Original title:Wish
Director:Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Running time:92 minutes
Release date:22 november 2023
Asha, a quick-witted 17-year-old devoted to her loved ones, lives in Rosas, a kingdom where all Asha et la bonne ├ętoile (Wish) wishes can be granted. In a moment of desperation, she makes a wish to Asha and the Good Star, which is granted by a cosmic force: a small ball of infinite energy named Star. Together, Star and Asha face their most formidable enemy and prove that a determined person's Asha and the Good Star wish, combined with the magic of the stars, can produce miracles....

Mulder's Review

Disney's monumental 100th anniversary celebration takes an unexpected turn with Wish, a film that ambitiously attempts to reunite classic Disney characters for a magical tale, but ultimately fails in its execution. Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, Wish presents a visually uninspiring tale that struggles with an identity crisis, torn between adhering to the classic Disney fairy tale formula and integrating contemporary elements.

One of the film's first challenges lies in its artistic style - a fusion of 2D and CG animation that attempts to depict the Mediterranean kingdom of Rosas. Despite the rich cultural inspirations, the animation fails to convey the dynamism of a diverse and thriving community, rendering Rosas strangely inanimate on screen. The result is a missed opportunity to create a visually captivating backdrop for the characters and story.

The plot centers on the sorcerer Magnifico and his control over his subjects' wishes, introducing an allegorical theme of powerful figures manipulating the dreams of the lower classes. However, this promising social commentary is overshadowed by talking animals, attempts at humor and forgettable Disney songs. Although the protagonist, Asha, played by Ariana DeBose, breathes some vitality into the film with her powerful vocals, the story lacks the depth and emotional resonance found in Disney classics of the past.

Wish is plagued by an identity crisis, unsure whether to fully embrace the classic Disney fairy tale formula or incorporate modern elements. This indecision results in a film that seems stuck between two eras, with generic characters and an overabundance of talking animals that add little to the overall narrative. The film's attempt to pay homage to Disney history, incorporating elements reminiscent of the Disney Renaissance, fails in both narrative and ambition.

While there are glimpses of potential, such as the lush moonlit backgrounds and the exploration of the consequences of wish manipulation, Wish lacks the conviction to make these elements shine. The script fails to deliver a compelling story, leaving audiences with a forgettable entry in Disney's vast catalog of cartoons. As a commemoration of Disney's 100th anniversary, Wish misses the mark, failing to capture the magic and emotional depth that defined the studio's most beloved classics.

Ariana DeBose's portrayal of Asha is one of the film's highlights, with her powerful vocals in the landmark song This Wish providing some memorable moments. However, even her impressive performance fails to elevate the film above its flaws. The film's identity crisis, combined with a lackluster narrative, results in a lukewarm, uninteresting viewing experience.

Wish reminds us that not every attempt to blend the old with the new in Disney's vast legacy results in a magical experience. As the studio enters its second century, it remains to be seen whether its future endeavors will succeed in recapturing the enchantment that defined its golden age, or whether they will continue to struggle with the challenges of navigating a rapidly changing cinematic landscape.

Directed by Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Screenplay by Jennifer Lee, Allison Moore
Story by Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn, Allison Moore
Produced by Peter Del Vecho, Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones
Starring Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Harvey Guillén, Evan Peters, Ramy Youssef, Jon Rudnitsky
Cinematography : Rob Dressel (layout), Adolph Lusinsky (lighting)
Edited by Jeff Draheim
Music by Dave Metzger (score), Julia Michaels (songs) Benjamin Rice (songs)
Production companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release dates : November 8, 2023 (El Capitan Theatre), November 22, 2023 (United States), November 29, 2023 (France)
Running time : 92 minutes

Viewed November 1, 2023 at Publicis Cinémas, Room 1

Mulder's Mark: