WISH Review

This is the one you guys decided to have it out with, huh? The completely inoffensive, abundantly charming homage to Disney Animation Studios’ one-hundred-year history that also means to continue to push the boundaries of what constitutes a Disney princess further? I'm convinced there is a small (yet loud) and clearly influential sect of the internet whose entire purpose is to get as ahead of the narrative as possible and establish whatever direction they'd like to sway public opinion toward just to see if it sticks. For some reason, Wish was immediately dubbed lazy and unoriginal by hordes of people on TikTok (a format for micro shorts and ads) who picked apart the first clips of songs released from the film for no other reason than to say they supposedly weren't as good as songs from two years ago made for movies with different tones and objectives than this one.  

So, first, in the context of the film each and every song here works as intended which is to say, really well, with "Knowing What I Know Now" being a certified banger in the vein of classics such as "I'll Make a Man Out of You" and "I've Got a Dream". Further, the titular track of "This Wish" would be a standard Disney classic circa any other time in history. It, along with the whole of the story that doesn't stray far from your standard fairy tale pillars (young girl experiences longing and/or ambition and, in a manner of speaking, absolves the kingdom in which she lives from an evil sorcerer), are majestically rendered through a combination of the animation style and the style of that aforementioned music. The animation is in and of itself a combination of 2D watercolor background paintings (a homage to classic films dating all the way back to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and cutting-edge CG that emphasizes the hand drawn look that ultimately creates both a very modern and very retro aesthetic simultaneously.

Asha (voice of Ariana DeBose) is taken aback by her goat Valentino's new skill.
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I guess if you didn't know going in that this was intended to be a self-conscious kind of reflection on the Disney legacy with easter eggs abounding referencing where we've been while looking forward to where things can go, this might feel a little regressive, but the level at which the homage is executed is so masterful and core idea still solid enough that absolutely none of the vitriol this thing has encountered is actually, at any level, warranted. Beyond the standard Disney princess archetypes, the film is clever in its phrasing of how we - especially the intended audience for the film - shouldn't allow people to control our hopes and ambitions. Ariana DeBose's Asha immediately recognizes the insidious nature of Chris Pine's Magnifico and how he is using suppression through the guise of protection to serve his own purposes. She's young and inexperienced and self-aware enough to know as much, but she also knows in her gut that the way in which Magnifico has secretly been running his kingdom is inherently wrong and that she must do something about it. Compelling! 

A perfectly respectable, even honorable message as conveyed through a pastel-tinged palette and committed performances from both DeBose and Pine plus Alan Tudyk as a scene-stealing talking goat named Valentino? Like, what more do you want from a Disney holiday treat? I don't even know that I necessarily loved the film and this reaction is no doubt exactly that as I allowed the bad word of mouth and poor box office performance to taint my expectations yet found myself completely wrapped up in the story, enjoying the songs, and appreciating the smiles, laughs, and covered eyes of my children as they encountered all the sweet, funny, and tense moments the movie had to offer. No, it's not top of the line Disney, but it certainly isn't the burning pile of trash so many have implied. Find some fucking nuance, you bike handles.

1 comment:

  1. Durante il silenzio (calma), ascolta l'oceano.
    Tutto è esattamente come https://casacinema.pics nei film.