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Movie Review: Disney’s musical fairy tale ‘Wish’ is beautiful, but lacking magic

by Lucas Garcia
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Film Review

Film Review: Disney’s “Wish” – A Visual Marvel, Yet Lacks Enchantment

Disney’s latest animated feature, “Wish,” directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, captivates with its visually stunning watercolor-inspired animation and delightful nostalgic references. However, beneath its aesthetic charm lies a narrative that falls short, striving to pay homage to Disney’s century-long legacy but feeling more like a corporate attempt to engineer magic and charm.

The film introduces us to the Kingdom of Rosas, a realm where magic thrives, ruled by Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine), a wish-granting enchanter. The core concept revolves around wishes, portrayed not as mere desires but as the very essence of one’s existence. Upon turning 18, every citizen willingly bestows their wish to Magnifico for safekeeping in floating orbs within his castle’s observatory, to be granted back at his discretion.

Our spirited protagonist, Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, is a devoted subject of Rosas. However, her unwavering admiration for Magnifico is shattered when she discovers his reluctance to fulfill her 100-year-old grandfather’s wish. This revelation sparks an accidental revolution, propelled by Asha’s determination to right the wrongs.

The film’s original songs, composed by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice, are slick and catchy, reminiscent of the style seen in “The Greatest Showman.” Their appeal may vary depending on your musical tastes.

Despite its enchanting visuals and musical moments, “Wish” falters in its exploration of the consequences of wish deprivation on Rosas’ population. While some citizens appear lethargic, many remain content even after surrendering their most cherished aspirations. This ambiguity may be intentional, yet it leaves viewers questioning the film’s underlying message.

The animation, a blend of traditional and modern styles, offers a refreshing departure from the computer-generated perfection seen in recent films. However, the character designs and the appearance of the star itself occasionally appear disconnected from the film’s storybook-like textures.

The titular star, a mute and innocent character, lacks the captivating presence needed to make it an iconic Disney creation. It bears an unfortunate resemblance to the nihilistic star from “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

In conclusion, “Wish” serves as harmless family holiday entertainment, but it feels like a film created by obligation rather than inspiration. It’s evident that the talented individuals involved in this project have numerous ideas that could better commemorate Disney’s 100-year legacy and chart its future course. Perhaps in the next endeavor, we’ll witness the true magic of Disney’s storytelling.

“Wish,” a Walt Disney Co. release in theaters, offers a PG-rated experience with thematic elements and mild action. The film runs for 92 minutes and receives a rating of two stars out of four.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Film Review

What is the main theme of Disney’s “Wish”?

Disney’s “Wish” primarily explores the concept of wishes, depicting them as more than simple desires but as the essence of one’s being.

Who are the key characters in the film?

The film features Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, as the spirited protagonist, and Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine, who rules over the Kingdom of Rosas and grants wishes.

What is the film’s rating and duration?

“Wish” is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association for thematic elements and mild action. Its runtime is 92 minutes.

How are the film’s songs and music?

The film’s original songs, composed by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice, are slick and catchy, reminiscent of the style seen in “The Greatest Showman.”

What sets “Wish” apart visually?

The animation in “Wish” combines traditional and modern styles, offering a departure from recent computer-generated perfection. It features watercolor-inspired textures and unique character designs.

What are some notable critiques of the film?

Critics have pointed out that while “Wish” is visually captivating, it lacks the storytelling magic that Disney is known for. Additionally, there are questions about the film’s handling of the consequences of wish deprivation on the population of Rosas.

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