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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Not what I wished for

Why Disney’s ‘Wish’ is a disapointment
Marina Martinez
Asha believes everyone’s wishes should be granted. Despite being told it could be dangerous, she continues believing it is a good idea.


Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might.

Have this wish I wish tonight to forget this movie ever existed.

I can’t name a bigger movie disappointment from 2023 than Disney’s “Wish.” This movie, which celebrates 100 years of Disney animation, caused Walt Disney Animation Studios to have another theatrical loss.

“Wish” follows the story of 17-year-old Asha, voiced by Ariana Debose, who lives in the magical kingdom of Rosas that is ruled by King Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine, who has the power to grant people’s wishes. Citizens of Rosas give the king their wishes when they turn 18 if they want and forget them unless they are granted. All the wishes, regardless of if he plans to grant them or not, stay protected in his castle.

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When Asha eventually learns that her family’s wishes and more will never be granted, this prompts her to fight back and help return the wishes to her family and the people of Rosas.

All Asha seems to be is another silly clumsy girl filled with “kindness,” which is all Disney seems to produce for their main female leads these days. It was fine with Rapunzel from “Tangled” but then it kept repeating with characters like Mirabel from “Encanto.” Every single one is the same: a girl who is a little too awkward to be relatable, is kind and loving but cares too much, fights for what they think is right and has some kind of dream.

I miss selfless and witty characters like Mulan. Tiana from “The Princess and the Frog” who was passionate and humble. Even Aurora from “Sleeping Beauty” who only had 18 lines of dialogue showcased her own unique and graceful personality. While Disney is improving with representation, it seems they can’t stop copying and pasting this adorkable personality.

While having this personality that is described as being loving and compassionate, her actions speak very differently. Asha frames Magnifico as a villain, even though he gives solid reasons on his methods and only starts lashing out when he feels betrayed by his people. Asha’s idea of granting everyone’s wishes is not only downright stupid. It’s extremely dangerous: What if someone had wished death, or some other grim situation on others? What if someone wished to be the most powerful being in the world? The truth of life is that not everyone is a good person and you can never trust others to hold the same morals as you. Magnifico tries to explain his reasons to Asha, but she ignores him to fulfill her own desires.

Despite supposedly being the heroine of the film, all she does is start problems due to her own selfish needs. She states repeatedly that she’s trying to save the wishes of the people of Rosas, but only started saying that once she found out her family’s wishes were never going to be granted. Instead of trying to listen to someone with more experience than her she accuses him of being a horrible person. Worst of all, she has no problem destroying a peaceful utopia because it’s what she thinks is right.

And don’t even get me started on the Easter eggs. They were at every corner, every scene, always in your face. Asha’s friend group was directly inspired by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and almost every other line was a reference from some Disney movie. And having a red-haired character dressed as Peter Pan whose name is Peter?

I honestly think they put more thought into the Easter eggs than anything else. And considering that Easter eggs are supposed to be hidden in scenes, “Wish” didn’t even try to hide them. Every single one was shoved in my face, and it got old real fast.

I was hoping the art style wasn’t as bad as the trailers, so that there would be at least one thing to enjoy. Of course, my hope was destroyed in a matter of seconds.

While I understand what they were trying to do by mixing 2D and 3D, a new animation style that has become popular since the release of “Into The Spiderverse,” the animation felt incomplete and empty in “Wish.” It still looks like a 3D movie but with one of those cartoon or anime filters on top. Even other Disney movies in full 3D animation like “Encanto” and “Frozen” feel more lively. Especially in terms of atmosphere and lighting.

It would have been better if the movie had just been completely 2D. Since it marks the 100-year anniversary of Disney, a consistent 2D style would have paid homage to the classics created in the same way.

As much as the animation bothered me, the music frustrated me even more. From the very first song to the finale, there was not a single beat or line I found enjoyable.

In what felt like a failed version of the Lin-Manuel Miranda style, the movie continues to get worse. Most of the time it felt like the songs were written by ChatGPT. The mundane and redundant lines, which had multiple grammatical errors, screamed boring and aimless. They lacked emotional appeal and personality. Overall, they made me want to pull my ears out on multiple occasions and barely added anything to the movie. This shouldn’t be the case as most songs in musicals should have some sort of conflict, but looking at the plot, there wasn’t much conflict originally to go off on.

Sadly, Disney did not recognize or seize the great potential of this movie. Instead, they played it safe and failed.

I wish Disney would realize the power of creative and original ideas in the future. And maybe one day, we’ll finally get a Disney movie that leaves us with the same magical feeling we adored in the original classics.

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