The thing about Pixar (and now Disney-Pixar) movies is the depth of themes that they dwell upon.The high quality animation and the background story aside, the storytelling has been consistently brilliant. The universal appeal lies in giving the young and old, the men and women something to take away from.
I watched the latest one: Raya and the Last Dragon. I’m not going to spoil it for you but all I’d say is that the film keeps up with the contemporary times where they deliberately try to stuff it with more female characters.
For those who have watched it; and I want to confess that the thought that the land of Fang represented Singapore cross my mind. “Successful” and obsessed with their own survival (to the extent they threatened the entire land of Kumandra), Fang seem to mirror elements of being Singapore even geographically: being cut off from the rest of the land by a canal and hence protected, having insufficient land to expand.
While I really enjoyed and appreciated the lesson about trust and unity, it is hard not to reflect on Southeast Asia as a region, the diversity and the differences, the difficulties if you may, of having our own “Kumandra”. And given the political climate and the global context today, we need to create more pan-Southeast Asian literature and celebrate the diversity and fushion in the region more. Perhaps, we need to start looking for dragons.