You’re not a real Disney Fan if you don’t see WISH in theaters.
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a movie review but I saw Disney’s WISH last night at an advanced screening and I loved it! If you’re a Disney fan you’ll adore the film as it celebrates 100 years of bringing dreams to life on the big screen. Here’s why if you’re a fan of Disney, you need to see this movie in theaters:
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There are countless Disney movie Easter eggs. I want to see the film again because I need to see if I can catch more nods to my favorite Disney films and some more iconic references that I missed.
The story is typical but Disney knows that and makes it brilliant. The story isn’t anything new as far as your typical Disney story goes, Disney knows it…and it works well. It’s your typical Disney story:
- Main character’s lost at least one parent
- Main character goes on a journey of self discovery
- While you inherently know everything will work out in the end, you wonder how it’s all going to work out.
- No spoilers here…go see the movie.
Disney does a great job at being meta in WISH and doing it with this edge of class that only Disney can do. Directors Chris Buck (director, “Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (head of story, “Raya and the Last Dragon”)— are a duo that reflects one of the cornerstones of Walt Disney Animation Studios: one generation collaborating with the next. Buck joined Disney as a hand-drawn animator under the tutelage of Eric Larson, one of the studio’s famed Nine Old Men—Walt Disney’s core group of animators.
The film was inspiring; I found myself tearing up during the reprise of one of the main songs in the last act. It was really reminiscent of “Do You Hear the People Sing” from Les Miserable and given that this upcoming year is another election year, I couldn’t help but hope that we don’t have a repeat of a nation divided like 2020. Why can’t we all just get along?
Memorable Music from Disney’s WISH – As usual
The music from WISH, while nothing stands out quite like “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” nor do I think it ever will, is good and my family immediately needed to listen to the soundtrack on Spotify on our way home. Disney wanted that timeless, Disney musical-quality that we’ve grown accustomed to with their animated films but saw the need to update things. They sought out Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels (she’s written songs for artists such as Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Dua Lipa, Janelle Monáe, Shawn Mendes, P!NK, Ed Sheeran, Britney Spears, and Gwen Stefani), and her writing partner, Grammy-winning producer/songwriter, Benjamin Rice. Disney wanted the pair for their ability to deliver both a timeless and contemporary sound to the film.
Noteworthy performances in Disney’s WISH & Characters
Chris Pine “Magnifico”
First of all, who missed the memo that Chris Pine could sing? Clearly I’ve been living under a rock because I missed that memo and I’ve even seen Into the Woods (insert palm to face emoji). Pine voices the villain of the film, the charming and incredibly handsome, vain and selfish, sorcerer, Magnifico. I was surprised that the trailers weren’t far off when they disclosed Magnifico’s devious nature; right off the bat you’re not meant to like the guy. Think of him the same way you think of Cruella Deville; instantly, she wreaks of villainy and so does Magnifico. Just roll with it, embrace it and love to hate him.
The Character of Asha – A Worthy Role Model for Girls
Disney took a step in the right direction for little girls everywhere with FROZEN when the idea of true love being the unconditional and sacrificial love between two sisters winning the day. They take another step in the right direction when WISH’s heroine is not only smart, not a princess but she isn’t white. Proving that girl power doesn’t mean needing a special title like “Princess” but another strong female character for our daughters to admire and look up to who isn’t white as snow is a step in the right direction.
Side note: It says a lot when the conversation on a recent family trip to Magic Kingdom for my family went like this. We were on the ride at It’s a Small World and my two oldest children could not get over how white the animatronic children around world were, how at the end of the ride there was a cowboy and a Native American to show what the USA embodied and how they thought it was disturbing. That never would’ve occurred to me when I first went on the ride in 1994. My youngest? She slept through the ride because it was the last one of the day. Man we’ve really come a long way as a society but this is still a problem.
The star you see in the trailer and on movie posters isn’t your typical star either as far as granting wishes go. No, my friends, Asha, really has to figure this one out on her own. It’s a good thing to watch a girl problem solve.
Why critics reviews aren’t always the end all be all…
Take it with a grain of salt. The reviews are coming in from media outlets like Rotten Tomatoes and they’re not great. Oh well, I liked the film. It’s been a while since I’ve walked out of a movie and said that. I’ve been pretty disappointed with movies lately to be honest so it was nice to walk out of this one and be excited.
The movie is about hope. Even though the film is called WISH it’s so much more than a story about wish granting. The movie showed how, at the end of the day, it isn’t so much about the wish being granted as it’s about being able to dream and work towards your heart’s desire. That’s what drives a person – hope and passion, working toward something more than ourselves. That’s what a wish is after all. At its core, a wish is bigger than anything we can imagine. My wish has always been to have all the people I love and care about in one place all the time, we’d never leave and we’d always get along. That’s just not how life works; there’s free will and everyone is their own individual. Working towards that wish, making the most of the times when I’m with the people I care about, hoping to have that, that’s what makes the wish worthwhile.
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.
Featuring the voices of Academy Award®-winning actor Ariana DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Asha’s favorite goat, Valentino, the film is helmed by Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (“Raya and the Last Dragon”), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Juan Pablo Reyes (“Encanto”). Jennifer Lee (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) executive produces—Lee and Allison Moore (“Night Sky,” “Manhunt”) are writers on the project. With original songs by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice, plus score by composer Dave Metzger, “Wish” opens only in theaters on Nov. 22, 2023.