It doesn’t try to go to infinity and beyond. Instead, it tells a simple story well and without a lot of fuss.
A perfectly fine little film with engaging characters, parent-appealing cultural throwbacks, and the familiar message to embracing yourself.
Smaller in scale than recent outings and less afraid of its characters’ emotions, it introduces the wayward but destined for greatness Shang-Chi with plenty of the tricks the MCU used to create its box office supremacy while finally pushing the series in a mildly different direction.
Jungle Cruise is not the artistically devoid offering you may have feared, but it’s not stretching itself to be anything too great, either. Instead, it settles for being a lark, and its winning cast nails the frivolous good time it aims to be.
While not hitting the high marks of the best live-action Disney movies, Cruella succeeds because it abandons the sketch we had of the deliciously reviled character and strikes out on its own.
These scraps of something bolder make Raya feel much more safe than it really is. A couple of no holds barred princesses and a whole new world for Disney provided so many opportunities for expansion that it’s disappointing they only took partial advantage. Hopefully they continue pushing forward, because Raya’s only downside is Disney’s self-imposed limitations.