Over the past 100 years, Disney's stories all seem to begin with a wish: old Geppetto looks up at the sky and wishes for Pinocchio to become a real boy, Tiana gazes at the stars and dreams of owning her own restaurant, while Princess Moana dreams of a sea voyage. Disney characters are somewhat defined by their dreams. Therefore, Disney chose the theme of wishes for "Wish"- a film commemorating the 100th anniversary of the film studio.

“Wish” takes place in the kingdom of Rosas, an island in the Mediterranean ruled by King Magnifico - a sorcerer with the ability to control magic. Magnifico protects the "wishes" of the citizens, which can be understood more as hopes and desires for their lives. When a member of the kingdom turns 18, they participate in a ceremony and willingly offer their wishes to Magnifico. Asha, the protagonist, seeks to become Magnifico's apprentice out of love for her country. However, she discovers that Magnifico only fulfills wishes that align with his interests, leading Asha to challenge this system. When she expresses her desire to free everyone's wishes, a magical star-shaped orb responds. Meanwhile, Magnifico, sensing a threat to his power, becomes more ambitious.

A Safe But Lacking Plot

The main issue with "Wish" is that the filmmakers rely too much on Disney's legacy and nostalgic elements without truly creating anything new. Every detail in "Wish" is a deliberate reminder of a previously released film, often a classic. Especially with the characters, some are simply created as reminders of famous characters from previous Disney films. These include vague archetypes of Disney characters, from a sarcastic talking deer named Valentino to the main female  hero. But there's nothing to make them memorable.

The best-executed character in the film is Little Star - a cute, small magical star that always shines brightly and creates genuinely humorous and gentle moments. However, even with Little Star, it's not enough to give the film a unique identity, as both main and supporting characters lack distinction.

Asha is just a remake of the female heroes in previous Disney films: a brave girl with a big heart, a great voice, and a bit of clumsiness. The connection between Asha and other characters is quite bland and lacks depth. Initially, the relationship between Asha, her grandfather, and mother is built in a way that makes the audience feel they are very close and loving. But as the story progresses, the script simply pushes her family aside: they get on a boat and leave the island to avoid danger. Asha's family becomes unnecessary characters without affecting the story.

Another reason why the Disney film doesn't have the same impact as before is the script. "Wish" fails to bring freshness to the storytelling, often repeating itself. It seems like the filmmakers are stuck in ideas and can't find a new direction to improve the work and attract a new audience. The film is suitable for fans who have followed the brand from the early days, who want to relive the beautiful memories of childhood with "Snow White," "The Little Mermaid," "Frozen," and other classic Disney films.

The script follows a conventional and predictable path towards the ending by choosing the familiar pattern: the main character represents the good side, fights against the evil with the help of friends, and ultimately reaches a satisfying conclusion where good triumphs over evil.

The challenges the main character has to overcome are also quite simple, lacking unexpected twists that could surprise and excite viewers. This leads to an ending that is not overly satisfying, as the evil side is defeated quickly and easily.

Captivating the Audience with Disney's Signature Music and Imagery

"Wish" contains all the elements needed for a typical Disney princess musical, from catchy songs, the presence of a funny animal sidekick, to the vibrant settings of enchanted forests and majestic castles straight out of fairy tales.

A new element that Disney introduces in "Wish" is the animation style. By using a harmonious blend of classic watercolor painting style and 3D graphics technology, filmmakers want to honor the milestones of "Snow White" and "Toy Story." Directors Chris Buck (previous director of Frozen) and Fawn Veerasunthorn paint the medieval kingdom of Rosas with a beautiful watercolor landscape reminiscent of "Snow White." At the same time, they create a layering effect similar to the camera Walt Disney used to make "Snow White" 86 years ago. Some scenes with expansive backgrounds provide a truly magnificent experience for the audience: the night sky full of stars, the scene of a shooting star with a colorful light stream, the wishes in the form of crystal-like orbs, etc. The imagery of Asha making wishes under the stars especially has the distinct Disney style, becoming the highlight of the film.

The meticulousness of its imagery and sound design makes "Wish" a special gift that Disney sends to fans to celebrate the studio's 100th anniversary. Although there are areas that need improvement, the film has successfully fulfilled its mission as a magical fairy tale, bringing young audiences into a world of magic rich in humanity, where good always triumphs over evil.