WISH – “Warm on whimsy, light on magic, but high on nostalgia”
Directed by: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn
• Ariana DeBose as Asha
• Chris Pine as King Magnifico
• Alan Tudyk as Valentino
• Angelique Cabral as Queen Amaya
• Victor Garber as Sabino
• Natasha Rothwell as Sakina
• Jennifer Kumiyama as Dahlia
• Harvey Guillén as Gabo
• Evan Peters as Simon
• Ramy Youssef as Safi
The film is inspired by Disney's centennial, which ties together a major theme across most Disney films—of wishes coming true.
Young Asha makes a wish so powerful that it's answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy called Star. With Star's help, Asha must save her kingdom from King Magnifico and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.
Wish is warm on whimsy, light on magic, but high on nostalgia. Yes, this movie celebrating 100 years of the House of Mouse is standard Disney fare. It’s wonderfully animated and full of the usual heart-string-tugging moments, but there’s nothing that elevates it to the heights of Disney’s true classics. In fact, it’s kinda disappointingly mid in comparison. A big issue being that the songs aren’t anything special. In fact, I’m hard pressed to even remember their titles – so don’t expect the next “Let it go” to come out of this. What was memorable, however, was Chris Pine’s villainous read as King Magnifico. Pine really laid on the devilish charm here, and his voice performance is right up there with other Disney baddies like Jaffar and Scar. Speaking of characters from Disney’s past, the movie is flooded with either references, cameos, or nods to them. What can I say, the nostalgia aspect works wonders. I can see what they wanted to accomplish with this movie, making it kind of an origin story to the wishing star and magic wand (constants across Disney’s history). Unfortunately, there’s a bit too much magic mumbo jumbo at the start, and the plot points might not be as imaginative as they think they are. Regardless, Wish remains a crowd pleaser with a nice helping of humour and heart. But for Disney’s 100th, it certainly could have used more of that signature magic.