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The Student News Site of St. Charles North High School


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Disney’s new “Wish” will have you wishing for more

Evie Wada
Asha from “Wish”.

Disney’s new movie, “Wish,” released in theaters on Nov. 22. The story follows a young female protagonist named Asha who lives in the city of Rosas and must stop the male antagonist Magnifico, who rules Rosas and keeps wishes from the people. Asha wishes on a star for something more than the life she lives in Rosas. This proves that wishing on a star is more powerful than with Magnifico’s magic. The star comes down to Earth; Star is magical and mischievous, making animals talk and making mischief everywhere it goes. With the help of Asha’s friends, Queen Amaya, and the people, Asha tries to stop Magnifico from keeping everyone’s wishes in his possession. The story is cute, and it greatly reflects what Disney is all about. 

The movie only made $31.7 million in the box office opening week with a budget of over $50 million. Many Disney fans appreciated the familiarity of a good old Disney classic, but this formula that Disney uses is getting worn out. Asha’s personality is kind, and clumsy and she is determined to follow her hopes and dreams. When viewing the movie, Asha immediately reminds the audience of Anna from Frozen, Rapunzel from Tangled and Mirabel from Encanto. All of these characters have this awkward, quirky nature that they share. This being Asha clumsily walking around Rosas, bumping into things, being fiddly and nervous and second-guessing herself; this is easily seen in many female protagonists. 

In addition to this repeating formula, Asha must have an animal companion to which she sings to. For example, Rapunzel with Pascal, Moana with Hei Hei, Ariel and Flounder, Cinderella and her mice, the list goes on and on. While this movie writing technique worked in the past, this formula is getting annoying and Disney fans are longing for a newer original story, with fun, multiple contrasting characters having creative personalities. “Wish” isn’t an exception to this request.

The seven songs in the film, which were written by Julia Michaels, were fun and enjoyable. But sadly, none of them stuck with me. The next day after watching the film, I couldn’t remember any of the songs. Even Asha’s songs were basic and very Disney standard, with a lack of originality. Unfortunately, I honestly don’t have much of an opinion on the songs because they barely made an impact on me. They weren’t memorable at all, which won’t help boost the movie’s popularity.

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The animation of the movie was supposed to be different from the same 3D animation Disney continues to use, as seen in Frozen, Encanto, Tangled, Moana, and more. The art style was made to be more painterly with a mix of watercolor art as well as the common 3D design Disney overuses. While this new approach to the whole look of the movie was a good idea, there wasn’t as much of a difference compared to other productions. The characters and the colors used for them looked dry, which can sometimes be a pretty art approach, but if an entire movie is done this way, the art style won’t be as effective as an actual art piece done this way. At times, the artwork looked “half-finished” and sometimes even unfinished. 

Fortunately, there were certain scenes where the artwork was beautiful and very well done. An example of this is when Asha sings to the beautiful starry sky over the watercolor town. This created an aesthetic, pretty Disney image that draws your attention to the movie. Yet, the problem I see with the art style is that the amount of time and detail put into the art needs to be consistent with all the scenes in the movie, rather than only have the aesthetic scenes of the sky and detailed character zoom-ins have the extra “glam.” The rest of the scenes led the audience to believe the animators were running out of time for their deadline and went “Oh well! It’ll be fine … submit!” 

The plot of the movie itself was standard. I enjoyed the idea of the movie itself, but I wish the movie would have been longer. The duration of an hour and thirty-five minutes seemed short and some aspects of the movie felt rushed. This caused the movie and the characters themselves to lose time to develop complexity and certain traits that differentiate them from typical characters and common Disney expectations. 

While these facts led the production to seem dry and straightforward, there are theories of how the movie is a whole Disney prequel to all classic Disney movies like Pinocchio and Cinderella. The theories claim that Star in Wish is the same star that Pinocchio wishes on to become a real boy, and when Cinderella wishes on a star to go to the ball. These theories make a lot of sense, and they definitely make the motion picture more interesting. Along with the cameos of Peter Pan at the end of the movie, a townsperson sewing Sleeping Beauty’s dress as her wish, and especially the ending scene with Asha’s grandpa playing “When You Wish Upon a Star” on his banjo, these cameos support their theories.

Other than the added interest regarding theories, the whole movie relies on only a few characters with a basic plot. Disney’s cameos mixed in with their common morals were the only notions that boosted up the story’s quality and complexity. This is evident to see, especially in the credits where most of Disney’s classic and favorite characters are seen, instead of actual characters from the movie. While this is magical, nostalgic and gives that warm Disney feeling, it sadly shows Disney’s desperate attempt to try to get this movie to where other movies are now, by using their past characters in an attempt to connect the movie to their past big hits. 

Consequently, “Wish” isn’t the type of movie that is memorable. Of course, Disney isn’t expected to always make major movie hits. But just like Strange World, The Marvels and many others, “Wish” is just another production that joined the group of forgettable, mediocre films. “Wish” had a lot of potential that Disney missed out on.  With that in mind, Disney’s got to up their game, because these movies aren’t going to help the company. Disney needs fresh ideas, new characters and memorable hit songs. Otherwise, they are on their way to make low-budget live-action remakes, sequels, and Toy Story #87s for the rest of their time on the big screen.

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About the Contributors
Brianna DeWert
Brianna DeWert, Staff Writer/ Media Team
Brianna is a staff writer and member of the media team for the Stargazer. She is a Freshman and this is her first year on staff. Brianna engages in student journalism because she loves to draw and write, and she enjoys the ability to share her work while informing people about topics connected to the school.
Evie Wada
Evie Wada, Media Team
Evie Wada is a staff artist for the Stargazer. She is a Freshman and this is her first year on staff.

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