17 AAPI Movies and TV Shows to Watch

By: Catherine He

Happy AAPI Heritage Month everyone! This post is a part of The Cajor’s AAPI Heritage Month May Series. Together, we are educating on and celebrating the AAPI community, providing a plethora of opportunities to get informed and take part in the festivities, no matter who you are or what you have access to.

What is AAPI Heritage Month?

AAPI Heritage Month is a time to educate others on AAPI history and issues, develop new ideas to grow and prosper together, and celebrate AAPI accomplishments and achievements! AAPI refers to anyone with heritage from the entire Asian continent, the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Here are 15 Movies and TV Shows Featuring an AAPI Cast!

Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer!
Type: Movie
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 2h 1min
Available in Canada: YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse – Nick’s disapproving mother. This is by far one of the most influential and popular AAPI centric films of the 21st century. Featuring a powerhouse Asian cast with the likes of Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Awkwafina, what’s not to love?

Alice in Borderland (2020)

Watch the trailer!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Fantasy, Mystery
Runtime: 50 min, 8 episodes
Available in Canada: Netflix

Don’t get this Japanese thriller mixed up with Alice in Wonderland because they’re totally different! An aimless gamer and his two friends find themselves in a parallel Tokyo, where they’re forced to compete in a series of sadistic games to survive. It covers the Borderland Games’ first phase with the arrival of the players and the completion of the Spot Card Games. This show stars two highly experienced Japanese actors, Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya, so you’re sure to enjoy!

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Image from Disney Movies
Watch the trailer!
Type: Movie
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Runtime: 1h 47min
Available in Canada: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Amazon Prime

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good. A great family movie night option, or for any other occasion (partly because who doesn’t love Gemma Chan?)!

Love Alarm (2019)

Image from Netflix Wiki
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 50 min, 14 episodes, 2 seasons
Available in Canada: Netflix

Love Alarm revolves around the story of a disruptive technology that enables users to discover love through an application that notifies whether someone within the vicinity of a 10-meter radius has romantic feelings for them. This is a classic K-drama that is perfect when you’re in the mood for a romantic show.

Good Doctor (2018)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Medical Drama
Runtime: 50 min, 10 episodes, 1 season
Available in Canada: Betaseries

Good Doctor is a 10 episode Japanese drama TV show, and it is definitely one of the more underrated films on this stellar list. Shindo Minato is an autistic young male with savant syndrome, who has always struggled to communicate well with others but is gifted with an outstanding memory and exceptional spatial abilities. Aspiring to become a doctor and help support the lives of children, he joins the hospital’s pediatric department as a medical resident. Being a remake of the original Korean ‘Good Doctor’, this film centres itself more on the emotional side. Good Doctor is a complete tear jerker, and will have you in tears at the end of each episode. With an elite cast starring Kento Yamazaki, what’s not to love?

So Young 2: Never Gone (2016)

Image from Amazon
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Drama, Romance
Runtime: 1h 40min
Available in Canada: AsianCrush, Apple TV App

A wealthy young man pursues a young woman of modest means, but circumstances often separate them as the years pass. So Young 2: Never Gone features a youthful and refreshing perspective on love, and is definitely an entertaining watch. This award-winning Chinese movie stars international sensation Kris Wu, and Mulan actress Liu Yifei!

Moana (2016)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 1h 47min
Available in Canada: Disney+, Amazon Prime Video

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right. Watch your favourite Pacific Islander stars, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Auli’i Cravalho voice two of the most iconic characters in animated film of the 21st century! A perfect option for movie night with the family.

Parasite (2019)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Runtime: 2h 12min
Available in Canada: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. With almost 300 wins, including being Best Picture of the Oscars, if you haven’t watched Parasite there’s no better time than the present.

Kim’s Convenience (2016)

Image from IMDB
Type: TV Show
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 22 min, 65 episodes, 5 seasons
Available in Canada: CBC Gem, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

Kim’s Convenience is about the misadventures of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store. Based on a 2011 play by Ins Choi, it was the first Canadian comedy series to star a primarily Asian Canadian cast. This television series is Canadian (shocker) and critically acclaimed, so what are you waiting for?

Aladdin (2019)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Runtime: 2h 8min
Available in Canada: Disney+, Amazon Prime Video

A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true. If you liked the original Aladdin (1992) in all its Disney glory, you’re sure to enjoy this modern retelling of the timeless tale.

True Beauty (2020)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 1h 10min, 16 episodes, 1 season
Available in Canada: Rakuten Viki

After being bullied and discriminated because of her ugly looks, a high school girl transforms herself into a gorgeous “goddess” and quickly rises to fame after mastering the art of makeup via online tutorial videos. This new K-drama might just become a classic must-watch in a few years time, so stay ahead of the game and watch now!

Big Hero 6 (2014)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Runtime: 1h 42min
Available in Canada:

A special bond develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who together team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes. This heartfelt film is packed with action and always a favourite among young and old alike.

The Half of It (2020)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: Movie
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 1h 44min
Available in Canada: Netflix

When smart but cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for a jock, she doesn’t expect to become his friend – or fall for his crush. Throughout this beautiful film, we watch an expertly crafted story unravel as a teen discovers intersectionality. Bonus: this was directed by Alice Wu!!!

Girl From Nowhere (2018)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Mystery
Runtime: 45 min, 21 episodes, 2 seasons
Available in Canada: Netflix

A mysterious, clever girl named Nanno transfers to different schools, exposing the lies and misdeeds of the students and faculty at every turn. This Thai drama will have you at the edge of your seat every episode!

Never Have I Ever (2020)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 30 min, 20 episodes, 1 season
Available in Canada: Netflix

The complicated life of a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl, inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own childhood. This stars an incredible South-Asian cast, and we love to see beautiful Indian cultural elements infused into this teen comedy!

Three Lives Three Worlds, Ten Miles of Peach Blossom OR Eternal Love (2017)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer here!
Type: TV Show
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Runtime: 45 min, 58 episodes, 1 season
Available in Canada: Netflix, Rakuten Viki

Two deities Ye Hua and Bai Qian meet and fall in love. Their love story transcends time and has become a legend. This Chinese drama is especially a hit with adults and parents, I can personally attest to that.

Finding ‘Ohana (2021)

Image from IMDB
Watch the trailer!
Type: Movie
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Runtime: 2h 3min
Available in Canada: Netflix

A summer in rural O‘ahu takes an exciting turn for two Brooklyn-raised siblings when a journal pointing to long-lost treasure sets them on an epic adventure with new friends, and leads them to reconnect with their Hawaiian heritage. This is a lovely film focusing on Pacific Islander-Americans, individuals that we are hungry to see more often on the big screen!

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