Wish Review: Disney’s Daring Leap into Darker Themes
Disney’s “Wish” arrives as a beacon of modern animation, casting a spell that is both a reminiscence of the studio’s glorious past and a bold step into the future. For those accustomed to the light-hearted, whimsical worlds typically spun by Disney, “Wish” might be a slight departure. Its narrative delves into darker themes, a move that, while adding depth and maturity, might not entirely resonate with the younger audiences or those seeking the quintessential Disney magic. The film’s musical score, though ambitious in its composition, may not hit the memorable, iconic notes that often become synonymous with Disney’s beloved classics.
At the heart of “Wish” is the story of Asha, a 17-year-old who finds herself on a transformative journey after wishing on a star. Voiced by Ariana DeBose, Asha’s character is a nuanced addition to the Disney princess lineage, embodying both vulnerability and strength. She is joined by Chris Pine and Alan Tudyk, whose performances add layers of depth and complexity to this animated adventure. The narrative, interwoven with themes of betrayal and darkness, deviates from Disney’s traditionally lighter themes, offering a more mature and reflective exploration of its central motifs.
“Wish” stands out for its artistic ambition and thematic depth as the film celebrates Disney’s 100-year legacy, filled with subtle nods and Easter Eggs that delight long-time studio fans. The thematic richness of the film, tinged with a darker tone than one might expect from a Disney feature, adds a layer of sophistication that invites audiences to engage with it on a deeper level. The performances, particularly Chris Pine’s, are noteworthy, with Pine’s villain song being a highlight of the film’s musical offerings.
The film’s fusion of cutting-edge technology with timeless storytelling is awe-inspiring. This blend creates an innovative yet familiar experience, embodying the essence of Disney’s most successful works. However, while the animation and storytelling techniques are well done, certain choices with the songs, though ambitious, lack the lasting impact that is often a hallmark of Disney classics.
The deliberate choice to tell a classic-style story with modern twists is one of the film’s strengths. The silent Star character and the well-crafted villain origin story of King Magnifico are standout elements that showcase Disney’s ability to innovate within the confines of its traditional storytelling framework.
“Wish” should be celebrated as a tribute to Disney’s legacy in animation and storytelling. The film successfully blends traditionally hand-drawn and CG animation, contributing to a visually stunning and emotionally nuanced story. While it may not reach the pinnacle of Disney’s extensive catalog in every aspect, it represents a bold and significant step for the studio. As we leave the theater, we carry with us the memories of this film and the anticipation of what magical tales Disney will spin in the next hundred years.
RATING: 4.0 out of 5.
Wish is in theaters on November 22nd, 2023.