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Wish

January 6, 2024
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This movie was done dirty during its initial release, so for the love of Walt Disney, watch it when it premieres on Disney+!

Specifically made to coincide with Disney’s 100th anniversary as an animation studio, Wish celebrates the company’s legacy with a movie telling a story about — what else — wishes. Following protagonist Asha (Ariana DeBose) as she prepares for an interview that would make her the apprentice to King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a sorcerer with the power to grant people’s wishes, Wish explores the idea of what it means to protect your dreams at all costs, and what you would sacrifice to make them a reality. Learning an alarming truth about King Magnifico and his decades-long protection of people’s wishes just as the Kingdom of Rosas’ monthly wish-granting ceremony begins, Asha embarks on a dangerous and magical journey where she meets a sentient falling star who helps Asha in her quest to not only find a way to make her and her family’s wishes come true but the wishes of the rest of the citizens of the Kingdom of Rosas before said wishes are lost forever.

I may be in the minority here if this one’s Rotten Tomatoes score is any indication, but I genuinely think Wish is a great movie. From its interesting wish-based plot that’s the most Disney thing ever to an art style that might come off as bland at first but looks great in motion to a handful of memorable songs that are currently sitting on my Spotify playlist on repeat, Wish is the Disney movie I didn’t know I wanted and is something that felt special by the time the credits rolled. Helped along by a likable protagonist in Ariana DeBose’s Asha and Chris Pine’s shady King Magnifico, Wish takes a relatively basic story and does enough with it to keep me entertained throughout. Pair it with the recently released Disney+ short “Once Upon a Studio,” and the homages paid visually, aurally, and thematically to Disney’s past are flat-out fun to see, something that makes this one fit in with the studio’s century-long animated catalog perfectly.

And while I’ll defend this movie to the death even with its problems, Wish does have its issues that a non-biased, non-Disney fan can easily point out. Not feeling like its own movie until the end of the first act, Wish felt a little too familiar and cliche even for a Disney film, with the narrative hook that brings audiences into the film proper not happening until about twenty minutes in. Throw in a couple of “meh” songs sandwiched in between the genuinely great ones and a nagging feeling that the filmmakers could have given the script just a bit more development time, and there’s a case to be made for giving this one a lower score, I just can’t bring myself to do so based on how much I enjoyed the experience alone.

I’m not saying that this film doesn’t have its flaws — the first act is genuinely concerning until things pick up — but I loved almost everything else I saw here, right down to the unique art style, soundtrack, main protagonist, and overall message this movies was trying to imbue in audiences. Wish isn’t going to be a home run for everyone who watches it, but as a celebration of Disney’s 100 years of movie magic, it’s one of the purest stories the company has produced in a long time and a surprisingly good film that I was glad to have seen.

This movie was done dirty during its initial release, so for the love of Walt Disney, watch it when it premieres on Disney+! Specifically made to coincide with Disney’s 100th anniversary as an animation studio, Wish celebrates the company’s legacy with a movie telling a story about — what else — wishes. Following protagonist Asha (Ariana DeBose) as she prepares for an interview that would make her the apprentice to King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a sorcerer with the power to grant people’s wishes, Wish explores the idea of what it means to protect your dreams at all costs, and what you would sacrifice to make them a reality. Learning an alarming truth about King Magnifico and his decades-long protection of people's wishes just as the Kingdom of Rosas' monthly wish-granting ceremony begins, Asha embarks on a dangerous and magical journey where she meets a sentient falling star who helps Asha in her quest to not only find a way to make her and her family’s wishes come true but the wishes of the rest of the citizens of the Kingdom of Rosas before said wishes are lost forever. I may be in the minority here if this one’s Rotten Tomatoes score is any indication, but I genuinely think Wish is a great movie. From its interesting wish-based plot that’s the most Disney thing ever to an art style that might come off as bland at first but looks great in motion to a handful of memorable songs that are currently sitting on my Spotify playlist on repeat, Wish is the Disney movie I didn’t know I wanted and is something that felt special by the time the credits rolled. Helped along by a likable protagonist in Ariana DeBose’s Asha and Chris Pine’s shady King Magnifico, Wish takes a relatively basic story and does enough with it to keep me entertained throughout. Pair it with the recently released Disney+ short “Once Upon a Studio,” and the homages paid visually, aurally, and thematically to Disney’s past are flat-out fun to see, something that makes this one fit in with the studio’s century-long animated catalog perfectly. And while I’ll defend this movie to the death even with its problems, Wish does have its issues that a non-biased, non-Disney fan can easily point out. Not feeling like its own movie until the end of the first act, Wish felt a little too familiar and cliche even for a Disney film, with the narrative hook that brings audiences into the film proper not happening until about twenty minutes in. Throw in a couple of “meh” songs sandwiched in between the genuinely great ones and a nagging feeling that the filmmakers could have given the script just a bit more development time, and there’s a case to be made for giving this one a lower score, I just can’t bring myself to do so based on how much I enjoyed the experience alone. I’m not saying that this film doesn’t have its flaws — the first act is genuinely concerning until things pick up — but I loved almost everything else…

7.6

A Wish Come True

The Verdict

7.6

8

Brian is first and foremost a nerd in every way shape and form. He likes to compare himself to a black hole, consuming any and every form of entertainment unlucky enough to get caught in his gravitational pull. It's not uncommon on any given day for him to read a couple comics, settle down with a good book, watch a few movies (inside and out of the theater), catch up on his ever growing but never depleting Hulu queue, challenge himself with a few good video games, listen to any music he can get his hands on and, of course, write his heart out. He spends every waking moment dreaming up interesting and intriguing concepts and ideas that will hopefully one day inspire and entertain anyone looking for an escape from their daily lives. Graduating from Full Sail University in good old humid Florida, Brian currently lives and works in New York City and is waiting for the day when all he has to do is wake up and create something unique and new for people to enjoy. He is always in the process of writing scripts and stories and is constantly on the lookout for ways to enhance and build his creative drive. After all, life is just one big story, all that really matters is how you strive to make it the best story possible. Disclaimer: Brian does not actually have powdered green skin in case anyone was wondering. A Skrull I am not. Blame the guys at the Color Run for this one.

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