Directed By Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn

Starring – Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk

The Plot – An all-new musical-comedy welcoming audiences to the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha (DeBose), a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force, in a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe; the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico (Pine), 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.

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild action

Wish | Official Trailer – YouTube


Being that “Wish” represents 100 years of prolific Disney storytelling, the need to barrage so many of its artistic integrities comes in the versatility of the animated renderings, with a rich combination in tapestries of Two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation techniques that appraises something unique to the canvas. While this certainly isn’t the first time that these stylings have combined to conjure something beneficial for the artistic integrity of the movie’s imagery, it is a rarity among Disney produced properties, but one that vividly illustrates the long and evolving road of the world’s most well-known animated studio, with an abundance of detailed backdrops, lusciously coloful consistencies, and boldly expressive character deposits that constantly make this such a delight to bask in. Beyond the animation, the majority of original music compositions imbedded periodically to the engagement are not only full of instrumental versatility involving many uniquely expressive genres of music, but also lyrically catchy for how they’re able to zero in the predicaments of its characters with several light and airy tonal consistencies that never sacrifice personality for conflict. Without question, the major standout is that of “This Wish” by Ariana DeBose, a wistful power ballad, full of inspirational lyrics and elevating instrumentals, that belongs alongside some of Disney’s most triumphant tracks of all-time, with one riveting performance from DeBose at its benefit. Speaking of performances, DeBose and her collective ensemble contribute no shortage of energy and exuberance for the cause, but none of them match the brilliance of Chris Pine once more exuding an alluring edginess that takes him down some dark and devastating paths. While Pine’s character underwrites him at nearly every turn, articulating an antagonist who is every bit conventional as he is undercooked, the work from Pine is the saving grace for such, and he completely relishes in the opportunity of unloading such limitless power to his adoring townsfolk, bringing out a three-dimensional personality towards an enveloping that could’ve been easily forgettable by the aspects that are out of his control.


Unfortunately, while this is a celebration of Disney’s past, present and future, you’re reminded of the fact in more ways than one, that really limit the potential of its capabilities. For starters, the frequent Easter Eggs of visual or audible familiarity from past Disney classics serves as a constant reminder of the better films that you could and really should be watching, materializing forcefully in ways that are more distracting than necessary, with nothing contextually that really demands the justification of its usage. This desparation isn’t just pungent during the film, but also during the post-movie credits sequence, which features many of Disney’s previous 62 animated theatrical films, serving as the final backhanded slap to an audience seeking some of that same magic, but finding themselves duped by an unambitious immitator, instead. Beyond this, familiarity also finds its way to the general structure and corresponding execution of the narrative, with such a safe and toothless journey in narrative that feels like you’ve watched it long before you actually have. Most of this reason stems from the surface level storytelling, which relies far more earnestly on the benefit of the aforementioned musical numbers to fill in the gaps of character and conflictual exposition, but a little bit more blame finds itself to the movie’s 87 minute run time, which while paced accordingly in consistently keeping the narrative moving at all times, does feel like it hinders some vital elements of interpretation that ultimately keep it from ever standing alongside some of those Disney classics that it leans so heavily on to remind you that this is torn from the same cloth. Finally, the world-building of the setting and its many characters and relationships are so surface level and shallow that I was never able to fully grasp the magnitude of the conflict that so many of them are enveloped in. Because the script spends so little time fleshing each of its arcs and multitudes of unnecessary supporting characters, or even how dreams as a literal object works, it emotionally falls flat during those key dramatic moments that call for slightly more than misfiring humor, to which the movie also has no shortage of, wasting the iconic Tudyk with the most annoying dialogue drop-ins that become tedious by the film’s midway point. Even worse, Pine’s antagonist lack proper motivation to articulate the depths of his almost on-the-spot personality shift, turning bug-eyed evil only moments after singing through a musical number with DeBose about the importance of dreaming big. He’s a villain simply only because the movie requires him to be to fill some ages old quota that the current generation of Disney animated films have failed chasing, in turn nearly wasting away the movie’s single best performance with such a hemming character outline.

Disney’s “Wish” is a toothless by-the-numbers celebration of 100 years of Disney animation, but even worse, the latest reminder of a stale formula that have condemned its creativity during the 21st century. Though the animated ambitions of 2D and 3D renderings manage to maintain our attention throughout a light and fluffy 87-minute run time, and the musical numbers are still the heart of Disney’s passion, the emotionally flat and surface safe execution of its storytelling doesn’t come close towards living up to some of those represented iconic predecessors, leaving the wish for Disney’s return to prominence burning out the longer it orbits.

My Grade: 5/10 or D

4 thoughts on “Wish

  1. Disney has done such a great job with its animated movies lately, I’m shocked that they had such a misfire! I agree that the movie does look very dirivative of other Disney classics, but I think the animation looks good, and I really enjoy Chris Pine. I think this will be a cute movie to take Nora to, and hopefully she will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed Raya and Encanto!

  2. Even though I did like it more than you, I definitely can’t disagree with anything you laid out so well. It’s absolutely a toothless film that relies on the magic of previous classics rather than making any of its own even if the visuals and music are quite good. I do think this one will win people over and it kind of did for me as well, but I truly hope that Disney can evolve beyond its past effoets and make a brighter future to win back fans and make new ones as well. Such a strong review!

  3. I really was hoping this would be a stronger entry and felt like the bines are there for it to have been. Disney has been doing some really interesting things with Villains. Encanto, Wreck-It-Ralph, Moana, Frozen II are all interesting looks at how trauma shapes the people we become. They kept hinting at Magnifico’s backstory and aspects of wanting to protect people and the slippery slope that can be but then it’s just all washed away in a very bland and dismissive fashion.

    The concept outshines the finished product and then the worst thing for a giant Disney/Film need happened and I completely stopped focusing on the movie because the easter eggs and fan service became more entertaining. “Oh thats the seven dwarves, she’s wearing the fsir godmother’s clothes, that’s the basin from beauty and the beast!” It just didn’t work in conjunction with the film, it served as a distraction.

    Some of the songs were good though?

  4. “the frequent Easter Eggs of visual or audible familiarity from past Disney classics serves as a constant reminder of the better films that you could and really should be watching, “ – DRAG THEM! Disney has set their own standards so high. It felt like so many elements were separately developed and they did a poor job of integrating everything together. And you’re so right about the imbalance of character development and the mishandling of the villain. It came off so comical with little time to really connect with him. So many shortcomings that you did not hold back on highlighting. Thank you for an entertaining review!

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