Sunday 10 December 2023

REVIEW: Wish (2023 Film) - A Lackluster Attempt at Disney Magic

Review by Jon Donnis
Wish, the 2023 animated musical fantasy film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, falls disappointingly short of the enchanting storytelling and captivating magic that Disney is renowned for. Despite its promising premise, the film stumbles through a poorly written script, lackluster jokes, and a recycled feel that leaves viewers longing for the genuine Disney magic of the past.

The story revolves around Asha, a 17-year-old girl in the kingdom of Rosas, whose pursuit of uncovering the truth behind the wishes granted by King Magnifico leads to a series of lackluster events. The plot, though initially promising, suffers from rushed storytelling, an underdeveloped villainous arc, and a predictable resolution that fails to deliver the emotional impact expected from a Disney film.

One of the film's saving graces is the animation, which, at times, showcases the quality expected from Disney Animation Studios. The anthropomorphic ball of light named Star and the talking animals bring moments of charm, but these are not enough to salvage the overall lackluster experience.

The voice cast, including Ariana DeBose as Asha and Chris Pine as King Magnifico, delivers competent performances, but the characters lack depth and fail to establish a strong connection with the audience. Even the talented Alan Tudyk, voicing the talking goat Valentino, can't elevate the film beyond its uninspired script.

While there are fleeting moments of nostalgia and references to Disney classics, they serve more as reminders of past glories than as meaningful contributions to the current film. The attempts at humor consistently fall flat, leaving the audience craving the wit and charm found in Disney's earlier works.

Perhaps one of the film's biggest disappointments is its handling of the villainous arc. King Magnifico's motivations lack depth, and his descent into darkness feels forced and unconvincing. The resolution of the conflict is predictable and lacks the emotional resonance that Disney films are known for.

In conclusion, Wish struggles to capture the essence of Disney magic, offering only glimpses of what could have been a captivating tale. Despite some moments of commendable animation and nostalgic nods, the film is marred by a poorly executed plot, recycled themes, and a lack of genuine storytelling magic. It feels more like a checklist of elements designed to cater to a specific audience rather than an authentic Disney creation.

Another Disney flop. I score Wish 3 out of 10, and even that is generous.

Out now in cinemas.