With its brand of magical storytelling, the Walt Disney Company has touched every generation of culture with countless movies, TV shows, and theme parks. As storied companies go, they have remarkable resilience and the capacity for regular reinvention, allowing them to stay on course with changing generations. As the company commemorates its 100th anniversary with unique activations and tie-ins, it also offers a new animated movie that looks back to its beginnings while looking forward to its future.
The lavish folk tale, titled “Wish,” stars Ariana DeBose as the daughter of King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a sorcerer who rules the fictional Kingdom of Rosas. She senses darkness in the land and passionately appeals to a star she sees in the sky. The star responds, assisting her in challenging the powerful sorcerer.
It is a story of the power of wish, which personifies dreams as natural objects that can shape our world. It is a story of how the most superficial desires can shape the most grand dreams. It is a story about how our wishes can inspire the people and animals of this earth to reach beyond their limitations. It is a story about how wishing is not just for children but for the young at heart in all of us.
In this magical kingdom, citizens give their wishes to the sorcerer, King Magnifico, who collects them in blue glass bubbles. He is the sorcerer who knows best how to grant a wish and keep its power intact. However, he is indifferent to the wishes of his daughter, Sabino, who longs to become a real boy. When her father refuses to grant her wish, Sabino quests to find the magic that will free her.
The movie reflects the themes of classic fairy and folk tales, romance, humor, sadness, and high-stakes action that have defined so many of Disney’s films. Its blending of various animation styles makes for a visually engaging experience.
“The power and importance of wishing are key to storytelling, magic, and possibility in our studio,” said Walt Disney Animation Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee, who wrote the film with her husband, John Powell. She also noted that the idea of “personifying dreams as real objects” is a hallmark of the studio.
Wish, made in partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation(R), has some timely lessons. The idea of granting life-changing wishes for kids with critical illnesses is a great cause that Disney Studios supports, and the movie does an excellent job of bringing the message to the screen.
It is an enchanting movie that stays within its welcome and will be appreciated by Disney fans for its visuals and storytelling. But, in its desire to celebrate 85 years of magical history and the enduring legacy of the Disney studio, it may have packed too much into this little fable.