Disney’s Wish is an enjoyable look at believing in your dreams and your ability to create them, despite falling short on the musical side with forgettable songs. Disney certainly knew what they were doing when they were making a movie called Wish during their 100-year celebration, practically the culmination of a centuries worth of inspiring animation and stories. As you sit back and think about all those Princess stories and tales of kings and talking animals, it’s hard not to want more from Wish after all that has come before it. It’s by no means a bad movie, but for everything it’s supposedly about I was really expecting to see more effort from Disney and something a bit more classic in terms of songs especially.
Young Asha (Ariana DeBose) is about to turn 18, which means that in the Kingdom of Rosas she’ll be able to ask one wish for their King Magnifico (Chris Pine) to potentially grant. King Magnifico founded Rosas with great sorcery and uses his magic to help some of the wishes from his subjects, however, most end up in his possession ungranted for life. When Asha wishes upon a star with all her heart, that star comes to life and starts bringing magic to everything it touches. Hopefully, Asha and the Star can help free the people’s wishes before the King catches them practicing magic.
Sitting at a breezy 90ish minutes, Wish moves right along as it jumps from song to set piece without ever slowing down. As I always clarify with these films, I understand that I’m an adult and that this film wasn’t completely made for me. However, Disney knows it has a large adult fanbase and I can’t help but wonder if they too felt underwhelmed by much of this film? The songs are hardly memorable and half of them are sung in the Taylor Swift talk-singing cadence which feels more like imitation than anything else. As an adult who can comprehend fast lyrics/singing, I still struggled to completely hear the words and musicality of some of the songs and I imagine they won’t be the easiest for kids to memorize either.
Wish still shines in a few moments, mostly led by an energetic and entertaining Ariana DeBose who plays Asha with just enough wonder to move you. Her motivations and story are both incredibly touching and her overall goal in the film was a refreshing message to send to kids and adults about taking your dreams into your own hands. I had hoped for more with Chris Pine singing in this film, but I found they wrote him fairly simple and silly songs that somewhat underscored the intimidation they wanted for his character. It’s not Disney’s best, but it’ll get the job done for most and will tide people over until their next smash hit.
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