- “Maybe it's broken because you don't trust anyone. But sometimes, you just have to take the first step.”
- ―Sisu to Raya
Sisu is the deuteragonist of Disney's 2021 animated feature film, Raya and the Last Dragon. For the majority of the film, she is the last of her kind. Sisu is a self-deprecating yet comedic water dragon, called upon by Raya to save humanity from a dark force known as the Druun.
- Sisu is the last dragon of Kumandra. Legends say she's a divine water being of unspeakable beauty and unstoppable magic, but what Raya finds instead is a funny self-deprecating dragon who sees herself as the perennial C-student. Now she must learn to become the dragon of legend if she is to save the world with Raya.
Sisu is a kind and fun-loving dragon who loves making wisecracks and speaks in slang. While she is a bit of a goofball, she still is able to recognize when something is of serious consequence and will drop everything to help. She is shown to be somewhat naive as she does not understand the current human customs such as credit, hot sauce and thinks that most things can be solved with getting someone a gift. However, the latter is her strong suit as she retains her belief that one can be trusted through cohesion and unity. That is to say that she is much more trusting of others. Although she is quirky, she is wise and intuitive, able to give sound advice when required. She's brave, shown when she fearlessly fights the Fang armies' to defend Raya as well as at approaching Namaari holding a weapon despite the risk of her own life. She is loyal and open-minded, willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt for a chance to redeem themselves. A pure heart, she is forgiving and unable to hold a grudge towards anyone, even befriending Namaari after being revived by her siblings along with the rest of her kind, even though she accidentally killed her prior.
Sisu also demonstrates a certain level of omniscience, as demonstrated by her usage of anachronisms. For example, when describing herself to Raya, she compared herself to a C-grade student.
Sisu is a long, blue, spindly looking dragon with a darker shade on her back and a lighter shade on her stomach, arms, and face. She has short dorsal fins on her back and possesses white-bluish-violet hair as a mane and a small tuft of her at the end of her tail. She has big purple eyes, two dark blue horns on her head, and sharp teeth.
In her human form, Sisu resembles a young Southeastern Asian woman with long, messy, white-bluish-violet hair. She retains her purple eyes, but now has goofy-looking teeth. She wears a blue, long-sleeved robe with a design pattern on it and a white furry collar. Sisu wears gray-colored jeans that stop below the knees and soft blue shoes that reveal her ankles.
Role in the film
As the Druun came to Kumandra, the mighty dragon Sisudatu came and concentrated all her magic into a gem and unleashed the power of magic to blast away the Druun. All who were petrified into stone were revived, except Sisu's relatives. After a while, the tribes were in possession of the Dragon Gem, which was later hidden in a hidden temple palace. Later, Namaari recaps a legend from the kingdom of Fang that the mighty dragon Sisudatu still roams around there where she continues explaining that after the mighty dragon Sisu blasted away the Druun, she floated downstream at the river's end as legend says that the mighty dragon rests at the river's end just as Namaari hopes that Sisu would return to Kumandra someday.
Five years later at the Kingdom of Tail, Raya enters a shipwreck and asks Sisu that she searched every river to find her, explaining that she is at the very last one, explaining to her that she needs help from her about Kumandra in danger, hoping the land would be saved someday. All of a sudden, the mighty dragon Sisu appears in front of Raya where she attempts to look for her relatives Pengu, Amba, and Pranee to which she encounters Raya who introduces herself to the dragon. During a conversation, Sisu feels worried that the Dragon Gem is broken and also that her brothers and sisters did not come back because they were petrified at that time. Raya then asks her to make a new Gem for her to restore it, to which she explains that she wasn't the one who made the Gem but rather turned it in to which upon noticing the glow on Sisu while holding a piece of the Gem, she explains to Raya that she feels her little sister Amba's magic. Sisu explains that every dragon has a unique magical power, just as she describes herself as a strong swimmer as Raya explains that she is connected to the Gem's magic just as she explains that she can use it to save Kumandra and defeat the Druun and save Kumandra from disaster.
Later, Sisu (wearing a rice paddy hat and a red cloak) arrives at a trap area where she follows Raya across a chamber at the spot where the Tail chief's skeleton lies at. Raya explains that the original chief was hoarding the gem and became a victim of her own traps to which the two reach the spot where a piece of the Gem is at as Raya takes it from the skeleton, leaving only three pieces left to restore the Gem. Sisu suddenly transforms into a human to which upon feeling it, she explains that this was her sister Pranee's ability. When Namaari arrives at the spot where the three are at, she does not recognize Sisu in her human form just as the three escape from Namaari and a group of Fang soldiers across Tail as the three arrive at a Shrimporium captained by Boun. As a plan to make the boat move faster, Sisu manages to leap into the water and transform from her human form to her dragon form to help Raya get to Talon. Sisu explains to Raya that she is a water dragon as she is used to swimming to which Raya warns that the humans could see her. To avoid getting caught, Raya tells Sisu to turn into a human again to avoid getting hunted down. During lunch time at Boun's boat, Sisu tries the congee on board to which she asks Boun to give her water.
As Boun's boat arrives at a swamp on their way to Talon, Sisu explains to Boun that the Druun are monstrous plague beings waiting for a moment of weakness to attack as she explains to him that the Druun are like relentless fire consuming everything in its path until there is nothing left except for ash and stone. Sisu then puts some lotus flowers gently as they flow across the river to remind her of her relatives lost during the Druun plaguing Kumandra just as the Shrimporium arrives at Talon.
Upon arriving at Talon, Raya explains to Sisu that a piece of the Gem is held by the notorious Chief of Talon, Dang Hai just as Raya tells Sisu to stay on the boat to stay safe. Instead of staying as Raya told her, Sisu arrives at the marketplace and takes numerous items from merchants only to be surrounded by a group of Talon merchants and townspeople telling her to pay for the items she has only to be escorted by an elderly woman named Dang Hu just as she leads her out of the crowd. Dang Hu then escorts Sisu to Dang Hai's lair only to find out that Dang Hai in his petrified form as it is revealed that Dang Hu has the Gem piece while avoiding the Druun. Sisu then boards Tuk Tuk to which upon receiving another piece of the Gem, she explains to Raya that this magic from the Gem piece was from her brother Jagan's magic with only two pieces left to go. On their way to Spine, Raya talks with Sisu about the world being in danger to which Sisu explains to her to not give up faith just as the boat arrives at Spine upon seeing a nearby forest. Sisu then takes Boun's congee just as Raya chases Boun across the forest at the land of Spine.
Arriving at Spine, Sisu tells Raya that to gain trust, she must give a little trust first only to be caught by a sack to which the two find themselves in Tong's shelter. Tong approaches the two who are on their way to find another piece of the Dragon Gem. As Sisu believes that Tong is lonely, he denies, explaining that he was born and bred to do only one thing: to conquer his fear and to face off his enemies with courage. Boun manages to rescue the two tied up on a rope. Later as Raya devises a plan to Tong to protect Raya's friends, Sisu escapes with Tong across the forest along with the rest of Raya's companions; however, Sisu later approaches an injured Raya as she transforms into her dragon form and breathes mist at Namaari much to her shock. Sisu then escapes into the Shrimporium alongside the rest of Raya's friends.
Back on the Shrimporium, Sisu then devises a plan to Raya to help her fight against the Druun just as Boun, Noi, the Ongis, and Tong agree to help Raya defeat the Druun just as Tong gives out another piece of the Gem as Sisu starts feeling her brother Pengu's magic just as Sisu happily gains more power with the piece found as the boat continues sailing to the land of Fang. Instead of sticking with her plan, Raya then takes Sisu to do her plan as Sisu wasn't in Fang when Namaari betrayed her just as Sisu takes Raya to the land of Heart.
Arriving at the Land of Heart, Sisu takes Raya and shows her the statues of her brothers and sisters as Sisu grieves over the loss over Amba, Pranee, Jagan, and Pengu as she explains to her that she and her relatives are the last dragons. Sisu recaps her tragic flashback of her relatives turned into stone by the Druun just before arriving at the kingdom of Fang.
Upon arriving at Fang, Raya joins a conversation about the soup her father made for her before he was petrified by the Druun, to which Sisu asks Raya to know if her father taught Raya how to make jerky, to which she explains to her that she just made the jerky. The conversation is interrupted upon seeing a flare in the sky, to which Raya explains that it is time for her to get the last piece, just as Raya tells the last dragon that she should confirm that Namaari is on her side and also to promise her to stay hidden.
The next day, Sisu approaches Namaari, who noticed that she gave the last piece of the Gem to reunite all the Dragon Gem pieces together, only to find out that she betrayed Raya again. Raya throws her father's sword at Namaari as her crossbow fires an arrow at Sisu, killing the last dragon. With the last dragon killed, the water then disappears, much to Raya's anger and her friends turning against her for Sisu falling at the hands of Namaari.
With all the pieces of the Dragon Gem reunited, the Druun is wiped away, just as Sisu is revived alongside everyone at Kumandra. The water then returns to Kuamandra with Sisu brought back to life just as the rest of Sisu's relatives are finally revived back to life, along with a large group of dragons arriving at Kumandra as Sisu finally gets to see her brothers and sisters revived just as she reunites with Raya. Sisu then encounters Chief Benja, explaining to her that his daughter made him proud just as Sisu brought her some friends as everyone visits in harmony. Sisu then flies off with a flock of dragons in rejoice.
- Sisu was always intended to die in the film, but there was debate regarding whether she and the other dragons should return. The decision to revive Sisu was largely the work of producer Osnat Shurer, who wanted a traditional Disney ending that “made your heart sing”.
- Sisu exhibits traits of compulsive gift-giving, otherwise known as co-dependent gift-giving. Throughout the film, she believes that all of Raya's problems can be solved by giving Namaari a gift. While these behavioral tendencies are usually diagnosed as being for selfish reasons, Sisu's motives are genuine as she wants to help Raya save the world.
- The word "Sisu" is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as "strength of will", "determination", "perseverance", and "acting rationally in the face of adversity". Sisu is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage." A concept that directly mirror's Sisu's brave and optimistic personality in the movie.
- While being drafted as Dragon Empire Sisu was originally male known as Katsu and greatly resembled the Chinese dragon.
- Clark, Nicole (March 1, 2021). "Raya and the Last Dragon: Raya and the Last Dragon: Bringing Sisu the Water Dragon to Life" (Article). IGN.
- Radulovic, Petrana (March 5, 2021). "Raya and the Last Dragon creators debated how dark the ending should get" (Article). Polygon.