ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

KSL Movie Show review: Disney’s “Wish” is a positive throwback

Nov 21, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 3:08 pm

Image of KSL Movie Show Review's "Wish" movie review....

KSL Move Show co-host Steve Salles says Disney's Wish" is just what the doctor ordered. (KSL NewsRadio)

(KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — I am more convinced than ever, that going into a movie with an open mind and heart has as much to do with your enjoyment of a film as the film itself.

I just experienced that with “Wish,” a Disney animated feature that felt like a throwback to an earlier, simpler time. In other words, a time when the Mouse House produced quality movies that the whole family could enjoy. When it offered catchy songs, compelling characters, cool action, and a basic message.

So for its hundredth anniversary, Disney went old school. Turns out, I was ready for exactly that – the idea of making dreams come true.

Conquering King Magnifico’s control 

In earlier times, an island in the Mediterranean became the Kingdom of Rosas. It was created by King Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine) and his Queen wife Amaya (Angelique Cabral) to be a sanctuary filled with peace and harmony. But those feelings come at a price.

Through magic and sorcery, King Magnifico would store the dreams and wishes of his citizenry on their 18th birthday. But he would only grant one wish a month to a deserving resident, that he alone would approve.

Seventeen-year-old Asha (Ariana DeBose) is an exuberant tour guide of the castle grounds to visitors from afar. She hopes to become the King’s assistant, a prestigious position granted to only a select few.

But during her interview with Magnifico, she realizes that he has a special room in the castle filled with the bubble wishes of the people. She decides it’s wrong for the King to have so much power as to control his citizen’s hopes and dreams.

So, she says so. And obviously does not get the job.

Love for another, and other tributes from Disney’s movie past 

But now her own bubble is about to burst, as she has one last hope that her 100-year-old grandfather Sabino (Victor Garber) will be granted his wish at this month’s ceremony. He’s certainly a crowd favorite. All bets are riding on him to become a cherished troubadour, spreading music and joy throughout the land.

Yeah, sorry, Magnifico thinks it’s dangerous to allow some old dude to possibly sing negatively as to how the kingdom is run (just think Bob Dylan only younger). He not only denies the wish, but crushes it.

Well, now it’s on, as Asha decides to make her own wish upon a star, with the help of a handful of friends that I embarrassingly did not realize was a tribute to another classic Disney group.

There are more than a few Easter eggs scattered throughout. Enjoy the discovery, as I obviously missed out on until after the film.

But all that did was magnify my enjoyment of what I thought was a fully enchanting cinematic experience. I did have a couple of issues, as to how some of the characters were dealt with, but not enough dilute my joy to the point where I told the Studio Rep. Ange awaiting comment afterwards, “Welcome home, Disney. Where have you been?”

WISH (A-) Rated PG for thematic elements and mild action. Starring the voices of Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, Angelique Cabral, and Victor Garber. Directed by Chris Buck “Frozen” “Tarzan”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn in her directorial debut. Filmed at Walt Disney Animation Studios. 95 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: Disney’s “Wish” is a positive throwback