Wish | Review by: Luke Elisio
Considering all of the legendary animated movies Disney has given the world, it would make sense that the movie released to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of Disney animation would be equally as legendary as those that came before it. Sadly, “Wish” is an entry in the Disney pantheon that fails to live up to the prestige of its predecessors and instead is a lazy rehash of the studio’s greatest hits. Without any hyperbole, about 80 per cent of this movie is ham-fisted references and blatant Easter eggs to past Disney classics. Look, Sleeping Beauty’s dress! Look, The Evil Queen’s poison apple! Spotting these references are where the majority of the entertainment value of “Wish” lies. The biggest problem with “Wish” is that there isn’t anything original about it. It feels as though the filmmakers took whatever elements they liked from past Disney movies, put them in a blender, looked at what they had and said, “meh, this’ll do. It’s worked in the past!”
The songs are forgettable, the sidekicks are unfunny and the main character who while clearly trying to replicate the moxie and charisma of past heroines, lacks any true motivation or relatability of her own. Ariana DeBose does a fine job of voicing protagonist Asha, but it’s Chris Pine as the villainous King Magnifico who steals the show. His performance is the highlight of “Wish,” perhaps even the sole redeeming quality. It’s so refreshing for a modern Disney movie to have a villain that is actually a physical character and not some emotional trauma. Pine’s stellar performance ensures that Magnifico is the only character in “Wish” who isn’t bland or forgettable. Every other character is underwritten and generic, feeling more like characters on a soon to be cancelled Disney+ show rather than the leads in a major Disney movie. Frankly, the movie lacks the prerequisite amount of Disney charm.
No one can deny the love and attention that went into “Wish.” It’s a glowing example of the reverence the studio has for its past. But the execution of that love and reverence leaves us with a movie that a whole is unfortunately both lazy and disappointing. As well as convoluted. It’s a movie about wishes. So much information about the granting of them is unnecessary! Especially when it has zero impact on the story or the characters. “Wish” may placate viewers who end up watching it once for free on Disney+, but when it comes to solidifying itself as a Disney classic, it sadly just isn’t in the stars.