Movie Review: Wish

I had heard next to nothing about Wish before I watched it. I knew it was the latest Disney animated movie, and I saw it was now streaming on Disney+. I was looking for something to watch with the family, and it seemed like an obvious choice, so I pressed play.

I struggle to find things that I actually liked about the movie, as it failed for me on so many different levels. But as I thought through everything, I did manage to come up with two things. First, my 11 year old daughter had a good time watching it. (Denisa, Daniela, and I all agreed with how awful it was, on the other hand.) Second, the main character would have been a good main character in a different movie. If she were surrounded by real characters, a better villain, and an actual storyline, then I don’t really think she’d need to be changed at all. Maybe.

So there. I’ve now officially said something kind of nice about the movie. (So far, the only people I’ve heard defending the movie have said it was “tolerable,” “didn’t think it was awful,” and “there are other movies I’ve hated way more.” But 2,400 people on IMDB gave it a 10/10, so it’s a good reminder that there’s something for everyone, I guess. However, I hated the movie, and I shall now tell you why:

  • The whole premise is just bizarre. There’s a wizard who takes away each person’s biggest heartfelt wish and makes them forget it, so he can store it in a wish vault for safe keeping, and randomly grant wishes here and there over the years with magic? And people hear about this and think it’s such a good idea that they all flock to his city for him to work his wish-sucking magic on them? We are told that everyone thinks this is a great idea. We are shown characters gushing about how great it is. But the whole concept sounds awful right from the get go, and it’s absolutely no shock that the wizard turns out to be an awful person. I mean, even the guy’s wife takes all of 24 hours to go from adoring him to deciding to hang him on the wall like a Christmas tree ornament.
  • Speaking of that villain, he was terrible too. He goes from misguided to absolutely evil in about a couple of seconds, and he never turns back. And why does he turn evil? Because a random teen dared to question him once. That’s it. He goes full on Maleficent over that, and we’re just supposed to kind of accept it. Whatever.
  • I didn’t realize until after the film was over that the basic conceit of the movie was “let’s make a movie that references all the other Disney movies!” The credits were rolling, and they were showing drawings of Snow White or Dumbo or Ariel, and I was confused. Yes, there had been some ham-fisted references in the movie, but I thought they’d just been poor attempts at winks at the audience. But then as I thought it over, the Hidden Mickeyfication of the film was obvious and disappointing. If you’re going to do something like that with a movie, at least make it a fun movie. Taking all the Disney movies, sticking them in a blender, and hitting puree isn’t the way to come up with a good movie. It’s just a way of highlighting how formulaic many movies can be.
  • The side characters are hot garbage. The main character has a group of seven friends, which as soon as I write that, I’m sure most of you have already seen where it’s heading, but while I was watching the movie, I never paused to actually count the friends. I just knew they were all only characters in the loosest definition of the term. They were reduced to one basic beat per character. The one who was always hiding. The one who was angry and distrusting of everyone and everything. The one who always fell asleep. The one who was just plain goofy. The one who sneezed all the . . . Oh. Yup. It’s all seven of the dwarves. Groan. It felt like the creators spent more time trying to make sure all seven ticked as many diversity boxes as possible than actually trying to make them characters. (Short? Check. Tall? Check. Thin? Check. Fat? Check. Asian? Check. Black? Check. Disability? Check. Girl? Check. Boy? Check. Someone needed to tell them they don’t win some sort of BINGO award for doing it all at once.)
  • I didn’t care for the music at all. To the point that I got out my phone and checked to see who they’d hired to do the songs. Julia Michaels, in case you were wondering. Famous for . . . writing two Billboard top 100 songs: Bieber’s “Sorry” and Selena Gomez’s “Lose You to Love Me.” Not exactly who I would have picked to do the songs for the Disney movie to reference all Disney movies. The tunes are forgettable. The rhyme scheme was forced. The rhythms and syncopations were all just meh. I love Disney music. This wasn’t Disney music.
  • The animation was an amalgam of styles, all executed poorly. It was like this mish-mash of hand-drawn and CGI that looked just plain . . . ugly. It’s what threw me out of the film right from the beginning. It just looked cheap. And now that I know this was supposed to be the meta Disney movie, it’s even more disappointing that they didn’t just go with a hand drawn film. Guess what? When you try to be every single style, you end up being nothing. Ick.

I’ve wasted enough time on this movie as it is. I should have turned it off instead of finishing it, but MC has been sick, and she seemed to be enjoying herself, so I didn’t want to make her feel bad. But do yourself a favor and avoid this if at all possible. Sure, maybe you’ll think it’s not terrible, or that there are movies you’ve hated more, but even a fairy godmother couldn’t make the odds of you liking it anything better than slim to none. 2/10, and it can thank MC I didn’t put that any lower.

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