Walt Disney Animation Studios has released the official trailer for their upcoming fantasy musical film, Wish!
The Wish of the Century
Wish takes place in the kingdom of Rosas, where citizens bring their wishes to the ruler King Magnifico to make them come true. His apprentice Asha discovers that he only grants wishes that align with his vision of a perfect kingdom, leaving a majority of them unfulfilled. One night, Asha makes a wish that summons a bundle of energy named Star. Asha and Star must face King Magnifico and save the kingdom.
Disney Animation began development on their upcoming release in 2018 and its production was officially confirmed on January 21, 2022. On September 9, 2022, at D23 Expo, Disney Animation announced the film’s official title as well as its directors (Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn), producers (Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes), and leading voice actors (Ariana DeBose and Alan Tudyk).
Other cast members were announced, with Chris Pine as King Magnifico and Angelique Cabral as Queen Amaya. The official trailer revealed the rest of the cast: Victor Garber, Natasha Rothwell, Jennifer Kumiyama, Evan Peters, Harvey Gullién, Ramy Youssef, Niko Vargas, Della Saba, and Jon Rudnitsky. Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice wrote original songs, with David Metzger composing the score.
For the Walt Disney Company, Wish is a significant production that celebrates the studio’s 100th anniversary. Since its founding in 1923, Disney’s central theme across its numerous works is making wishes come true. From the wishing star in Pinocchio (1940) and The Princess and the Frog to the very logo of the company, Wish will feature references to past works in the Disney Animated Canon (animated feature films produced by the main studio). As Wish is a milestone celebration for the company, its visual presentation blends the traditional and CGI visual styles that brought their animation to life.
Following the commercial failures of 2022’s Lightyear and Strange World, Disney hopes to bring audiences back to theaters with a longer theatrical window for Wish. Part of the reason both 2022 films failed was confusion in the marketplace from families who were conditioned to wait for new animated releases on Disney+ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Bob Iger’s return as CEO and Bob Chapek’s firing in November 2022, the studio seeks to course-correct its marketing strategies and prioritize quality over quantity. With Elemental being a sleeper hit, earning $489.4 million against a $200 million budget over the course of three-and-a-half months, it seems that Disney’s hopes for their upcoming release is looking bright.
Accompanying the film will be the animation/live-action short Once Upon a Studio, directed by Dan Abraham and Trent Correy. The short will have its first public showing on October 15, 2023, as part of The Wonderful World of Disney: Disney’s 100th Anniversary Celebration.
Wish is coming exclusively to theaters on November 22, 2023. Are you excited for Disney’s upcoming release? How do you think Disney will build and innovate their craft moving forward? Do you think that Disney’s classic formula will continue to work with modern audiences? What do you hope for in future Disney animated films? Let us know all of your thoughts and theories on Disney and modern animation over on social media!