In “Raya and the Last Dragon,” a group of characters, torn by centuries of hatred, unite and learn a valuable lesson in trust.
And in “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” a group of underwater sea creatures, aided by a handful of quirky celebrity cameos, come together and learn valuable lessons in courage and friendship.
Two animated films, both worthy, on fair streaming services, where we set our stage. Each presents adorable characters on a quest whose willpower is tested along the way. But one is treated like a plate of vegetables and the other is a gooey dessert. And in their own way, both are satisfying.
“Raya and the Last Dragon” is Disney through and through. It builds the story of an ancient land where humans and dragons coexisted peacefully, until a plague threatened the earth and dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity.
Now, 500 years later, Warrior Princess Raya (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) teams up with goofy and playful water dragon Sisu (Awkwafina) to save the earth and help unite her people.
The theme of “Raya” is trust, which he articulates by having the characters mention the word “trust” as if it were in bold type on every page of the script. The animation is smooth, especially when Sisu gets to fly through the air and do dragon things, and the action is reliable, even if the undertaking is a little stiff and serious.
There is nothing rigid or self-righteous about “Sponge on the Run”, which is aimed at young children as well as college smokers. He follows SpongeBob SquarePants and his pal Patrick from Bikini Bottom to the Lost City of Atlantic City, where SpongeBob’s snail pal Gary has been kidnapped and is being used for his skincare by King Poseidon. (voiced by Matt Berry).
Helping SpongeBob and Patrick on their journey to retrieve Gary is a tumbleweed sage who houses the head of Keanu Reeves, a robot driver (voiced by Awkwafina, whose voice is circulating these days) with no respect for his passengers. or where they want to go, and Snoop Dogg, who randomly appears to star in the middle of the movie. Danny Trejo also appears briefly and shoots lasers from his eyes, and there’s an underwater facsimile of Kenny G named Kelpy G, who performs “My Heart Will Go On” on tenor saxophone. It’s that kind of movie.
Both films, in their own way, keep their promises. But as Disney chooses the path of prestige with “Raya” – the film is credited with four directors and eight writers, and its cultural portrayal is both important and admirable – “SpongeBob” is pure nonsense, and ends. by being a lot more fun to boot. Each gets where they are going and teaches meaningful human lessons along the way. But only one has a scene featuring flesh-eating cowboy pirate zombies, and you can probably guess which one.
“Raya and the last dragon”
Classified PG: for certain elements of violence, action and themes
Run Time: 108 minutes
In theaters and on Disney + Premier Access
“The movie SpongeBob: the runaway sponge”
Rated PG: for rude humor, some thematic elements and soft language
Duration: 91 minutes
On Paramount +