, a sequel seems pretty likely and we’ve heard from our sources this week – the same ones who told us Bambi and Robin Hood were getting live-action remakes long before either was announced – that a follow-up to Raya and the Last Dragon has indeed entered early development, which would indicate that Premier Access sales have been strong when you consider the $100 million budget and lack of significant box office takings.
The ending drew the story to a close, but still left the door open for potential sequels, and we should find out what Disney has planned for Raya and the Last Dragon 2 whenever the boardroom finishes crunching the numbers.