Art & Entertainment

'Wish' On Disney+ Hotstar Movie Review: Asha's Journey Of Wishing Upon A Star Serves As An Inspiration In This Animated Musical

Outlook Rating:
3 / 5

Golden Globe-nominee 'Wish' directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, is now available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar. Does this movie give you Disney's magical feeling, or can you go ahead and skip it? Read on to find out.

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'Wish' Photo: Disney+ Hotstar
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Animation is a genre that captivates the hearts of people of all ages, and it’s almost impossible not to think of Disney when considering this unique style of filmmaking. In honour of Disney celebrating 100 years, ‘Wish’ hit theatres in November 2023, following which it even bagged a nomination for Best Animated Feature Film at the Golden Globes, but lost to ‘The Boy and the Heron.’ Based on a story by Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn, and Allison Moore, ‘Wish’ has now landed on OTT. So, what is this animated musical fantasy film all about?

‘Wish’: Story

The narrative follows the journey of Asha (Ariana DeBose) in the Kingdom of Rosas, which is ruled by King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a sorcerer who has the magical power to grant wishes. At the age of 18, citizens of the kingdom are allowed to tell their greatest desires to the King; however, the catch is that they would lose all memory of their wishes. Now, Asha, who is 17, prepares for an interview to become the King’s apprentice, with the hopes of making her grandfather’s wish come true as his 100th birthday gift. However, as she draws closer to her Majesty, she discovers ugly truths and begins to question the integrity of the entire wish-granting system. With her two sidekicks – a talkative goat and an awfully yellow star – the young girl embarks on a daring quest to reclaim her family’s wishes. Will she fall into a trap, or will she succeed? That’s what ‘Wish’ aims to uncover.

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‘Wish’: Performances

Ariana DeBose as Asha sure is energetic and enthusiastic. Her performance is nothing short of amazing. She nails every tone and voice change, perfectly expressing her emotions. On the other hand, Chris Pine as the mad King Magnifico is not the best villain out there. His character becomes monotonous after a while because his actions become far too predictable with each scene.

Angelique Cabral as Queen Amaya perfectly captures the essence of her character’s personality, providing layers of complexity and relatability. What was a bit of a letdown was that Victor Garber as Sabino and Natasha Rothwell as Sakina could have had more screen time, considering the entire story is set against the backdrop of their wishes.

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The Teens – Jennifer Kumiyama as Dahlia, Harvey Guillén as Gabo, Niko Vargas as Hal, Evan Peters as Simon, Della Saba as Bazeema, Ramy Youssef as Safi, Jon Rudnitsky as Dario – just felt like too many characters. Quite frankly, most of them weren’t even needed, so their casting felt overstuffed. It seems that they were added to bring out some comical moments, but that did not really have an effect.

And last but not least, the two main characters of the entire film. Alan Tudyk as Valentino is an absolutely adorable goat but could’ve been given better punch lines. And then there’s the star of the movie (quite literally); looking at it will surely leave a smile on your face, as the character has the perfect Disney touch to it.

‘Wish’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

The script is very simplistic and has a very clear message. The film starts off on a good note, adding to the intrigue. But because it’s, like I said, simplistic, it’s also monotonous. Its narrative follows your same old good versus evil plot, and has no surprising elements or major plot twists. Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore should have spent some time writing their characters in a better fashion. The comedy, as well, was lacking more often than not. What also bothered me was how all the important parts of the story were told through its songs, given that it’s very easy for audiences to lose interest. So maybe that could have been avoided.

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But elsewhere, Rob Dressel did a great job laying out the mood for the film. Overall, it was a visual feast, with each frame thoughtfully composed. This has been enhanced by Adolph Lusinsky, whose choice of lighting has elevated the visuals of the film, adding depth to each scene, luring audiences into the fictional world. Coming to the editing aspect, Jeff Draheim was average at best. While the shot changes in the animation are seamlessly executed, the issue lies in the lack of pacing. Everything happened in the blink of an eye, leaving not enough time for the characters to be fleshed out; you can’t feel yourself connecting to them.

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The animation, however, was refreshing to see. The entire film seemed like a fusion of 3D animation with 2D paintings – in a good way. It was beautiful, mesmerizing, and filled with a variety of colours, giving it a true nostalgic effect. As far as the music is concerned, Dave Metzger’s musical score left no impact. Maybe at some point I was expecting a magical composition which exists in most Disney movies, but it just didn’t happen in this one. Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice’s vocals are undoubtedly great, but there are hardly any songs that you would purportedly search for to add to your playlists. Honestly, I was trying not to drift away while the songs were playing.

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The film in its entirety is not too fancy or too elaborate. While it does have its moments of magic, it loses its touch in most places, which is unlike Disney movies. Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn’s presentation has come off as somewhat generic, which doesn’t exactly leave a lasting impression. But what’s applause-worthy is how they have skilfully crafted the world of Rosas with rich colours, great set designs, and charming landscapes.

‘Wish’: Cast & Crew

Director: Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn

Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Harvey Guillén, Evan Peters, Ramy Youssef, and Jon Rudnitsky

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Available On: Disney+ Hotstar       

Duration: 95 minutes

Premiere Date: April 3

Genre: Animated musical fantasy

Language: English

‘Wish’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes.

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Wish’ serves as a reminder to celebrate the magic of hope. The key take away from the film is that you need to make your own dreams come true and not depend on anyone else to do it for you. For most, it might even become an inspirational movie to go out and make those dreams a reality. Sadly, ‘Wish’ doesn’t fall under a must-watch Disney movie, but it could still be a good watch to pass your time.

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