Disney has been pretty tight-lipped when it comes to their Animation Studio’s 100th Anniversary film, Wish. So far, we know casting, a casual premise, and that’s really it. So, when I was invited to attend a press event for the film I was an immediate yes!
The film is a nod to 100 Years of Disney Animation. So, writer Jennifer Lee (Frozen), along with Directors Chris Buck (Frozen) & Fawn Veerasunthorn (Raya and the Last Dragon) were tasked with creating something original, but also nostalgic. So, expect everything we love from over the years from talking animals to all the easter eggs.
Wish invites us to the fictional Kingdom of Rosas which is ruled by King Magnifico (Chris Pine). Here Magnifico uses magic in order to harness and grant his subjects ultimate wishes. This is also where we meet Asha (Academy Award Winner Ariana DeBose). Asha hopes to be Magnifico’s apprentice. That is until she learns of his true intentions.
LETS TALK ABOUT THE ANIMATION OF WISH
During the presentation, I was able to watch multiple musical numbers, as well as over 20 minutes of footage. I am so impressed by how stunning Wish looks! The goal of the animators and directors was to combine the CGI look of previous films like Frozen and Moana with the original hand-drawn animation style of the past.
The setting for the Kingdom of Rosas is somewhere during Medieval Time, somewhere in the Mediterranean area. So, when building the world you can absolutely see all the influence taken from the previous films from the watercolor world of Snow White, and the groundbreaking look of my favorite Disney Animation, Sleeping Beauty.
BRINGING TOGETHER 3D AND 2D ANIMATORS FOR WISH
When trying to create the animation style of Wish it was important to the Directors and Animators that the 2D and 3D artists work together.
“And what I love was it brings our CG artists and 2D artists together. Because, you know, animators will call and ask for advice about how do you put the lines on the face of a character to accentuate the emotion, and they studied that. The effects crew went to the animation research library where you have seen some of the artwork today.
And they study how the effects, the graphic shapes of it was translated into our CG process.And the artists have expressed that this is a wonderful thing that it brought them together, that there’s no longer a boundary between 2D and CG [Artists].”Director Fawn Veerasunthorn
The style of Wish is breathtaking. It’s so hard to describe. The world isn’t crisp, but has the feel of hand-drawn blurry edges, while also giving us magnificent details to each character and the world. Their dream was to combine both 3D and 2D animation styles and they nailed it.
THE MUSICAL EARWORM OF DISNEY
Disney Animated Films are known for their catchy music that you just can’t stop humming. I don’t think I need to remind anyone of what happened when “Let It Go” was released. So, getting to preview multiple musical numbers was very exciting!
The music definitely continues down the modern route with songs by Julia Michaels. Michael is a writer for pop icons Dua Lipa, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, P!nk, Britney Spears, and more! So, to say my expectations are set high is an understatement.
The songs we were privy to are the intro to the Kingdom, “Wish” which is Asha’s heart song, as well as the theme song for the film. There was also an adorable and hilarious number with the animals, and – something that’s been missing for a while – a Villain song! Yes, King Magnifico gets to sing us a diddy. Chris Pine is no stranger to singing. He absolutely killed it as Cinderella’s Prince in the film adaptation of Into the Woods. Pine adds his comedic timing, and lovely vocals to a Villain song I think we can all relate to with, “This is the Thanks I Get?”
WHY BRINGING BACK THE DISNEY VILLAIN WAS IMPORTANT
It was important to the writer of Wish to have a villain again. Disney villains are iconic and we really haven’t had one since Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog. So, when it came time to create Magnifico it was really important to give a nod to Villains past while also creating someone new.
“You know, what’s interesting is we talked at length…And it really is about getting to watch that journey. So, we knew we wanted to start where you get to watch him make choices where you might meet the best of him, and then hopefully, survive the worst of him…And so, for me, when I write, that’s how I had to process is, was from inside out. And the person, the charm of that, that, when tested, people make different choices when tested.”Writer – Jennifer Lee
After attending the Press Event for Wish I cannot wait to see the rest of this film and fall in love with these brand-new characters! The film opens exclusively in theatres on November 22nd! I know I’ll be first in line.