The Wish Disney Film
Disney’s The Wish Film is their most combative propaganda film in recent memory. While it’s true that all of Disney’s films have some narrative weight, “Wish” seems more connected to the studio’s past and the inspiration that fans have drawn from it than anything else the studio has ever made.
It’s not only the plethora of allusions to classic Disney films like “Peter Pan,” “Mary Poppins,” “Bambi,” and many more; it’s the overall feeling that the show is about how we can’t help but wish upon stars—specifically, Disney-branded ones—in order to find happiness. Additionally, I was reminded of Ron DeSantis when reading about a political figure who shatters the aspirations of Disney grownups; however, it is a whole other topic.
So, what are we to make of this purposeful Disney magic? Not to the extent that Disney picture makers let the characters’ inherent enchantment do the magic. Even though it was essentially an advertisement for the ongoing Disney 100th anniversary celebration, there is still a feeling that this is all manufactured enchantment and fake magic. Nevertheless, I can see why someone with an annual ticket to one of the company’s parks would gobble up this film. The film’s major flaw is that, despite its promising beginning, “Wish” becomes something genuine magic will always be: forgettable. However, the film’s two outstanding musical moments help it get off the ground.
Despite the appealing animation that combines CGI dimensions with approaches that look more hand-drawn, the setting of “Wish” is terribly vague, taking its events in an area called Rosas, in an unspecified era (though the creators have claimed this is the beginning for the “wishing star” of Disney fame from way back when). Asha, a young woman of seventeen years old, is going in for an apprenticeship interview with the adored King Magnifico. As the master of Rosas’s magical arts, the king has the power to grant the desires of his subjects by collecting their wishes in a secret chamber above the city and then, after a ritual, granting just one request. When Asha learns that Magnifico isn’t really magnificent, she has her 100-year-old grandpa Sabino’s request dashed. Rather of granting wishes, he hoards them, and the most intriguing theme in “Wish” is the manipulativeness that may accompany those who promise the world.
Asha becomes a mystical figure when a wish-granting star bestows skills that make her the leader of her people. She learns about the corruption of total power, but she isn’t just any girl. When Asha wishes on a celestial being, the star descends to sow discord and lend a hand in Asha’s revolution. The first big scene with the mute Star stands out because it uses forest animals who come to life to empower Asha rather than help her. This approach seems like someone out of the animation company Ghibli rather than Disney’s usually anthropomorphic overblown style. Instead of letting other people use our wants to control us, we should let them be the source of our joy, laughter, and life. Plus, Asha will be able to triumph against evil once she knows the star lives within her. Alan Tudyk’s voiced goat provides assistance.
In the forest, after discovering the wishing star, she sings an empowering song, but the tale becomes a little confusing: is she the star itself, or has she received a gift?yet unlike most movies, it manages to be both entertaining and intriguing. Another group performance, this one with Asha’s friends singing about what they’ve learned, gives the film a much-needed lift towards the finish. Both of these would be perfect for a pre-Christmas stage production in the Magic Kingdom.
At its core, “Wish” is flawed because of its likely preplanned stage presentation; the whole thing is too processed, making it seem like an artificial intelligence take on a Disney animated film with the goal of creating more sellable things and experiences rather than more wishes. The Disney machine has seemed more and more like a factory in the 2020s; when the studio veers from the path mapped out in “Strange World,” for example, families don’t turn up. However, this one seems like a cynical attempt to make a quick buck. The green color scheme of Magnifico gives the impression that the authors are trying to portray politicians and other leaders who are too focused on making money as villains. This is particularly surprising coming from a corporation that has recently been more of an industrial operation than an artistic one.
That is the most discouraging aspect of “Wish.” Because of my advanced years, I have seen the ups and downs of Disney’s fortunes, including the revival of the studio with “The Little Mermaid,” and I have witnessed the evolution of the animated canon of this behemoth of an enterprise. Artistic endeavors, not focus-grouped nostalgia, are the sources of quality. Just so you know, I like seeing the expressions on my kids’ faces whenever a Disney film touches them deeply.
The most enjoyable animated features will never originate from a depressing location like “Wish.” This desire doesn’t seem to have landed from on high, but rather to have been hand-picked by the manufacturers with an eye toward maximum profit. It makes you crave for a genuine, human experience.