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Raya and the Last Dragon
(2021)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Co-Produced by:

Co-Orchestrated and Co-Conducted by:
Pete Anthony

Co-Orchestrated by:
Jeff Atmajian
Jon Kull
Philip Klein

Co-Conducted by:
Susie Gillis

Produced by:
Xander Rodzinski
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Walt Disney Records
(February 26th, 2021)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Commercial digital release only, with high resolution options.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE





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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if 20 to 25 minutes of glorious James Newton Howard fantasy lyricism are enough of a reward to compensate for instrumental and structural risks that jeopardize the rest of the score.

Avoid it... if you cannot tolerate Howard's inelegant attempt to infuse techno-electronic elements into the forefront of a fantasy score long enough to parse out its brief melodic highlights.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,967
WRITTEN 5/16/21
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Howard
Howard
Raya and the Last Dragon: (James Newton Howard) For the second time in a year, Walt Disney Studios looked to Asia for its heroine, finding a pseudo-princess in a mythical realm with dragons and monsters for the pandemic-delayed Raya and the Last Dragon. The 2021 animated picture tells of land in which humans and dragons together fight monsters called the Druun which turn the inhabitants to stone because, well, they're pissed off about something. The dragons sacrifice themselves in the process of creating a magical orb that can protect the humans from these monsters. The bipeds, however, are predictably jealous and stupid, and distrust between the five peoples of the realm causes a battle over the orb that destroys it, allowing the Druun to do their thing once again. Raya, the future leader of the Heart tribe, must find a lone surviving dragon (a cute one perfect for plush dolls, of course... one must not forget the merchandise) and collect the shattered pieces of the orb from the other, hostile tribes to fend off the bigger baddies. Not surprisingly, the film teaches about trust, and a happily ever after ending is destined to test credibility. The film received surprisingly consistent praise and became one of the year's top-grossing entries in its hybrid theatre and streaming debut. The occasion is of particular importance to film music collectors, as it marks a long overdue return of composer James Newton Howard to the Disney feature scene. The composer had a three-picture deal with the studio two decades earlier that yielded respected scores for Dinosaur, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and Treasure Planet. While these films were not that successful, they represented the bulk of Howard's work for animation, his career only rarely delving into the genre thereafter. Several magnificent fantasy scores from Howard since those years primed collectors to expect a dynamically magical return of the composer to Disney for Raya and the Last Dragon. The score's creation was marred by practical issues related to the 2020 pandemic, forcing shortcuts in the recording process. Along with a significantly enhanced role for electronics in the work, listeners should expect the unexpected with the unconventional result. They should also ignore the auto-tuned disaster of a pop song unrelated to the score.


Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
169 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.18 Stars
***** 27 5 Stars
**** 44 4 Stars
*** 47 3 Stars
** 36 2 Stars
* 15 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Disappointed in this score
A Loony Trombonist - June 28, 2021, at 8:37 a.m.
1 comment  (281 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS
Total Time: 69:51
• 1. Lead the Way* (3:43)
• 2. Prologue (5:44)
• 3. Young Raya and Namaari (3:26)
• 4. Betrayed (4:34)
• 5. Search for the Last Dragon (1:13)
• 6. Into the Shipwreck (2:52)
• 7. Enter the Dragon (0:52)
• 8. Fleeing from Tail (1:22)
• 9. Captain Boun (1:02)
• 10. Journey to Talon (1:19)
• 11. Sisu Swims (1:44)
• 12. Dragon Graveyard (2:53)
• 13. Escape From Talon (3:42)
• 14. Noi and the Ongis (2:32)
• 15. Being People is Hard (4:05)
• 16. Spine Showdown (3:26)
• 17. Running on Raindrops (2:11)
• 18. Plans of Attack (1:15)
• 19. Brothers and Sisters (3:58)
• 20. The Meeting (3:19)
• 21. Storming Fang (4:09)
• 22. The Druun Close In (2:58)
• 23. Return (4:58)
• 24. The New World (2:35)
* performed by Jhené Aiko

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NOTES AND QUOTES
There exists no official packaging for this album.
Copyright © 2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Raya and the Last Dragon are Copyright © 2021, Walt Disney Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/16/21 (and not updated significantly since).
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