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Intended as a celebration of 100 years of Disney magic Wish instead plays out as a soulless, uninspired rethread with not a memorable song in sight and burdened by an off-putting animated style.

If Disney animation was trying to quell the idea that corporate algorithms have overtaken genuine talent and innovation, Wish is not the film to prove it. One could even call the film an unmitigated disaster.

The first of the picture’s many problems is a story that tries to weave in themes, characters and morals from Disney’s storied past but merely highlights how familiar and bland this type of storytelling quickly becomes if there’s no grand design behind it.

The same goes for the songs – often the thing that makes Disney pictures endure. In Wish there isn’t a single ditty that that you’ll be humming any time soon, while the songs also stop the little momentum the movie sporadically has dead in its tracks.

Even the one big innovation Wish utilises backfires spectacularly. The animators intend a hybrid between CGI and hand-drawn animation with a texture that feels like it’s jumped straight from the pages of an expensive storybook yet they only achieve a stilted style that feels weird from the first second to the last.

Audiences and critics dismissed Wish in droves when it hit cinemas at the end of 2023 and I fully side with them. For the company’s 100th anniversary Disney deserved something magical, not a film that contains not even a single creative spark.

release: 2023

director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn

starring: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Evan Peters


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