Home » Entertainment » New in the cinema: Disney film “Wish”: What is a person without their dreams?

New in the cinema: Disney film “Wish”: What is a person without their dreams?

In “Wish,” the teenager Asha experiences a classic heroine’s journey. This year’s Disney Christmas film is a self-referential potpourri that touches on today’s populism. But can the new film from the fairy tale factory convince young and old?

Martin Schwickert

November 29, 2023 – 2:02 p.m

When Walt Disney and his brother Roy opened an animation company in their uncle’s garage 100 years ago to teach a certain Mickey Mouse to walk, it was the foundation for a company that would have a lasting impact on animation, Hollywood and global pop culture. The portfolio of Disney works ranges from the first full-length animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937) to “Cinderella” (1950) to “The Lion King” (1994) and “Frozen” (2013). young generation of viewers after another.

Most of the dreams of the good subordinates are shattered

One of the company’s rituals is to present a new animated film every few years at Christmas time.

The pressure of expectations for the company anniversary is correspondingly high, and this is clearly evident in this year’s Advent production “Wish”. The directing duo Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn do not rely on the global fairy tale collection as usual, but rather rely on an original story that is enriched with references to Disney film history.

The Kingdom of Rosas is ruled by its ruler Magnifico with an unusual concept of power. The skilled wizard offers the residents protection and material livelihood. The prerequisite is that they give the magician their life’s dream, which he promises to keep safe in glass balls under the ceiling of his palace. Several times a year the ruler chooses a dream and uses his magical powers to make it come true. The promise of potential dream fulfillment attracts people from all over the world to Rosas, but after becoming naturalized they can no longer remember their dreams. And so the island is populated with people who are happy with their lives, but also feel a certain unambitious emptiness within themselves. Because what is a person without their dreams? The question is asked by bright 17-year-old Asha, who looks behind the king’s machinations. The magician only chooses dreams for his shows that do not pose a threat to his position of power. The majority of good subjects don’t have the slightest chance of fulfilling their dreams. After this outrageous realization, Asha does what all Disney heroines do in such a situation: She runs up a hill with her hair flying and belts out a powerful song towards the sky. And lo and behold, a star falls from the firmament, which from then on supports Asha with its magical powers. With the help of the friendly celestial body and a handful of loyal friends, the girl starts a rebellion on Rosas to free the dreams.

The melange concept doesn’t work

This anniversary film is unusually critical of the monarchy, in which a tangible revolution is launched against the autocrat. With the metaphor of dreams that are left to the ruler in good faith, “Wish” touches on a social trait of our populist era, in which more and more people long to hand over responsibility to a strong man with (empty) promises. As clearly as the metaphorical message is formulated, the story doesn’t really go into depth with relatively simple conflict resolutions. Because Disney veteran Buck and debut director Veerasunthorn are too busy connecting their film with the company’s hundred-year history. It’s amusing when the narcissistic ruler says “Mirror, mirror on the wall” and delights in his own face, but too often it tends towards potpourri: here a Peter Pan, there an adult Bambi deer and lots of talking animals.

Especially from a visual point of view, the melange concept does not work, as it cannot combine classic watercolor backdrops, 2D and 3D animations into a coherent work of art. The great Disney works such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Lion King” or, most recently, the Latino spectacle “Encanto” thrive on the fact that they are dedicated to a specific world and culture. “Wish” cannot develop this power of fascination. The anniversary film seems like a dazzling birthday cake that lacks its own flavor.

„Wish“ Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, 95 minutes, no age restriction, opens this Thursday

2023-11-29 13:20:58
#cinema #Disney #film #person #dreams

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