Wish Film Review: Disney’s wish is Asha’s hope

Wish is a new animated musical Disney fairly tale currently streaming on Disney Plus. Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) is Asha which means hope in Sanskrit and Swahili is the hope for the island kingdom of Rosas, in the Mediterranean Sea, is ruled by King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a sorcerer who offers sanctuary and protection. In exchange, he keeps safe each person’s wish at ceremonies granting them on special occasions.

Asha (DeBose) hopes her grandpa’s wish comes true on his 100th birthday. And in addition to working as a tour guide – she helpfully runs down everything you need to know in the flamenco-flavored “Welcome to Rosas” – she has an interview to become Magnifico’s apprentice. Rosa’s an awkward bundle of nerves, but she impresses the king, and he shows her the room containing the multitude of wishes, housed in sparkling bubbles. She sees a few, including her grandpa’s, but Magnifico becomes enraged when she inquires about granting it. He only allows wishes that will help the kingdom.

With hope, Asha wishes on a star, when a Star comes down to earth in form of a little ball of energy who is alive and animate but does not speak. Its power gives voice to a host of animals and living things – including Asha’s newly suave-talking pet goat Valentino (Alan Tudyk) – but also leads the paranoid Magnifico to use forbidden magic to counteract what he perceives as a threat.

Wish represents everyone hopes and desires which are controlled by those to rule and govern us. But Asha fights back to take back control of those wishes and dreams and inspires the energy of the citizens of Rosas to break Magnifico’s control of their wishes.

This is a very timely modern Disney animation which is set in land in middle of the Eupore and Asia. Asha is of mixed blood with North African and European heritage and citizens of Rosas are a mix of Asian, African and European heritage. So it is a story for the world and the whole family.