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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

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The pinnacle of Falcon journalism

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Disney’s Wish falls short of a perfect anniversary gift

Courtesy of Disney
Disney’s Wish, released Nov. 22, follows a girl on a mission to save her kingdom from a corrupt king.

Wish, Disney’s ode to 100 years of fairytale filmmaking, released Nov. 22. Directors Fawn Veerasunthorn and Chris Buck orchestrated the film, aiming to convey messages of persistence, hope, and self-fulfillment. Disappointingly, Wish didn’t meet Disney’s usual reputation for magical, nostalgic movies, leaving the movie unfulfilling.

The story follows Disney’s latest not-a-princess main character, Asha (Ariana DeBose), as she faces off against the nefarious King Magnifico (Chris Pine). The king collects the wishes of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Rosas, the setting of Wish, and “keeps them safe” in his castle to later be granted. What the residents don’t know is that some of their wishes will never come true. 

Most characters are standard and unnoteworthy, but King Magnifico doesn’t follow the typical Disney formula. We watch him as he transforms from a respected, well-meaning leader into a power-hungry kleptocrat, which differs from the traditional evil villain who learns their lesson in the end.

Fortunately for the citizens of Rosas, Asha discovers the king’s secret and sets out to save the day. Disney wrote Asha’s character to have a big heart, a dash of endearing awkwardness, and a beautiful singing voice. While none of her songs are stand-alone hits, they help the plot flow and add a jaunty feel to the movie. A group of heroes determined to save their kingdom perform the catchiest song, “Knowing What I Know Now,” a power ballad featuring a drum solo for a dance break.

Unfortunately, King Magnifico’s song “This Is The Thanks I Get?!” doesn’t give as much satisfaction due to its repetitive and tiresome nature. Although Pine attempts to add emotional growls to the vocals, the anger gets lost in childish lyrics and poor humor. The song is the turning point of the King’s villainhood when he crosses the line into evil, yet nothing is formidable about the chanting verses and the monotonous chorus. This will not be joining the never-ending list of iconic Disney villain songs.

Asha and her goat, Valentino, look over the Kingdom of Rosas from atop a tree.

However, the soundtrack and villain are the only aspects of the film that stray from Disney tradition. Wish includes many crossovers from the plotlines of past Disney films, including a deer named Bambi, the blue cloak from Cinderella, and a townsperson who wishes to fly and looks very similar to Peter Pan. These hidden gems attempted to create a nostalgic feeling from Disney, but unfortunately failed. 

As for supporting characters, Asha’s group of seven friends felt excessive. Not all characters were fully developed, and most didn’t add to the plot. Many viewers speculated that this group of seven friends was a reference to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, although this reference wasn’t immediately clear. 

The beginning of the film was rushed, as the conflict unfolded too quickly; but the middle part, where characters worked to solve the conflict, felt drawn out. This, paired with a short and somewhat inconclusive ending, led to awkward pacing and an overall unenjoyable plot.

Although Wish may leave some viewers with nostalgia, it left us feeling unfulfilled and disappointed. It carried a sweet message of making personal wishes come true instead of relying on others to make it happen, but one watch was enough. With a couple of entertaining songs, but mediocre characters and unenjoyable pacing, Wish deserves 2.5/5 feathers. 

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Hava Rossiter
Hava Rossiter, Cub Arts and Entertainment Editor
Hava is a freshman in her first year of journalism. She plays field hockey and loves to listen to music. In her free time she spends time with friends, plays guitar and bakes chocolate chip cookies.
Sierra Goldberg
Sierra Goldberg, Cub Jr. Copy Editor
Sierra is a freshman in her first year of journalism. She plays soccers, loves skiing and listening to music.
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