When You Wish Upon A Star | Entertainment

When You Wish Upon A Star | Entertainment


95 minutes | Rated PG

Disney Animation Studios “Wish” has been recently released to streaming services and home video. The film mixes today’s computer animation with the more traditional watercolor animation of early Disney classics such as “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty.” The result is visually spectacular and proves another fine addition to the long list of great animated films produced by Disney. The film also features several nods to many of the classic Disney animated films.

Ariana DeBose provides the voice of Asha, an idealistic 17-year-old girl in the Kingdom of Rosas. Victor Garber provides the voice of her Saba Sabino who is turning 100. Chris Pine is the voice of King Magnifico who founded the kingdom many years ago to protect the wishes of its residents until he chooses to grant them. Alan Tudyk is the voice of Valentino, a young goat who accompanies Asha on her adventure.  

The film opens with the traditional storybook opening of many Disney animated films telling the tale of how Magnifico became a sorcerer following a family tragedy. He uses his powers to found the Kingdom of Rosas where upon turning 18 residents must give up their wish to him without regret. They will then live a life of peace within the kingdom. Magnifico occasionally announces a “Wish Ceremony” where he selects a resident and grants their wish.

Asha acts as a tour guide for the kingdom. As the film begins she is excited about being chosen for an interview to be Magnifico’s new apprentice. She hopes that she can influence Magnifico to grant the wish of her Saba Sabino who has been waiting for years.

Magnifico shows her the room where he keeps the wishes. He looks at Saba’s wish and deems it “too dangerous.” Saba wishes only to do “something to inspire the next generation.”

Asha does not see how this could be dangerous, and believes that Magnifico should return the wishes to the people and let them pursue the wishes. If any of the wishes are dangerous then that person can be stopped.

That night, Asha makes a wish on a star. After making her wish, a star appears and gives Valentino the goat and other woodland creatures the ability to speak. She requests the aid of the star in returning the wishes to her family and the people.

Meanwhile the residents noticed the wondrous light from Asha’s encounter with the star and are curious about the warm and pleasant feeling it brought them. Magnifico also notices it and considers it a threat to his power. He begins using a book of forbidden magic to maintain his control over the kingdom.

“Wish” is another fine addition to the ever growing list of animated classics from Disney. Time will tell if it will be held in the same regard as masterpieces such as “Fantasia” and “Snow White,” but the animation looks spectacular.  

The story is well told, with a villain who begins as a sympathetic character, and turns darker and darker as the film progresses. There are also bits of humor sprinkled throughout the film as well as nods to several Disney classics. For example Asha’s friends bear a slight resemblance to a certain septet of characters from an early Disney animation classic.

“Wish” is rated PG for action and some mildly frightening imagery. It should be fine for most viewers, with the exception of any youngsters who are easily frightened. I rate “Wish” three out of five singing chickens.

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