Featuring: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Evan Peters, Harvey Guillén, Ramy Youssef, Niko Vargas, Jon Rudnitsky, Della Saba
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Director by: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn
In Cinemas: Now
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Wish” is an all-new musical-comedy welcoming audiences to the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.
Wish is unique because it was designed and structured around remembering and paying tribute to Disney’s legacy and celebrating 100 years. There are always these moments of familiarity when we get introduced to new characters and places to which previous films have given some recognition. Asha (DeBose) has seven friends, each having a similar characteristic to the seven dwarfs, and that constant attribute is commonly amiable throughout, and it is always done so subtly. As we progress through the story, there are a lot of musical numbers which carry us from one scene to the next. Ariana DeBose gives an outstanding performance and always seems to provide maximum effort on screen, and whenever she sings, you cannot help but get involved. There are plenty of moments where some of the music captivates you, and there is almost an immediate attraction and likability to the songs. Chris Pine, as Magnifico, also plays his part well as a cunning and controlling King who demands his people obey his actions and decisions, which questions his motivations when you figure out what he stands for. He does seem to have the same traits as every other Disney villain combined into one, which is interesting to see, but it doesn’t attempt to be original and seems more like a copy of others.
Sometimes, it can get a little distracting when trying to shoehorn acknowledgements to previous Disney films; certain characters are placed on purpose to salute something that has happened in the past. Wish was inherently not designed to bring anything new to the table; instead, it is similar and follows the path of other movies, such as Encanto and Beauty and the Beast. Certain songs and characters aren’t as memorable as other films, but the plot is intentionally designed to be familiar. But you can always see the positive intention to pay tribute to some aspects of the franchise’s 100 years, even when they don’t necessarily work. Nevertheless, that element of magic is always ingrained into every scene and character. Whenever there are minor flaws, they are instantly recoupled with the constant flow of generous creativity. Nothing is ever overpowering or not needed, and it has all the ingredients and beats for a modern-day Disney classic. The film is directed and influenced by the song ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ sung by the character of Jiminy Cricket in the opening credits and the final scene of Pinocchio (1940). This film’s overall message is handled beautifully when considering our ambitions and goals in everyday life.
There are great themes of self-empowerment that the younger audience will latch on to, which is quite admirable. Wish was developed and produced to celebrate the Disney anniversary, and more importantly, it was made for children. So many components in this exclude the negativity and comparison to other films because its only purpose is to present a magical experience for kids. It does so effortlessly; it has its fair share of catchy songs and countless laugh-out-loud moments. It promotes a positive outlook on life for the younger generation, and it is visually stunning to look at.