Wish Movie Review: Magic is undeniably cool, fun, and downright awesome. However, when not wielded judiciously, it introduces a troublesome inconsistency into your story, prompting incessant questioning of its selective application. This predicament haunts Disney's latest animated film, Wish. Released on the momentous occasion of Walt Disney Studios' centenary, Wish was heralded as a delightful tribute to the profound significance of Disney films in our lives. Yet, pardon my ironic pun, I 'wish' Disney's legacy had received a more deserving homage. Wish: From Ariana DeBose's Asha to Chris Pine's King Magnifico, Here's How Disney Animation Brought Alive Film's Main Characters On Screen.

The kingdom of Rosas is under the rule of the handsome King Magnifico (Chris Pine) who has a magical power. He can take your wish and grant it to you when he pleases. Alongside his consort Queen Amaya (Angelique Cabral), Magnifico aspires to transform his realm into an inviting utopia. Subjects relinquish their wish on their 18th birthday and wait for that momentous occasion for the king to grant that wish for them.

Among those subjects is a sprightly girl called Asha (Ariana Debose), eagerly awaiting her 18th birthday in a matter of months. She is also desirous that her grandfather (Victor Garber) has his wish granted on his 100th birthday. Continuing Disney's tradition of making random animals behave like dogs, Asha also has Valentino, a pet goat with canine tics.

During her apprenticeship interview with the king, Asha learns, to no one's surprise, that the king is not exactly as magnanimous as he portrays himself to be, and he is not granting any wishes that, in any manner, would affect his unquestionable rule in the kingdom. Including her grandfather's and mother's.

A Still From Wish (Photo Credits: Walt Disney)

Heartbroken, Asha goes to her favorite spot in the jungle where she sings her wish to the stars. Lo and behold, a wishing star actually comes down to her and helps in her mission to steal her family's wishes from Magnifico's clutches.

Watch the Trailer of Wish:

If you are an unconditional, blind fan of Disney's animation flicks, there is a major chance that you would enjoy the fairly feel-good nature of Wish, and the fun elements it brings in. After all, how can you really not enjoy a film that has a talking goat, voiced by Alan Tudyk no less, and a mischievous golden star? However, like yours truly, if you have become cynical with Disney sticking to its formulaic, staple elements, film after film, and wish the studio occasionally to take on a radical route, then Wish would be an utter disappointment.

The biggest problem with the film is how forgettable the entire thing is. The writing is pretty ordinary, and most of the characters aren't really fleshed out. Asha is that Disney protagonist, who has this very predictable arc that moves from a naive girl with starry dreams to a rebel with a cause. She is likable, no arguments there, but in a roster filled with memorable Disney heroines like Mulan, Elsa, Moana, Jasmine, Ariel and co, Asha doesn't have any strong material to stand out.

A Still From Wish (Photo Credits: Walt Disney)

Asha has a group of friends here, which I read somewhere, were inspired by Snow White's seven dwarves. Good that I read it because they hardly feel like anything noteworthy here, or have any interesting trait to speak of. It is even hard to remember any of their names. One of them betrays Asha and the group, and it's a twist that you can easily predict is going to happen when Magnifico puts a bounty on Asha.

As for the goat and the star, they are definitely here to please the kids. That's about it. Like with Asha, they just don't elevate themselves to being the show-stealing sidekicks we have seen in the past. I still didn't get how exactly the star's powers work. I see that it could make plants and animals talk, but when it comes to people, its powers are pretty inconsistent, or rather work as per the convenience of the script. As for the goat, sure, it has a couple of funny lines that did crack me up, but it soon begins to lose that funny charm when the writing doesn't give the character anything much to do, apart from making a wall break down with its butt.

A Still From Wish (Photo Credits: Walt Disney)

I think the only character that manages to stand out somewhat is the villain more so because of how outlandish he feels. This is Chris Pine's second character, after Don't Worry Darling, where he creates a false utopia for the people under him, and the actor seems to be having fun playing the OTT, narcissistic villain. Again, it's more of the performance here, rather than the character who actually leaves me with a lot of questions that I shouldn't really ask in a fantasy film like this. Puss in Boots - The Last Wish Movie Review: Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek’s Shrek Spinoff is a Vibrant Extravaganza With Some Stellar Animation and Storytelling.

A Still From Wish (Photo Credits: Walt Disney)

Like, I don't really get how the main crux of the film works. Wish has characters relinquish their one wish to the king expecting him to fulfill it and in doing so, leave them empty of any desire, but I am not sure why they don't have multiple wishes like us mere mortals. If you expect the film to give you concise answers, you would be wrong there. Also, the main turning point of the film is when Asha learns Magnifico doesn't want to fulfill her grandpa's wish because it could be dangerous. What is that wish? Again, we are not given any clear answer to this. Magnifico is already established to be an opportunistic despot who hides his evil self beneath a benign exterior, and he has enough magical powers. So when the film gives him more evil powers through a forbidden book, it takes out the more interesting aspect of how corrupt he has been in the first place, and makes an external element a catalyst here.

In perhaps paying a tribute to Disney's old hand-drawn animated films and shorts, Wish adapts a different style of animation that merges 2-D texturing with 3-D graphics. It looked fascinating in the beginning when we are introduced to the Kingdom of Rosas and its characters, but as the film proceeds ahead, somewhere this tactic doesn't work as Wish loses that rich visual layering that even the weakest of Disney's animated films possess.

A Still From Wish (Photo Credits: Walt Disney)

And there are the songs. Look, I love when Disney characters break into a song and dance, and we have some very such iconic sequences in the past. There is a reason why "Let It Go" in Frozen and "It's a Whole New World" in Aladdin still manage to resonate with us - they not only enhance the narrative but emerge as powerful moments within the film. In the former, if the song is about Elsa stop worrying about what society thinks of her and accepting who she is, then the latter has Jasmine breaching the barriers of her imposed world to see the wondrous possibilities lying beyond. These are just two mere examples.

In Wish, though, the songs do try to achieve some escalation depending on Ariana Debose's magical voice. But most of them fall flat and often act as speed-breakers, and therefore lack the impact they need to have on the storyline. This is particularly evident in the song played during the climax that is supposed to rouse the spirit of rebellion but mostly falling in generating any meaningful impact.

Final Thoughts

Disney's Wish falls short of delivering a fitting tribute to the studio's illustrious legacy on its centenary. Despite the film's feel-good elements, it suffers from forgettable characters, a predictable plot, and inconsistencies in its magical elements. Hoping that with a new innings ahead, the studio would take some bold creative choices with its animated films, instead of recycling elements of their greatest hits and hoping that the fans would continue to gloss through them. Be the Star here and listen to us, Disney' don't be a King Magnifico.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 24, 2023 09:11 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).