I recently watched Raya and the last dragon, I got rather mixed feelings from it.
One, I really looked forward to the Southeast Asia setting, as it was lauded to be.
Color me dissappointed when there was nothing at all relatable with the story. None of the five different "countries" were representative of any southeast Asian country. Contrary to prior Disney films, this was not a disney spinoff of any regional myths or stories, but a whole made up thing. I was especially hyped seeing somekind of filipino representation in Raya fighting with sticks, reminicent of Arnis in the trailers, only to be tossed aside and for her to just spend the rest of the movie using a sword, cool as it is.
Now I'm not knowledgeable about every culture they mixed in, but this is something I noticed, cause it was something I looked forward to.
After seeing it, coincidentally a review of the movie popped up on my facebook feed.
Not that surprising others felt the same as me.
The author of it pointed all of this out, Southeast Asia is not the same as the rest of Asia, nor is Asia a single culture. At times when people talk about asian representation in western media, we forget that not all of asia is being represented in any way. At most you get a korean, chinese, or japanese character, but what about the rest of us? Thai, Malay, Viatnamese, Filipino, and so on?
I also totally get the ATLA references the author of that review put in.