Peaches Prattlings











{March 14, 2021}   Raya and the Last Dragon

Today, since it was raining, no motorcycle rides for us, but…we decided to go to the movies and saw Raya and the Last Dragon, the newest Disney movie. The IMDB tagline is “In a realm known as Kumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.” Pretty accurate.

A little bit of trivia…Kumandra was inspired bythe Southeast Asian cultures of Brunei, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The story is that Kumandra is peace and harmony and all peoples living as one, with the five lands in the shape of a dragon: Heart, Talon, Spine, Fang, and Tail, all connected by the River Dragon. One day, a very long time ago, the Druun emerged, a swirling mass of purple and black, reminding me of The Nothing from the NeverEnding Story, it basically swirls and swarms through the lands turing the people and dragons to stone statues.

The dragons pooled their magic into a magic gem called the Dragon Gem, to protect against the Druun and the five lands are now divided. The dragons who pooled their magic gave the Dragon Gem to their sister, Sisu, the last remaining dragon. The Heart Land was tasked to guard the Dragon Orb for centuries and when Raya’s father brings the lands together, hoping for peace and a return to Kumandra…unfortunately, I think you can guess what happens, and the orb is broken apart and each leader takes a piece of the orb to try to protect themselves and their people. Unfortunately, that unleased the Druun to begin it’s attack on the people and the lands again. And the mistrust is even greater amongst the people.

Raya’s Ba, or father, is turned to stone as he pushses Raya away, gives her his piece of the orb and tells her it is on her to go and bring unity back to the world. That’s a lot to put on a 12 year old’s shoulders, but she rises to the challenge. We see her six years later, riding on Tuk-Tuk, her loveable pet, comprised of one third-pill bug, one third-armadillo, and one third-pug hybrid, with the ability to roll into a ball, it’s pretty cool. He’s adorable, as a wee bit, and then a big bit and stays very much a goofball throughout the movie, but he can move! Where do I get one?! These movies have to stop creating characters that I want for my own!

As Raya sets out, she goes to each of the lands to attempt to take the piece of the gem to reunite them together. Along the way, she finds Sisu, who seems to have been asleep for a while, not really sure what’s happening when she ‘wakes up’. It was interesting to watch their dynamic, and to see Sisu see the world through new eyes, a lot has changed since she’s been gone, almost the eyes of a child, or at least a very trusting, naive innocent, she still has faith in humanity and what it can accomplish if you put your trust in one another, something hard to do at this point, for most of the people still there, or left behind, as it feels.

Along the way, as she is going to each land, Raya meets someone that she has to trust and earn their trust in return and as you might imagine, they become their own band of merry men, so to speak. It really is an interesting combination of characters that she brings together. I hope you can picture all they can do, when they learn to trust and work together.

And that’s what the movie is about, believing in yourself, having the power and strength to open yourself up to others, to trust them and allow them to trust you and what you can accomplish together. Did they succeed? Was there unity? Were people reunited with their lost loved ones? Did Raya get her Ba back? First…if I tell you everything, how will you be surprised. Second…it’s a Disney animated movie, yeah, that about sums it up.

The cast is great, Raya is played by Kelly Marie Tran, Sisu by the brilliantly funny Awkwafina, the dialog was perfectly her and there were a few times I felt like she was channeling Robin Williams, in that way he would kind of do his own thing with dialog, go off the rails, like he did in as the genii in Aladdin. Gemma Chan was Raya’s nemesis, from Fang, Benedict Wong was Tong from Spine, Sandra Oh was Chieftess Virana from Fang, Lucille Soong was Chieftess Dang Hu from Talon, Daniel Dae Kim was Chief Benja and Raya’s father. I love that Alan Tudyk played Tuk Tuk, he didn’t say much, but his noises were mighty cute!

Overall, it was a great movie, a lot of wonderful symbolism, pageantry, colors, feelings, story, action, humor, humility, unity, trust, and love. What more could you want?! I hope you enjoy it, I’m going to watch it again!



Today is Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the Ox.

I don’t know if you fall into the category of believing in Chinese Zodiac signs, but I do. I enjoy learning about characteristics and traits and see if they match with the person I might know with that sign. I do it with astrological signs. That being said, if you are the year of the ox, and this is your year, let’s see if your personality and characteristics fit:

Oxen are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the center of attention. This often hides their talent, but they’ll gain recognition through their hard work. They believe that everyone should do what’s asked for them and stay within their bounds. Though they are kind, it’s difficult for them to understand persuasion using pathos. Rarely losing your temper, they think logically and make great leaders.

Is that you?

I remember as a kid, celebrating with with a Pilipino family that lived down the street from us, our families were great friends. Their oldest son and I were the same age and their youngest and my sister were the same age, the middle kid, well, he was in the middle, ha ha, and we all played together. We would play after school, at holidays and over the summer, the family would come and stay at our summer house. AL, the oldest used to drive my mom crazy, he would make that dripping water noise with his mouth and cheek, it drove her insane, mostly because he would do it in the middle of the night. Ha ha.

Back to celebrating…They observed a lot of Chinese traditions, the boys went a Chinese school every Saturday, much to their chagrin, in Chinatown in NYC, how many of you wanted to go to school on Saturday to learn a new language, on top of going to school during the week. The most fun was celebrating Chinese New Year with them. Foods, traditions, stories, the red envelopes. Oh yeah, the red envelopes.

It is tradition to give the gift of a bright, beautiful red envelope (known as 紅包, hóngbāo) to friends and family. It’s not just any old envelope…The red color symbolizes good luck and prosperity in Chinese (and other East Asian) cultures. Here are 8 Things You Should Know about the Lucky Red Envelope.

I was a kid, so of course, I looked forward to getting those red envelopes and they always had money in them, but it was usually $2 bills! I know you won’t be surprised, I probably still have a few of those envelopes, might even have the money in them. But even then, as much as I enjoyed getting money filled envelopes, I knew they were special, not just because of the money, there was history behind them, I knew there was something.

As I mentioned, with the envelopes, there was laughter and joy, their house was always full for the celebration, so many people sharing moments, food, and stories. What more could you want?

I’ve been in different places for Chinese New Year to see the celebrations, including the fireworks, dragons, dancing, parades and so much more. There is nothing like it! I hope to travel the world to see more celebrations! We saw some celebrations in Hawai’i, I remember a celebration inside a mall! I’ve seen them in New York City, and Philadelphia, PA, it’s not something you ever forget and I hope sometime in your life, you get to experience the wonder and splendor and come back and tell me all about it!

I will leave you with a traditional Chinese New Year greeting: I wish you a year of abundance and prosperity. Xin nian hao.



et cetera