For the centenary of the Disney Group, the film studio is presenting something like the quintessence of its family entertainment history spanning many decades. WISH is a best-of of well-known and popular motifs with catchy music, an infectiously cheerful protagonist and a classic villain – and there are cute sidekicks too.
OT: Wish (USA 2023)
That’s what it’s about
The young, idealistic Asha (Patricia Meeden) lives in the kingdom of Rosas, ruled by the powerful King Magnifico (Alexander Doering). Her greatest wish is to become an apprentice to Magnifico and to fulfill the wishes of his subjects together with him. But when she auditions for this task, she learns that all of the city’s residents forget their wish as soon as they give it to the king – always hoping that they will be chosen at the next wish ceremony and their dream will come true. Asha then tries everything to give the people of Rosas their wishes back – so that they can fulfill them themselves if they are not among the chosen ones. But Magnifico sees his power threatened and develops dangerous fantasies of omnipotence. When Asha accidentally brings down a wishing star from the sky that is so much more powerful than the king’s magic, she and her friends try everything to restore peace in the kingdom.
Wish Movie Meaning & ending
With the exception of the Corona phase, the Disney Group has been as reliable as clockwork in recent years when it comes to bringing a feature-length film to cinemas in time for the run-up to Christmas. This procedure has a tradition. Nevertheless, this year’s publication goes beyond adhering to these. The animated adventure “Wish” is something like the anniversary film for the cinema and streaming giant, which is celebrating its centenary in 2023. And the title already anticipates it to some extent: This time everything is based on one thing the The cornerstone of Disney’s worldwide success. Because making wishes come true and bringing dreams to life: With these promises, it’s not just the Disney parks that make a lot of money every year. But as calculated as it all may sound, Chris Buck and debut director Fawn Veerasunthorn (previously worked on “Zoomania,” among others) as well as writers Jennifer Lee (who co-wrote “Frozen” with Buck) and Allison Moore have succeeded “Wish” is something like the filmic quintessence of what Disney has stood for for a century now. In terms of both content and visuals, your film is a best of everything that makes the global company either loved or loathed. And its numerous Easter eggs, details and observations invite you to take another look at the entire Disney masterpiece canon after “Wish”.
Asha (Ariana DeBose/Patricia Meeden) didn’t expect to get a wishing star from heaven.
The “Wish” protagonist Asha is not strictly speaking a princess, but rather wants to become an apprentice to King Magnifico (Chris Pine), who rules in her kingdom. Nevertheless, the focus on a young woman with all her wishes and dreams (here we go again!) is a clear return to a motif often used in Disney cartoons. Whether in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Cinderella” or “Sleeping Beauty” and later the adventures surrounding Moana, Raya or Mirabel Madrigal from “Encanto”: female main characters have a long tradition at Disney. The dependence on male characters, especially the early female protagonists, that accompanies their fate has already been criticized extensively and even taken up by Disney itself in “Chaos on the Net”. But all of these girls and women who take their fate into their own hands still serve as identification figures for their young, female audience. The wish originally by Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) spoken Asha, the wishes Another Fulfilling them, or giving them back theirs, may perhaps be a little too meta or not tangible enough for the very young viewers. Nevertheless, her enthusiasm and lively joy for life are contagious right from the start. Together with her sweet, rebellious kid Valentino (Alan Tudyk), it should be easy for her to take the audience’s hearts by storm. Nevertheless, unlike her numerous predecessors, Asha lacks a bit of rough edges. When she is asked to list her weaknesses at the beginning of the film, all Asha can think of is that she cares too much about those around her. Younger people in particular are unlikely to have much use for this form of self-criticism.
“The figure of the hundred-year-old grandfather, whose greatest wish is to inspire people to leave something behind on the earth after his death, is clearly based on Walt Disney himself.”
The same applies to the numerous Disney internal ones Easter eggs, which rain down on the audience every minute in “Wish”. Some of them are very clear. For example, when snippets of scenes or characters from other Disney masterpieces are quoted, if not even copied 1:1. The figure of the hundred-year-old grandfather, whose greatest wish is to inspire people to leave something behind on the earth after his death, is also clearly based on Walt Disney himself. Other references are much more subtle. For example, the design of a fountain based on the “Rapunzel” tower or the clothing and the appearance of some of the supporting characters, which can even be found in second-series productions such as “A Kingdom for a Llama”. The first time already all Discovering cross-references seems like an impossibility. And of course: the more familiar you are with the Disney canon, the easier it will be to discover the allusions. That even the more obvious ones Easter eggs The reason why they are never too intrusive is that there is hardly any additional finger pointing at them. Only the mention of Bambi’s name can take you out of the immersive action for a moment. Otherwise, the rest is subtle enough not to be disturbing – and the young viewers don’t miss anything relevant to the plot.
King Magnifico (Chris Pine/Alexander Doering) is reluctant to let his power over his many dreams be taken away…
While Pixar in particular recently aimed primarily at an older youth and adult audience with films like “Soul” or “Elemental”, the more recent Disney productions have once again become animated adventures that span all age groups in terms of pace, story and character drawing. Above all, the design of the sidekicks Valentino and Stern should ensure that the two become new favorites among little Disney fans. Of course there is also calculation behind this. Both figures will really make the mouse company’s merchandise coffers ring. Business as usual even. Apart from the two scene-stealers, “Wish” proves to be an atmospheric series of fast-paced and funny character moments between Asha and her friends, expansive singing numbers and villain scenes that are also quite dark from time to time. At the beginning of the film, Magnifico, who seems like a visionary wish-fulfiller, becomes more and more of a power-hungry villain over the course of the story, whose attitude combines numerous well-known Disney villains. Like Scar once did, he gets his own (similar) villain song; his delusional ideas about subjugating his subjects are accompanied by similar motifs to Jaffar’s appearances. And like the evil stepmother from “Snow White,” Magnifico is also an enthusiastic potion mixer (if you look closely, you can even see his “predecessor’s” poisonous apple lying in his laboratory).
“’Wish’ proves to be an atmospheric series of fast-paced and funny character moments between Asha and her friends, expansive singing numbers and villain scenes that are also quite dark from time to time.”
Musically, “Wish” doesn’t set any comparable scent marks like the recent “Encanto” or “Frozen”. The rousing, yet thoroughly conventional numbers are immediately catchy, but do not have a comparable style to, for example, the soundtracks composed by Lin Manuel Miranda. “Wish” should still produce one or two catchy tunes. However, you won’t find a modern classic like “Let go now” or “We’re not talking about Bruno” here. Nevertheless, musical interludes such as the rebellious “I know now” or the touching ballad “Whatever Comes” drive the plot forward in an atmospheric way – and there is a scene in which a mini goat with a very deep (!) voice directs a cackling chicken coop This has never happened before in Disney history. In general, “Wish” is a very funny (and excellent-looking) film and knows how to break up the villain scenes, which may be visually a little scary, at just the right moment so as to never make it too exciting for the little ones. “Wish” more than lives up to Disney’s goal of primarily making family entertainment with its anniversary film.
Conclusion: With its anniversary film “Wish”, Disney does not want to reinvent animated cinema, but would rather offer a foray through a hundred years of animation history. That’s exactly what worked brilliantly!
“Wish” can be seen in USA cinemas from November 30, 2023.