Home Wish (Parent And Baby Screening)

Wish (Parent And Baby Screening) (U)

Cast: Evan Peters, Harvey Guillen, Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk
Genre: Musical
Author(s): Allison Moore, Jennifer Lee
Director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Release Date: 24/11/2023
Running Time: 95mins
Country: US
Year: 2023

Quick-witted idealistic Asha lives in the magical kingdom of Rosas ruled by formidable King Magnifico. One night, the spirited teenager dares to make a wish and a ball of boundless energy called Star responds to her plea. When the future of the realm is threatened, Asha joins forces with her friends and pet goat Valentino to protect the celestial magic and rescue her stricken community from destruction.


LondonNet Film Review

Wish (U) Film Review from LondonNet

Wishing upon a star has been embedded in the creative DNA of The Walt Disney Company since 1940, when Cliff Edwards crooned as Jiminy Cricket in its second full-length animated feature, Pinocchio. Pointedly timed for release during Disney’s 100-year anniversary, Wish is an animated musical comedy that unabashedly harks back to hand-drawn fairy tales of bygone generations, reviving a widescreen ratio last used for Sleeping Beauty in 1959 and a water-coloured painterly aesthetic reminiscent of the earliest pictures…

Visual and verbal nods include a villain obsessed with mirrors (Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs), a cluster of expressive forest mushrooms (Fantasia), a foot-thumping rabbit (Bambi), a fallen star that sheds magical dust (Peter Pan) and a kind-hearted bear named John (Robin Hood). An acoustic guitar reprise after the end credits ties a neat bow on a lovingly gift-wrapped present to Disney purists. Nostalgia aside, directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn deliver a heart-warming ode to friendship and community spirit led by another spunky, independent heroine who does not require a dashing prince to validate her existence.

Oscar winner Ariana DeBose combines sweetness and steely resolve as an idealistic teenager who “cares too much” and defiantly opposes Chris Pine’s conventional villain corrupted by dark magic. He plays powerful sorcerer Magnifico, who colonises the island of Rosas in the Mediterranean Sea with wife Amaya (Angelique Cabral) to build an inclusive and diverse haven where families can flourish. As self-appointed king, Magnifico grants one subject’s heartfelt wish – stored as a wondrous glowing orb in his laboratory – at a public ceremony held every month in the castle courtyard.

Seventeen-year-old Asha (DeBose) applies to become Magnifico’s apprentice and, during the interview, learns that most of the wishes will never be fulfilled. “It is my responsibility to only grant the wishes I am sure are good for Rosas,” coolly explains Magnifico. Asha believes the denizens of Rosas, including her mother (Natasha Rothwell) and 100-year-old grandfather (Victor Garber), deserve better so she wishes on a star and an impish ball of light tumbles from the heavens. The star grants Asha’s pet goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk) the power of speech and they join forces with seven friends (with personality traits a la Snow White’s companions) to reunite unsuspecting citizens of Rosas with their stolen dreams.

Wish spends too long affectionately looking to the past to expand the horizons of 21st-century animation. Tudyk’s sassy three-week-old ruminant snags the best one-liners as the traditional comic relief. The cast soar on sweet but largely forgettable original songs composed by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice that crescendo with the tub-thumping call to arms, Knowing What I Know Now. I know now that Buck and Veerasunthorn’s film will give audiences a warm contented glow but nothing we have not seen before.

– Sarah Lee


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