- Chris Pine, Ariana DeBose, Alan Tudyk
- Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn
- Animation, Children, Family, Fantasy
- Release date
- November 22, 2023
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.