The release of Wish marks a significant occasion, as Walt Disney celebrates its centennial anniversary. The company's journey began on October 16, 1923, when Walt Disney and his brother Roy founded Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio with a contract for six Alice Comedies. Since then, the Disney franchise has experienced remarkable growth, producing over 1,200 movies and TV shows, acquiring entities like Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, and establishing six Disney resorts worldwide. Their movies have consistently achieved great success; for instance, Frozen II grossed $1,450,026,933 at the box office, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of all time.
To commemorate their centennial, Disney chose to explore a recurring theme in their films – wishes coming true. Wish takes place between the 13th and 14th centuries in the Kingdom of Rosas, an island in the Mediterranean Sea. The narrative centers on King Magnifico, who wields sorcery and can take and grant his subjects' desires. Each person gives Magnifico a wish and gives up their memory of their wish to protect it, and monthly, King Magnifico selects one wish to fulfill. However, the protagonist, Asha, an aspiring apprentice of Magnifico, discovers that the king does not plan to grant all the wishes or return them to their owners. This leads to Asha then making a wish on a star which then falls from the sky to answer her wish.
Initially, Disney planned for the movie to be animated in the style of traditional 2D as a way to honor their past. However, they later opted for a blend of watercolor illustration and CGI animation, a decision met with criticism from viewers who preferred the original style. Similarly, the movie's musical style has been scrutinized, with some perceiving it as a departure from Disney's better villain songs. Many people are comparing the classics like “Mother Knows Best” and “Hellfire”, with King Magnifico's song “This is the Thanks I Get”, to support their claim that in choosing basic pop songs, Disney is putting in less effort and playing it safe. Development of the movie began in 2018, but it was not publicly announced until 2022. The movie came out in theaters on November 22, 2023, and will likely be on Disney+ after. Despite the movie being set up for success with popular actors like Chris Pine, and directors who worked on Frozen, Wish did not perform well, earning 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. That being said, many people have enjoyed this movie and readers should make their own decisions regarding the movie.