Certainly an interesting world (if someone tried to do something with it)
Wish it away...
Disney needs to take a break
Like Disney across the board needs to chill a little--meeting KPIs make not a good movie/series
Between its acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox, Disney’s presence in theatres has become more than just a fixture. Nevertheless, its distinctive style and boundary-pushing nature of storytelling and animation has kept Disney’s animated movies ahead of the curve.
And then there’s Wish.
Disney is currently celebrating its 100th year. And along with projects such as the Immersive Disney Animation exhibition, or the hundred other things that’ve been sprayed across the big screens and the small screens (and the smaller screens), it’s been a pretty full year.
Sadly, in all the hustle to celebrate their legacy, much of the actual magic seem to have been lost. While it can be blamed on superhero fatigue, or overproduction, or simply too much content, the true reason seems to just be that Disney, and its brands, seem to be incapable of creating new content without being plagued by a need to be self-referential.
While Wish, as a standalone, suffers from its own idiosyncrasies and script issues, its flaws are all the more pronounced when more time is spent on Easter eggs and cute cameos than actually developing its antagonist beyond a singular dimension of expository villainy. This is especially detrimental when the main character is assigned not one, not two, not even three, but SEVEN friends for the simple sake of serving as references to the seven dwarfs from–oh well, you know from where.
Unfortunately, these needless self-celebratory moments come at the cost of any actual quality.
While all the voice acting and humour, even, are on point, the character development across all the characters leave much to be desired. With the entire sequence of events shoved into the space of a narration or two, and across a couple of days, there is very little space for any proper narrative building.
Essentially, the entire movie carries the storytelling depth of a Disney firework show… if the fireworks were just all regular lighting projected onto a screen simulating the night sky. Even the music, with an exception of a song or two, will probably be left behind in the relatively scarce list of forgettable Disney numbers–not a very common occurrence in this age of Frozen and Encanto.
Chris Pine and Ariana DeBose’s performances do most of the heavy-lifting, but with little to no emotional anchors, or actual reasons to root for the characters (aside from the usual “just ‘cause”), no amount of starpower can save the movie. It’s efficiently designed for those who’re satiated by the act of associating any experience with the Disney brand, much like anyone who would consider wearing an Adidas t-shirt equal to an intense session of exercise.
Fundamentally, Wish is an easy skip for the theatres, not even carrying the feeble, action-driven justification movies like The Marvels use to draw their audience to theatres. It’ll only be a matter of time it hits Disney+ anyways, so… yay?
Wish is out in all theatres on 23rd November and has one post-credit scene (that has nothing to do with anyone joining any superhero teams).