Star Cast: Ariana DeBose as Asha (voice), Chris Pine as Magnifico (voice), Alan Tudyk as Valentino (voice), Angelique Cabral as Amaya (voice), Victor Garber as Sabino (voice), Natasha Rothwell as Sakina (voice), Jennifer Kumiyama as Dahlia (voice), Harvey Guillén as Gabo (voice), Niko Vargas as Hal (voice), Ramy Youssef as Safi (voice), Evan Peters as Simon (voice), Jon Rudnitsky as Dario (voice), Della Saba as Bazeema (voice)
Director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
What’s Good: Disney has completed 100 years; it’s just the right time to press reset and start afresh
What’s Bad: I don’t think they’ll do that anytime soon!
Loo Break: Use all the songs as loo breaks, and you won’t miss anything meaningful, though that applies for the whole movie
Watch or Not?: Don’t even wish for it!
Available On: Theatrical Release (Will be available on Disney+ in a few weeks)
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
Following the routine Disney template, we’re into the kingdom of Rosas set in the Mediterranean basin, which is ruled by King Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine). When he founded the kingdom, his sales pitch to invite people was, “Give me one wish when you’re 18, and every year, I’ll fulfill one of all of them.” Yes, just one every year out of all citizens’ wishes.
That’s not it; the wishes they submit will be erased from the people’s minds if the King denies to fulfill them. The numbers, of course, won’t match, and many people will live in the hope that their wishes will be heard and fulfilled one day. One such person is Asha’s (voiced by Ariana DeBose) 100-year-old grandfather, Sabino (Victor Garber), who’s been waiting for 82 years with the same hope. 17-year-old Asha meets the king with the aspiration of being his apprentice, but upon deducing his evil plan, she turns against him to free the wishes of Rosas’ citizens, which were kept in a bubble prison.
Wish Movie Review: Script Analysis
Jennifer Lee, the Disney veteran (Frozen franchise, Zootopia), teams up with Allison Moore, who has probably never worked with Disney before, and with the film’s writing, it looks like she hasn’t even seen a Disney film before. Yes, it might be the production mess that has a greater probability to exist because of how substandard everything feels. It’s a tribute to the 100th year of Disney. They played around with animation to give it a vintage look just to be reminiscent of the simpler 2D days, but nothing really goes in its favor because the visuals just look plain bad.
Onward, Soul & Encanto – three Disney films I’ve loved since 2020, making the production house go two years without releasing a good movie, which is a lot when it comes to the market disruptors. Wish is the 8th theatrical release amidst the bazillion other OTT releases for Disney since 2020. This was touted to be the origin story of the ‘star,’ which is so deeply etched in everything Disney is, from its title slate to a subtle appearance in movies like Pinocchio, Princess and the Frog, etc. Needless to say, this is a starry letdown!
Wish Movie Review: Star Performance
Ariana DeBose’s Asha would go down as one of the weakest Disney characters of all time. The character is so lazily written that there’s not a single sequence that bridges the hollow connection the script leaves, forbidding the viewers to feel anything for her.
Chris Pine’s Magnifico could’ve had such a great villain arc with the emotional twist he had in the first 30 minutes, but everything goes down the drain as the narration progresses. Pine’s efforts behind voicing the mad King are visible, but the character gets so monotonous that you just don’t care about what he’s going to do next. Alan Tudyk, as Valentino (voice), is cute and could’ve been better with good lines; the jokes given to him are criminally bad.
Wish Movie Review: Direction, Music
The director of Frozen, Chris Buck, teams up with the storyboard artist of Frozen, Fawn Veerasunthorn, to come up with the most lukewarm presentation by Disney. They got so formulaic that they forgot even the old formulas would work only when you added something new to them. There’s nothing new apart from the fact that it’s another year, and we’re still waiting for the Mouse House to get back its lost magical touch.
If the World Was Ending fame, Julia Michaels has given a few songs to the film, but why? You wouldn’t want to add even a single one of them to your playlist once you’re out of the cinema hall. Dave Metzger’s score, too, doesn’t leave any impact to be discussed about.
Wish Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, made using the done-to-death formula of the kingdom, the king, the musical, and the aspiring leading lady to stand up against the bad, it seems superhero fatigue isn’t the only fatigue Disney might’ve to fight in the upcoming years.
Wish releases on 22 November, 2023.
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For more recommendations, read our The Marvels movie review here!