This November, Walt Disney Animation Studios will release its 62nd animated feature film, ‘Wish,’ in celebration of the studio’s historic 100th anniversary. Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn and produced by Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes, ‘Wish’ promises to be a magical musical adventure for the whole family.
The Story and Setting
‘Wish’ introduces us to the kingdom of Rosas, a fairy tale land nestled in the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula. Here, the townspeople’s wishes are collected by their ruler, King Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine). Magnifico has the power to make wishes come true but rarely does so. Enter our plucky heroine Asha (voiced by Ariana DeBose), a smart and optimistic 17-year-old girl.
Asha senses darkness lurking in the kingdom and makes a wish upon a star to help save her home. Her wish is answered in the form of a sparkling ball of cosmic energy named Star. Together, Asha and Star set out on a musical adventure to confront Magnifico and prove that courage and determination can make dreams come true.
Along the way, they befriend a hilarious talking goat named Valentino (Alan Tudyk) and meet an endearing cast of supporting characters like Asha’s grandfather Sabino (Victor Garber), and her best friend Dahlia (Jennifer Kumiyama). Asha and her friends must band together to take down Magnifico and restore hope to the kingdom of Rosas.
As an animated musical, ‘Wish’ features original songs written by acclaimed artists Julia Michaels and Ian Kirkpatrick. The soundtrack blends Michaels’ signature pop style with classic Disney musical theatre. The trailer gives us a preview of the upbeat and inspiring song “This Wish,” performed by Ariana DeBose. We can expect more inspirational anthems as well as fun character numbers as the movie unfolds. Fans are already eagerly anticipating the soundtrack based on this first song alone.
‘Wish’ utilizes a unique hybrid of animation styles, blending 2D and 3D techniques. The characters and environments are rendered in 3D CGI but textured with a 2D watercolor look inspired by Disney’s earliest films like ‘Snow White’ and ‘Pinocchio.’The result is a visually stunning fairy tale world that feels both classic and innovative.
Sweeping camera movements and fantastical lighting effects are made possible by 3D technology. This allows the artists to capture grand vistas of the kingdom of Rosas. At the same time, the 2D watercolor textures give ‘Wish’ a timeless storybook feel.
As Disney’s 100th animated feature, ‘Wish’ pays homage to the studio’s legacy in several ways. The wishing star character is a reference to the iconic “When You Wish Upon a Star” from ‘Pinocchio.’ Asha’s animal sidekick Valentino winks at Disney favorites like Pascal from ‘Tangled.’And the message of holding onto your dreams hearkens back to classics like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Little Mermaid.’ But the film also stands on its own with a fresh story, captivating visuals, and new music.
For directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, ‘Wish’ represents a passing of the torch. Buck is a Disney veteran who helmed ‘Frozen’ and ‘Tarzan,’ while Veerasunthorn makes her feature directorial debut after working on ‘Raya and the Last Dragon.’The collaboration of seasoned and new talent parallels the melding of old and new animation techniques. ‘Wish’ builds on the studio’s legacy while looking ahead to the future.
Why Fans Are Excited
Disney fans have been eagerly anticipating ‘Wish’ ever since it was announced at the 2022 D23 Expo. Several elements have viewers enthralled:
- The unique animation style that brings 2D and 3D together
- Ariana DeBose leading an impressive voice cast
- New original music written by Julia Michaels
- Chris Buck returning to direct after ‘Frozen’
- The story’s ties to classic Disney films and songs
Devotees of Disney Animation recognize that ‘Wish’ is something special. It pushes the artistic boundaries of CG animation while celebrating the studio’s hand-drawn roots. And it taps into the nostalgia and magic that Disney is known and loved for. ‘Wish’ may just grant the wishes of longtime fans and inspire a new generation.
When You Can See It
Mark your calendars for November 22, 2023. That’s when ‘Wish’ releases in theaters just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Experience the magic, music, and adventure on the big screen with your family and friends. Disney’s ‘Wish’ has all the makings of an instant animated classic. With stunning visuals, catchy songs, and a story filled with heart, ‘Wish’ is the perfect way for Disney Animation to celebrate 100 years of movie magic. Keep an eye out for this sure-to-be heartwarming musical fantasy.
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