Wish

Celebrating 100 years of Disney, Wish will entertain the kiddos but leave adults wishing for a better movie.
69/1002114541
Starring
Chris Pine, Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk
Directors
Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn
Rating
PG
Genre
Animation, Children, Family, Fantasy
Release date
November 22, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story/Plot
Visuals/Cinematography
Performance
Direction
Children Suitability
Parent Appeal
Non-Wokeness
Rating Summary
Wish is the interstate highway of fantasy cartoon films. It's a straight line journey with the same over-priced food courts strategically placed every few miles. Sure it will get you to where you are going but you won't remember anything about the trip.
Audience Woke Score (Vote)
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Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” The Walt Disney Company started with a dream, and on November 22, 2023, “Wish” will commemorate 100 years of that dream, or has it become a nightmare?

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Wish

In the Kingdom of Rosa, a wise and handsome sorcerer king rules with a gentle hand. All he asks in return for ensuring your safety is that you surrender the dream that is at the core of your being.

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While it’s only meant to commemorate Disney’s centennial, Wish manages to also perfectly encapsulate modern cinema. It’s all talent and no creativity. The singers have beautiful voices, the musicians are clearly the best of the best, and the animation is a technical marvel. Yet, with all of those ingredients, Disney’s anniversary spectacular is canned soup. It might fill your belly, but it won’t feed your soul.

The song lyrics are AI empty, the story is rushed with no subtlety or surprises, and the heroine’s journey is to go from pleasant, smart, and earnest and immediately knowing what needs to be done to pleasant, smart, and earnest and doing exactly what needs to be done. However, the film does offer one massive surprise: for a studio that has spent the last thirteen years trading every last scintilla of nostalgia from its past for dollar bills, it seems like the 100th anniversary would have been the perfect opportunity to bring all of its properties together for one giant Disney Universe mashup. Instead, even the few cameos and allusions to past excellence it offers come off feeling like afterthoughts.

That said, the pacing is good, the meaningless music is pretty, and the animation style is sometimes gorgeous (when it’s not a jarring mix of 2 and 3-D). With all of the trash they’ve laid at audiences’ feet over the last few years, Wish being a middling and forgettable, if moderately cute,  film that offers up a few laughs is a huge win by comparison.

WISH: INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS FOR CHILDREN

None, really. However, the action might be a little intense for tiny children. This is another win.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

DEI

  • Wish has all of the diversity, and the movie’s first five minutes are wasted on a hamfisted exposition dump song explaining why the small island kingdom is so diverse and why that’s wonderful. It’s eye-rollingly annoying (like your eyes will roll and roll and roll for each of the five minutes, but everyone is incidentally diverse after that song. There’s no more celebration of it.

Disney Men

  • The only men in the film who aren’t soft-jawed dullards are the handsome, rich, evil ruler and a hundred-year-old man too old to do much more than hide.

Disney Women

  • Wanna guess? Yup, they’re all smart and right and bla bla bla. But at least they aren’t nasty, and the main character, while an unwaveringly great person throughout, isn’t perfect at everything she does at the cost of the men around her.

Modern Secularism

  • The ultimate moral of the story is the same old, tired self-esteem movement tripe that libs have been pushing for decades: Be yourself because you are awesome, and once you realize how awesome you are, you’ll be even more awesome.

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

21 comments

  • Rick K.

    November 22, 2023 at 9:59 am

    Well, that’s awesome. But if the movie doesn’t entertain there’s no reason for me to buy a ticket. That’s what I’m looking for: entertainment, which Disney/Pixar had in spades through Tangled and Brave. I guess I could add Frozen. That story was somehow bland but it at least was mildly entertaining.

    As my wife keeps reminding me, Disney’s success (and the real magic) was really based on entertaining the kids while managing to also entertain the adults, who must drive the kids to theaters and often multiple times. Apparently, that won’t be happening here which can’t be good for the box office take.

    If a hostile takeover of Disney materializes I hope it’s Elon Musk. At least he understands what brings success.

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    • Steve Mol

      November 29, 2023 at 1:28 pm

      Yeah, Elon Musk brining back John Lasseter.

      John was fired from Disney Animation, started Pixar, insisted on good STORIES, bought out by Disney Animation, put in charge (of the very same failing animation department from which he had been fired), and then unceremoniously terminated on ACCUSATIONS (no due process).

      John knows what Walt knew.

      Without John, or someone like John, family entertainment cannot occur.

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    • Rick K.

      November 30, 2023 at 9:34 am

      (Waves) “Hi, Bob!”

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  • Jess

    November 22, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    I’m not interested in this one. While I can appreciate what they attempted with the animation, it just looks unfinished. What I’ve heard from the songs doesn’t impress me either, and for a “comedy” movie, not of the jokes in the trailer were remotely funny to me. Lastly, this movie just strikes me as some sort of atheist parable about becoming your own god essentially. I’m sick of atheists policing the world and forcing their religion onto everyone else (as they’ve always done ever since the invention of atheism), and that alone makes this movie a no-go for me.

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  • Christian Gonzalez

    November 22, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    Why is the diversity in this film such a bad thing to you? This movie has no race-swapping white characters with black characters, which understandably makes people angry, but rather all their characters are original-even if the female protagonist can be seen as a repetition of an over done trope- is there something i’m missing?

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    • James Carrick

      November 22, 2023 at 10:43 pm

      Thank you for the comment.

      I reject the characterization of my feelings toward the film’s diversity as “such a bad thing.”

      My review calls the hymn to diversity that dominates the first five minutes of the film “eye-rollingly annoying” due to it being “hamfisted” and obvious.

      Furthermore, in trying to avoid spoilers, I intentionally omitted that this film actually does have both race and gender swapping, as many of the characters are not original and this is an origin story for several Disney legacy characters who are now canonically “diverse.”

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    • Rick K.

      November 23, 2023 at 9:18 am

      Welllll…I was born Colombian. So, Hispanic. And all I mentioned was the lack of entertainment value that pervades Disney product, post Frozen. “Diversity” and “race swapping” are code words meaning “lacks originality and entertainment value with high potential for race swapping”. That said, if I’d lost my senses and somehow wandered into a local theater complex and then wandered into the room showing Wish and experienced the race swapping the author mentions I’d have had the…(_______}…annoyed out of me. That’s as a fan and follower of Disney since mom first took me to Disneyland in 1958. And this personal rule applies to every movie, “FOLLOW THE D___ CANON!”.

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    • Jay

      November 24, 2023 at 2:04 pm

      Because the main villian is once again, a White Male
      Where’s the Diversity in the Bad guys ?

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    • DB

      November 25, 2023 at 1:05 pm

      There are far too many group scenes where every person is a different race, and it is much too obviously woke. Like the race swapping, it removes you from the fantasy world and back into our current socio-political atmosphere.
      I get that diversity is good, but it has taken such an extreme over the top shove it in your face element here to do any good. Desperation.

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      • Ivan

        November 26, 2023 at 6:43 pm

        You’re right, that’s something that totally takes me out of the fantasy of these stories. I can’t stand it when they force multiculturalism all the time, it breaks the magic of the story.

        This is also happening in video games, it’s extremely annoying.

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  • Jay

    November 23, 2023 at 9:47 am

    Our biggest concern in our family is whether or not there is gender ideology being pushed. Specifically anything related to LGBTQ+. Although of course we would appreciate if they stopped pushing the tired trope that men are not allowed to be confident, strong and heroic anymore, it is not as critical, in the minds of this family of believers of Truth, with a capital “T” as the cessation of the Gender ideology war.

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    • DB

      November 25, 2023 at 1:09 pm

      I don’t remember any gender stuff. Just a shove it in your face diversity pitch throughout. Oh and both the one bad guy and the one traitor who ratted on his friends were white males.

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  • Vasilios

    November 27, 2023 at 10:49 am

    Thank God there are sites like that making it easier for God-fearing parents to protect their children from the strong satanic push coming from the left. I appreciate all that you do, keep up the good work 👏

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  • Sweet Deals

    November 29, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Even setting aside the woke agenda, I’ve chosen to skip many of Disney’s offerings over the past ten years because I didn’t think I would enjoy them. Disney built its legacy by hiring the most talented artists and creative thinkers and encouraging them to improve their craft. They went on to create some of the most beautiful and enduring works of art. Not everything Disney did was “original”; their movies were adapted from or inspired by traditional fairy tales and novels, but they were able to take things people already loved and turn them into things we cherished.

    Lately, it seems that Disney’s creative staff is made up of people who adored Disney movies as children, began their careers writing fan fiction in middle school, and because they got praised by their middle school peers for it, they thought that what they were doing was the pinnacle of greatness and never considered that they might want to get better. I personally think a lot of Disney’s current fare is made up of stories that resemble fan fiction written by middle schoolers seeking the approval of other middle schoolers, except with a much bigger technical and marketing budget. And this goes for popular culture across the board. I think that over the past several years that creators are getting lazier, and even veterans who made things I previously enjoyed are making sloppier works today either due to over-reliance on stale ideas, obnoxious attention-seeking behaviors or peer pressure to conform to the woke agenda. It becomes more difficult to trust new things and enjoy them as a result.

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  • Kevin Judge

    December 3, 2023 at 7:20 am

    Don’t you think your Non-wokeness score is way too high? You pointed out all the woke elements, but still, you are saying it is not woke.

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    • Informed

      December 3, 2023 at 11:20 pm

      I do agree with this. For all the things pointed out it’s on par with things such as knocked it 10 points for having things that could have been woke. Plus even animators were telling outsiders this was high jacked by the woke activists.

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  • Sam

    December 18, 2023 at 8:39 am

    So I read someone else’s comment pointing out “why is diversity such a bad thing” & I agree. Since there was no gender ideology ( being a Disney movie) I took my child to go see it and honestly didn’t find it “annoyingly eye rolling” at all. I think you probably watch it and automatically if every character isn’t white it’s a problem and a song about diversity would be annoying. Then I read that there is both race/gender swapping and that the characters are unoriginal….ummm ok. If there’s an original movie to this someone please let me know.

    I grew up watching Disney movies and in almost every single one, the girl isn’t “perfect” due to an evil “white” male—minus the few with an evil female villain. So I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.

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    • Sweet Deals

      December 18, 2023 at 12:21 pm

      I wouldn’t say that diversity by itself is the problem. However, I would say that when the color of the characters’ skin is considered their most important and distinguishing feature, that doesn’t really speak well for the rest of them. You can go out of your way to mention that a character is special because she’s biracial brown; her parents come from two different ethnic groups, but the character can still be terribly dull without a single ethnic or interesting bone in her body. (I call this phenomenon the Boring Brown Person. They’re common in children’s cartoons when you want to represent black people positively but are too bland to stand out to avoid being unintentionally offensive).

      After watching Wish, it didn’t matter much to me whether a character was brown-skinned or not because most of them were too flat and boring to matter. The depth of each character didn’t go much further beyond whatever role they played the story and other minor schticks, so there wasn’t enough there for me to care about any of them or their hopes and dreams, which in this movie are literally nothing more than mere MacGuffins. The wishes have power, but they don’t go into detail about whether or not pursuing them will make a real difference in people’s lives beyond getting what you want. Whether or not a wish is selfish or possibly harmful is dismissed as a lame excuse for not granting them rather than an actual risk. It also suggests people rely on magic to achieve their goals because they believe actually putting in the effort is too difficult, or that without magic it would be unobtainable. It’s a big missed opportunity, really. There’s a lot that could be said about wishing well.

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    • James Carrick

      December 18, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      There is nothing inherently wrong with diversity. That is not something that we’ve ever stated, nor would we. The problem that we have is that Disney’s diversity agenda is so obvious. So, much so that they sing a schlocky song about it, but otherwise, the diversity of the “cast” has nothing to do with the narrative of the film. It exists in the movie for the sole purpose of making the animators feel good about themselves.

      The assertion that we (ie. Worth it or Woke) automatically find it annoying if every character isn’t white is foolish, especially if you look at our other reviews in which we praise and defend various actors of color (look at the comments section for A Haunting In Venice or Gran Turismo). If it makes sense for a character to be the race that they are within the context of the narrative and it doesn’t seem as though the race of the character is what it is because the studio wanted to pat themselves on the back, we couldn’t care in the slightest what someone’s melanin levels are.

      As far as the gender and race swapping, the movie was so forgettable that the only one that comes to mind at this time is the main character. ***SPOILER*** she is the fairy godmother and this was her new origin story ***END SPOILER***

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  • Kim

    April 4, 2024 at 1:47 pm

    Nelson peltz would have been great. He fixes everything and disney needs a fix that iger clearly can’t acheive.

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  • Farah

    April 25, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    Whoever made Wish should have been fired. I’m apalled that nobody at Disney tried to save Wish from becoming a disaster. In the past, they had saved movies that had troubled development like The Lion King, Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, and the Emperor’s New Groove. They should have shelved it! They should have get someone who is as talented as John Lassiter or Walt Disney. Someone who cares about the heart of the story. Someone who would make sure that the story has Christian themes (or at least a good message). Another problem with Diversity is that it’s become a code for “Lgbtq+.” Just like people are tired of white men being presented as foolish, stupid, and incapable, I’m tired of this woke trend that women (especially the main heroine) can’t have a love interest unless the girl is secretly lesbian (or all because an actress playing her is lgbtq+). Sorry people but like it or not, homosexuality is a sin and I refuse to condone it or approve it. Back in the 70s, people would be repulsed at seeing a gay character on-screen.

    Reply

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