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Eric is Full of Pride

Raya and the Last Dragon | March 5, 2021 | Premier Access/Theater simultaneous release

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I found myself somewhat conflicted in my opinions this movie. On the one hand, it's excellent for what it is. As a Disney animated movie, it's top-notch. But on the other hand, and here's where my conflicting views come into play, the comparisons people are making to Avatar: The Last Airbender are valid-- and not in a good way. I mentioned earlier how the first trailers made Raya look like an action movie, but the later ones really ramped up the comedy. No spoilers, but those later trailers are a lot more accurate to what the movie is really like. It's like they gave us a hint of something unique and interesting, but then just gave us the "diet" version. 

Edited by El Squibbonator
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Why is no one addressing the elephant in the room here? Does anyone think it's a coincidence that virtually all the highest grossing animated movies featuring humans feature all-white or almost all-white casts ?

 

Does anyone here think "Warm" featuring a black princess in a far-away African kingdom would have done half as well as "Frozen" ? Of course it wouldn't, and we all know why. Hell "The Princess and the Frog" didn't even gross $300 million while "Tangled" grossed nearly $600 million a year later, so it's nothing new I'm afraid. 

Edited by Cynosure
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21 minutes ago, Cynosure said:

Why is no one addressing the elephant in the room here? Does anyone think it's a coincidence that virtually all the highest grossing animated movies featuring humans feature all-white or almost all-white casts ?

 

Does anyone here think "Warm" featuring a black princess in a far-away African kingdom would have done half as well as "Frozen" ? Of course it wouldn't, and we all know why. Hell "The Princess and the Frog" didn't even gross $300 million while "Tangled" grossed nearly $600 million a year later, so it's nothing new I'm afraid. 

I mean, in a world where Black Panther made 1.3 billion worldwide, it sure as Hell wouldn't hurt to try. Who cares if it flops, representation is needed, period. If the rumors are true that Disney sabotaged Raya because they thought SE Asians wouldn't show up, then they can go fuck themselves (for that and a million other reasons).

Edited by MCKillswitch123
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12 minutes ago, MCKillswitch123 said:

I mean, in a world where Black Panther made 1.3 billion worldwide, it sure as Hell wouldn't hurt to try. Who cares if it flops, representation is needed, period. If the rumors are true that Disney sabotaged Raya because they thought SE Asians wouldn't show up, then they go fuck themselves (for that and a million other reasons).

It's interesting to compare Avengers AOU and Black Panther which both grossed very similar numbers worldwide :

 

Black Panther : $700.1 million DOM, $646.9 million OS.

AOU : $459 million DOM, $943.8 million OS.

 

And that's despite a much better critical reception for the former, which unfortunately kind of proves my point. 

 

I agree about representation obviously, my post is precisely criticizing the fact that people all over the world, even subconsciously, see themselves in white people and "white stories" but not in black, asian or hispanic stories and people. For instance I don't think you'll ever see a non-Japanese or non-white movie pull a Frozen in Japan.

Edited by Cynosure
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I thought this was fantastic. The animation is top notch and it looks incredible on screen. The worldbuilding and the action sequences are great too. The only thing I disliked was that it was too derivative of other properties (Avatar, Kill Bill, even Mononoke). Disney has a potential franchise in their hands with this

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It was pretty good, in fact there are times in it, it felt pretty great but then it get formulaic and cheesy. 6/10.

 

One thing though, I get it Disney doing representations, but that representation is basically the looks of characters and overall setting. In the end they are basically American characters in "foreign faces" and "foreign clothes". Felt same for Mulan. I would have preferred watching that in Chinese with English subs. Here may be some SEA language.

Edited by jatvision
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1 hour ago, Cynosure said:

Why is no one addressing the elephant in the room here? Does anyone think it's a coincidence that virtually all the highest grossing animated movies featuring humans feature all-white or almost all-white casts ?

 

Does anyone here think "Warm" featuring a black princess in a far-away African kingdom would have done half as well as "Frozen" ? Of course it wouldn't, and we all know why. Hell "The Princess and the Frog" didn't even gross $300 million while "Tangled" grossed nearly $600 million a year later, so it's nothing new I'm afraid. 

There's no way Disney would deliberately sabotage (as @MCKillswitch123 mentioned) a mega-budget movie that they already invested hundreds of millions of dollars into just because they don't think anyone would show up to a SE Asian-centered movie. If they truly thought that, the movie wouldn't have been made.

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Yeah any kind of “Disney deliberately tried to make Raya less successful because XYZ” is just frankly insane conspiracy nonsense. I don’t think there’s any need to mince words with such stupidity.   
 

It does seem like trying to get usual theater terms with a 0-day window is working out very very poorly for them, and they might have also botched marketing (I don’t actually know, I doubt I would see that much even if they did it great).   
 

Raya basically feels like it was sacrificed to find out that 0-day hybrid PA is not a great plan. Had to find that out eventually using a movie of at least roughly comparable scale.
 

If reception is good (and seems to be) then maybe we get some D+ show about it and if that does well maybe a sequel someday. It’s not like the financial issues stemming from the weird situation will lead to Disney blackballing the IP.

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I can for sake of argument try to prove Cynosure wrong and may be I will succeed with some spin, but the ugly truth is, "yes the world is racist".

 

Often Black Panther is shared as an example, well for one it was MCU that did those numbers. 2 it overperformed so much at black population places, that overall number came out big. Don't go far Canada which has lower Black population, BP did less than Infinity War.

 

Majority Indians are racists, despite we being brown. In fact this "pro-white" thing is so inherent, majority don't even realise that, with fairness creams being a real thing. In fact, just a few years ago I don't think I even watched a film with Black lead. 

 

I have read Chinese posters saying same during BP release about China.

 

And may be one can say that, well people want to watch their own films, that's why BP did so well with Black demo. So are Black people racists?

 

But thing is, as Cynosure pointed, they are watching and raving the white lead films and stories without any problem. May be blame colonialism for that, making people inherent slave to white supremacy mentality or whatever, but that is truth.

 

That said, I will just repeat my white friend 😛 Wandalegion here

 

"Yeah any kind of “Disney deliberately tried to make Raya less successful because XYZ” is just frankly insane conspiracy nonsense. I don’t think there’s any need to mince words with such stupidity. "

Edited by jatvision
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The whole "Disney is sabotaging Raya" idea doesn't make sense. It's more likely that the movie is underperforming because it opened too close to Tom and Jerry, which, as an established property that both kids and parents were familiar with, was going to attract more people. And given that audiences still aren't going to theaters as often as they used to, that's a selling point. 

If the pandemic hadn't been an issue, I can easily see this movie making Moana numbers. It hasn't been unheard of in the past for two animated movies to open close together and both be successful. 

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9 minutes ago, jatvision said:

I can for sake of argument try to prove Cynosure wrong and may be I will succeed with some spin, but the ugly truth is, "yes the world is racist".

 

Often Black Panther is shared as an example, well for one it was MCU that did those numbers. 2 it overperformed so much at black population places, that overall number came out big. Don't go far Canada which has lower Black population, BP did less than Infinity War.

 

Majority Indians are racists, despite we being brown. In fact this "pro-white" thing is so inherent, majority don't even realise that, with fairness creams being a real thing. In fact, just a few years ago I don't think I even watched a film with Black lead. 

 

I have read Chinese posters saying same during BP release about China.

 

And may be one can say that, well people want to watch their own films, that's why BP did so well with Black demo. So are Black people racists?

 

But thing is, as Cynosure pointed, they are watching and raving the white lead films and stories without any problem. May be blame colonialism for that, making people inherent slave to white supremacy mentality or whatever, but that is truth.

 

That said, I will just repeat my white friend 😛 Wandalegion here

 

"Yeah any kind of “Disney deliberately tried to make Raya less successful because XYZ” is just frankly insane conspiracy nonsense. I don’t think there’s any need to mince words with such stupidity. "

Your overall point has a good degree of truth, but I take issue a bit with the reasoning behind BP's success. Black Panther's domestic audience was about 35% black. So even normalizing that to the usual percentage for the MCU, it would still come out to over $500 million which is incredible for a solo film. Even in countries where the performance was weaker, it didn't do that much less than typical MCU solos. 

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1 minute ago, Menor said:

Your overall point has a good degree of truth, but I take issue a bit with the reasoning behind BP's success. Black Panther's domestic audience was about 35% black. So even normalizing that to the usual percentage for the MCU, it would still come out to over $500 million which is incredible for a solo film. Even in countries where the performance was weaker, it didn't do that much less than typical MCU solos. 

Yeah, that's why I said it was MCU doing those numbers,

 

Black Panther did $10M in India. I watched Endgame in small city, people there were shouting Yibamwe during portals. That's the impact of MCU,

 

BP had best superhero reviews + Infinity War pent up buzz. Comparing it with Captain Marvel, being much weaker film did $420M in USA, BP doing $500M isn't that surprising. 

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For the record, I don't wanna come across as a conspiracy theorist or anything, it's just something I saw being spread I believe on an outlet... or maybe it was just Twitter. Maybe it was foolish of me to believe, but it wouldn't really be the first time Disney did a stupid thing. Either way, I really hope more representation is to come, especially from Disney who are basically the gatekeepers for major mainstream animation.

Edited by MCKillswitch123
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10 minutes ago, MCKillswitch123 said:

For the record, I don't wanna come across as a conspiracy theorist or anything, it's just something I saw being spread I believe on an outlet... or maybe it was just Twitter. Maybe it was foolish of me to believe, but it wouldn't really be the first time Disney did a stupid thing. Either way, I really hope more representation is to come, especially from Disney who are basically the gatekeepers for major mainstream animation.

We've in the last 5 years had Moana, Soul, Coco, Raya from WDAS/Pixar. That is a much higher level of representation than ever before (in particular from Pixar) They are not stopping anytime soon with the likes of Turning Red and Encanto coming from the film side and Moana, Tiana and Iwájú on the series side of things.

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It isn't white people that appeal more. it's that white characters are deliberately so generic anyone can project into them whatever they want and understand their motives. That is why Bollywood never became an international force like Hollywood - too culturally specific which can be incomprehensible outside of its borders. I 'll give you an example:

 

Typical white hero has no specific culture, no emphasis on religion, etc. They are defined by a character trait (cocky pilot, charming rogue, etc) and/or what happens to them. So heroes who aren't white but fall into this formula are more likely to hit it big than the ones that, I dunno, perform some rituals and have some rules of living or expression that are incomprehensible to 1/2 of Earth population. Take Aquaman and Black Panther. They are essentially Hamlet with happy ending aka The Lion King aka any character whose nefarious relative tired to rob them of their birthright be it a throne (cue any K drama or C drama set in the past) or seat as the company CEO ( see modern K and C dramas, Latin telenovelas, etc). It's the story as old as time, understandable to everyone everywhere. As is emphasis on the importance of family, honoring your elders, etc. 

 

So when you look at Frozen, it's 2 sisters who want to reconnect after years of growing apart. Understandable to everyone. Moana OTOH is more This God that God so not as understandable as princess sisters whose beliefs are of no importance and therefore unmentioned. The less said about Brave's this bear that bear the better. I still don't know WTF I watched. 

 

Will Smith built his career on this formula. Fighting robots, vampires, aliens, etc is as generic as it gets, understandable to everyone, presented in a way that doesn't make one scratch their head. Heroes who are enough of blank slates that you can customize them any way you like. 

 

I don't deny that there are biases and preferences. But they get overcome if the material is easy to understand, character easy to identify with and well, and actor an eye candy of the highest order. Look at Bridgerton. Everyone loves the Duke because he is a tormented bad boy who changes thanks to the love of a good woman. Byronic hero. A trope as old as time that will never go out of fashion despite climate pressure. The show was #1 everywhere in the world including supposed biased countries in East and South Asia. 

 

Just saying that it isn't always race. In many cases, it's simply that concept Y has less appeal than concept X. Also, people tend to notice things selectively. They'll say Moana made half of Frozen boxoffice but omit that Brave and Tangled didn't make more either. Nothing stopped those movies from breaking out like that since it was physically possible to make 2.7B let alone less. But they didn't. 

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