Movie Review & Junket | The Magic of 'WISH': A Disney Movie with Heart and Nostalgia
WISH is a movie that pulls on the heartstrings due to the fantastic vocals and the familiarity with the art style and characters, which makes this movie even more enticing. Introducing the kingdom of Rosas is the ambitious and kindhearted Asha, our newest Disney princess, voiced by Ariana DeBose. In this film, we see the power of a wish and how some wish to control this power for their advance. King Magnifico is a perfect villain played by Chris Pratt, and the animation is just the cherry on top. Along with the intricate character design, the watercolor-like scenery is mesmerizing. This movie marks Disney’s 100-year mark with nostalgia for previous classics such as Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, Pocahontas, and Fantasia. During the Press Junket at Disney Animation in Burbank, THAheadline’s very own Shaunael had the privilege of viewing some original Disney art from some of these classics. The animators for Wish decided to use these works to add elements from the classics that we all hold near and dear to our hearts. They captured the nostalgia of a Disney movie by making these references primarily through character design. For example, King Magnfico uses green magic as Maleficent does in Sleeping Beauty. His clothing also mirrors Aladdin’s Jafar’s shoulder proportions and the cape draping behind him. Asha’s dress has pumpkin seeds sown into it as an homage to the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. This movie is filled with different references to those beloved Disney classics, making it a must-watch and a rewatch.
WISH is a visually appealing movie with a beautiful storyline and message. A wish is a lovely thing to have, and we all have one; how we choose to nurture that wish is essential. It reminds the older generations to keep that wish alive while prompting the younger generations to keep wishing and never to let go of that wish. With its comical moments with supporting characters Valentino and Star, this movie will be a treat to all who watch. Along with these characters, we have the loveable Queen Amaya and Asha’s band of friends who support her along her journey, giving everyone a chance to make their wishes come true. Mine came true as I had the opportunity to hear Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn, Peter Del Vecho, Juan Pablo Reyes, and Julia Michaels talk about their experience working on the movie as Producers, Directors, Artists, and Fans of Disney. Julia Michaels relays how the first song she created was “This Wish.” She does this purely from a short excerpt from the plot of the movie and the idea of Asha being this “normal, awkward, silly young woman becoming this brave, courageous person.” The creativity in this movie is astounding.
The journey of change is fascinating; those who worked on the movie are pretty familiar and excited about those changes. One interesting change was to Magnfico’s story; instead of immediately giving us this evil antagonist, Jennifer Lee states that they wanted audiences to “see him at his best to take that journey with him.” Seeing him at his best was accomplished in the film as we saw Magnifico and his goals regarding the wishes, but then we saw how twisted those goals were. Although this is an original, new-age movie, there are plenty of references to the classics throughout the film. One of the most beautiful and touching things about this movie is that all departments put their touch on it. Fawn Veerasunthorn comments on this, describing the movie as a “collective love letter and thank you letter to Walt and all. WISH is a visually stunning Disney movie about the power of a wish. The story revolves around the ambitious, kindhearted Asha and the perfect villain, King Magnifico. With breathtaking animation and references to classic Disney movies, WISH is a must-watch. the artists that come before.” While at the press junket, Shaunael had the honor of sitting with an animator alongside her peers and learning how to draw Star. She described how everyone had fingerprints on the project; hers was Cinderella. She explains that the reference to the pumpkin seeds on Asha’s dress and many other details within the film, such as the positioning of characters, come from. There are “over 100 references made” (Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones) throughout the movie, making it the gift that keeps on giving.
Be sure to see WISH in theaters everywhere on November 22nd!
THAheadline Score (THAscore): 8/10