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‘WISH’: Disney’s newest streaming release falls FLAT

By Summer Lane

Photo: Deposit

You may have rushed to the theaters to see Disney’s centennial celebration film, “Wish,” last November, but for many, the first time that they’re watching the animated movie is on Disney Plus, where it was just recently released for streaming.

My daughter and I were both in the latter group, and we settled down last weekend to take in what I was hoping would be a breath of fresh air in the movie market – because it’s been a long time since Disney released a refreshing, classic, and magical movie for kids.

Having grown up with classics like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Toy Story,” today’s films have fallen woefully flat after John Lasseter’s departure from the House of Mouse, and what has ensued has been a chaotic swirl of weak storylines and “woke” Easter eggs.

Still, I like to be optimistic, so my five-year-old and I gave “Wish” a chance – and it was a chance that I wish I could take back.

The good

“Wish” follows the story of a 17-year-old girl named Asha who lives on an enchanted island called Rosas. The kingdom is ruled by a powerful sorcerer named “Magnifico” who apparently stores everyone’s deepest wishes in a tall tower in the center of the town. Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, it becomes clear that Magnifico is the villain of the film because he has no intention of ever granting anyone’s wishes – which means the people of Rosas will permanently forget their wishes.

The good elements of the film are centered on Asha’s love for her family, and her friends, and her steadfast devotion to protecting the people of Rosas. The animation is, at times, charming. It’s nice to see Asha band together with her friends to help save her kingdom, and it is also interesting to see her do it without a love interest – although that may have also made the film weaker (more on that later).

The songs are upbeat enough to keep little kids entertained in the moment.

The bad

“Wish” is not a wildly inappropriate movie – in fact, it’s very vanilla. There is no sexual innuendo, no bad language, and no over-the-top terrifying moments. There are a few things that might be scary for really young viewers (related to the evil king’s sorcery), but compared to other Disney films, this one plays like a direct-to-DVD release. It’s like Disney-lite, in that there is indeed magic worked into the plot, but it fades into the background amidst a dreary, uninspired plot and bad music.

I’ve heard some people theorize that this film was written by AI’s ChatGPT (a joke, but still), and that sounds about right. The main character, Asha, has no motivation. She just decides, arbitrarily, to challenge the king and steal her mother and grandfather’s wishes back. This drives the king to use extreme “dark” magic to get revenge on her…or something like that.

Because Asha isn’t driven by any deep love interest or personal goals (other than “getting those wishes!”), the plot seems languid. It lacks tension, character development, and suspense.

The songs, in my opinion, are perhaps the worst that I have ever seen Disney produce. There are a couple of songs that are almost catchy, but the lyrics do sound like they were written by an AI chatbot. My daughter struggled to understand what the characters were singing because they were, at times, almost “talking” the lyrics instead of belting them. Confusing for kids – and for me!

Nothing memorable stands out in the film. It reminded me of a low-budget cartoon that you might get from Netflix: okay to look at, but the plot is thin and the production value just isn’t there.

For Disney’s 100th anniversary film, this was a dismal disappointment. They tried to work Easter eggs into the film that hearkened back to the past 100 years of animation (Snow White’s wishing well, Peter Pan, etc.), but all it did was remind me of how GREAT Disney movies USED to be compared to what I was currently watching.


The movie, for kids, is safe. If you are uncomfortable with your children watching movies with any kind of magic or sorcery elements, then I ask: why are you watching a Disney movie in the first place? (I kid! Kind of!)

If the magical elements don’t bug you too much (they are very mild), then it’s safe for kids to watch – but it will never measure up to classics like “Little Mermaid” or “Tarzan.” The storytelling, music, art, and talent just aren’t there, and that’s sad. Disney could do so much more – and they just keep serving up one flop after another.






The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team. This specific article was written by Summer Lane, and may not be reproduced, except to quote for reviews or interviews, without the express permission of the author. 



Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. She is the Associate Editor for Right Side Broadcasting Network. Additionally, she owns Write Revolution News, where she provides a rapid-fire feed of the nation’s most important America First news and events.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats and ducks, and reading fiction. She is passionate about writing on women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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