Friday, November 17, 2023


With nods to several Disney films, some more subtle than others, Wish is a blending of the look of Disney's historical cel animation with that of CGI, and features many of the classic tropes of its fairy tales including opening and closing sequences involving the story springing from the pages of a book. Along the way we'll also get talking animals, big musical numbers (which sport an obvious Broadway feel towards them making me suspect that show can't be too far off), and themes of dreams, magic, wonder, and wishing upon a star.

Our protagonist is Asha (Ariana DeBose) who loves her community of Rosas with all her heart. Our introduction to the kingdom comes in the way of Asha acting as tour guide for new arrivals to the land where its sorcerer king, King Magnifico (Chris Pine), takes the most heartfelt wishes from the kingdom and protects them in the castle, not allowing them to be crushed by the weight of the world, occasionally allowing a wish to be granted to one of his lucky subjects.

Despite the fact that giving up your most heartfelt wish to a wizard seems like a questionable decision, those in Rosas happily do so in order to see those wishes never destroyed while being lured by the possibility of one day their king making them come true. Only after meeting the king, interviewing for the job of his assistant, does Asha question his methods and whether or not stealing wishes from people is actually a good thing. Knocked back by her revelation, Asha makes a wish upon a star causing a precocious Star to leave the sky and arrive in Rosas to help Asha make her wish of Rosas being a better place come true.

The supporting cast includes Asha's friends and family, and her now suddenly talking baby goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk, in casting that fits perfectly with Disney tradition), along with the Queen (Angelique Cabral) who has attempted to provide an anchor to her husband over the years while ignoring the red flags about just what kind of a man he truly is. With Magnifico, Disney gives us a Disney villain most similar to the conceited Gaston with a bit of Jarfar's magic and quest for power thrown in as well. Horrified by someone else using magic in his kingdom, Asha's wish forces Magnifico down an even darker path in order to keep the status quo and embolden his power against any attack.

Despite a tumultuous year and negative publicity layoffs brought to the company by Bob Iger, Wish successfully manages to reawaken a bit of love for classic Disney while continuing to carry on that tradition 100 years after its formation. The music of the film features several more conversation-style songs, some of which ramble on a bit much for my tastes although I did enjoy Asha's "Welcome to Rosas," Magnifico's "This Is The Thanks I Get?!," and the climactic reprise of "This Wish." A modern reinterpretation of classic Disney, Wish should entertain the whole family.

Watch the trailer

Listen to "This Wish"

Listen to "This Is The Thanks I Get?!"
  • Title: Wish
  • IMDb: link

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