Raya And The Last Dragon 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 255, May/June 2021

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Some violence, action, and thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Don Hall & Carlos Lopez Estrada
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Raya And The Last Dragon" travels to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together in harmony long ago. But when evil threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it's up to lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and unite its divided people. (Gary Reber)

Special features include the short "Us Again" (HD 06:49); outtakes (HD 02:23); five deleted scenes (HD 19:00); the featurettes "Taste Of Raya" (HD 22:09), "Raya: Bringing It Home" (HD 14:35), "Martial Arts" (HD 05:49), "We Are Kumandra" (HD09:09) and "The Story Behind The Storyboard With John Ripa" (HD 05:02); Fun Facts & Easter Eggs (HD 04:16); upfront previews and Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was animated digitally and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. This is a spectacular picture with a very beautiful color palette that is perfectly saturated. Hues are warm and rich throughout. Color depth is superb, and there is a wide color gamut with nuanced hue shadings. Some colors pop, such as bold blues and bright whites, and others are pastel in tone. Fleshtones are rendered nicely. HDR contrast is excellent with well-balanced backs, revealing shadow delineation and perfect white levels. Resolution also is excellent with revealing object textures and human and dragon renderings. This is an unbelievably beautiful picture that is reference quality throughout. The imagery will engage and thrill the entire family, Noteworthy is that the production was done during the coronavirus pandemic with the production team working from 400 individual homes. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is nicely constructed with a pleasing dynamic presence. Outstanding is James Newton Howard's beautiful orchestral/choral score, which occupies a wide and deep sondstage and seamlessly extends to the four surrounds and the height layer. Howard's orchestral/choral score is virtually a constant sound element. Atmospherics are realistic, though, for the most part nuanced. Sound effects too are realistic with superb spatial realism and detail. At times, sound effects are embellished with deep bass and sharp transients as with the sword fight between Raya and Noi. Everything sounds wonderful and engaging. Dialogue is intelligible throughout with good integration.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised virtually exclusively of the extension of the orchestral/choral score to the height layer. There are a few segments of subtle voices extended but no sound effects or atmospherics. Thus, so much potential has been ignored resulting in a lack of impressive immersion.

This is a truly special soundtrack that communicates emotionally and is a reference holosonic® spherical surround production. (Gary Reber)