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Today’s Prayer Focus


also known as “Wish: Asha et la Bonne étoile,” “Wish: El poder de los deseos,” “Wish: El poder dels desitjos,” “Wish: O Poder dos Desejos,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for thematic elements and mild action.

Reviewed by: Blake Wilson

Moral Rating: Average (somewhat offensive) to Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Kids Family
Genre: Animation Adventure Musical Comedy Family Fantasy 3D
Length: 1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release: 2023
USA Release: November 22, 2023 (wide release)
DVD: March 12, 2024
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Relevant Issues

Disney’s continuing promotion of occult-like messages: magic, witches, sorcery and other anti-Biblical content

Wishing on a star

Fantasy magic wish fulfillment

“Magic of the stars”

Stars in the Bible

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

About magic and magicians mentioned in the Bible

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Evil, deceitful and manipulative king

Petty authoritarianism

About the KINGS in the Bible

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

What does the Bible say about HUMILITY versus pridefulness?

What is the significance of LAMBS in the Bible?

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring Ariana DeBoseAsha (voice)
Chris PineKing Magnifico (voice)
Evan PetersSimon (voice)
Alan TudykValentino (voice)
Harvey GuillénGabo (voice)
Victor GarberSabino (voice)
See all »
Director Chris Buck
Fawn Veerasunthorn
Producer Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
See all »

“Be careful what you wish for”

In the kingdom of Rosas, life might seem like a fairytale. But, everything is not what it seems.

When a citizen turns 18, he or she gives his or her wish to King Magnifico (voiced by Chris Pine), who has the magical ability to grant them. A life spent in anticipation of the day your heart’s desire comes true? Sounds a little better than the real world? Or does it?

17-year old Asha (voiced by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose) is given the opportunity to become the king’s apprentice. In her interview, she comes across a dark truth. King Magnifico reveals he will not grant most of the wishes he’s been given, thinking that most of them serve as a potential threat to his reign. In addition, each wish given to him is immediately forgotten by each one’s owner.

Upon hearing this revelation, Asha retreats and makes a wish for her kingdom on the stars above. The wish apparently is not only heard, but physically responded to by a small, adorable star. With the help of her somewhat reluctant friends, as well as her pet goat Valentino, Asha hopes to reclaim the wishes for the people of Rosas, before King Magnifico becomes too powerful to stand against.

Entertainment Value

“Wish” has some positive qualities to it. First, the musical work here by pop artist Julia Michaels and co-writers Benjamin Rice and JP Saxe is surprisingly good. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure about the idea of entrusting a penultimate 100th anniversary Disney movie soundtrack to new writers. But, Michaels, a diehard Disney fan herself, steps up to the challenge with at least a couple of memorable tunes. “This Wish” is a very strong “I Want” song that carries its own unique tone. Meanwhile, Pine’s villain song, “This is the Thanks I Get?!” has warmed up on me. It has a catchy beat, while also carrying a few twists.

“Knowing What We Know Now” also has a catchy beat, with a surprise ending. The only song that didn’t quite work for me was “You’re a Star!”, not only for its mixed messaging, but that it felt very on-the-nose, generic, and unmemorable. Upon reflection, I felt Michaels’ work here reminded me quite a bit of Pasek and Paul (“The Greatest Showman,” the “Aladdin” remake and “La La Land”).

The voicework here is pretty solid also. DeBose brings some humility, spunk, and sincerity to the role of Asha. Meanwhile, Pine was perfect casting for Magnifico. He has quite a range, and sings very well. But, he clearly showcases the slow fall from grace for this character, while also bringing some levity here and there.

The story is refreshingly simple, and calls back to old-school Disney. That being said, that also means the characters are not fully fleshed out (especially supporting characters). There’s no complex character dynamics at play here. Star is a terrific (and classically Disney) sidekick character that’s given a few scene-stealing moments, but Valentino did not stand out as much as I thought he would. Finally, while Magnifico’s villain origin story is paced very well, the overall rising action (Asha finding out the truth about the wishes) seemed rushed.

As for the animation, I felt a bit mixed about the final product. This was Disney’s answer to “Spider-Verse” with some hand-drawn elements mixed with computer animation. On the positive side, the backgrounds are painterly and are exquisitely well-done. However, on the other side of things, the character animation feels a little unfinished at times, and comes across more like a direct-to-streaming or DVD product than something worthy of a theatrical release.

Positive Messages

While the film largely centers around the subject of wishes, it (thankfully) also encourages the idea of working hard and persevering for your dreams. Asha mentions to King Magnifico that even if he doesn’t grant them, shouldn’t he return them to let the people work for their wishes to come true? By the film’s end, the citizens of Rosas become motivated to work hard to make their wishes come true.

Asha is a positive role model by continuously looking out for others needs over her own. She sings, “I make this wish to have something more for us than this.” She sings out of feeling grief for those who may never see their dreams realized or wishes granted. This is a Christ-like quality encouraged in Philippians:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. —Philippians 2:3-4

For the most part, Asha’s friends come to her side to help take a stand against Magnifico and his magic. One other character also makes a brave stand under pressure to help the people. Asha’s mom and grandfather are both solid, loving examples as well.

Negative Content

Adult Content: There’s one very ambiguous song lyric from one male character saying, “don’t be fooled by a handsome face” (in reference to Magnifico). Unless you count that, there’s no LGBT or Woke content here.

Elsewhere, one female character has a crush on Magnifico. A female villager pretends to kiss his statue’s lips.

Violence: Some mildly perilous moments (mostly of the slapstick variety), but on the lighter side for Disney fare. A couple of perilous jumps. Magnifico crushes a few wishes at one point, which causes some villagers to hold their hearts as if they’ve lost a part of themselves. Magnifico kicks and tosses toy-like representations of villagers. Bears and bunnies do a little damage as well. Swords and other weaponry appear. One scene features characters overpowered by magic repeatedly, and anchored to the ground.

Drugs or Alcohol: None

Language: None

Spiritual Elements/Other: The song “Knowing What I Know Now” carries some lyrics encouraging rebellion. To be fair, the song does end with a surprise that mitigates a lot of this, but parents might want to have a conversation with younger kids following this regarding why Asha and her friends are taking a stand (and why it differs from say, being unhappy about a parental decision at home). At the same time, Asha might be reclaiming wishes for the people of Rosas, but it still qualifies as a heist of sorts.

Magnifico is said to have studied magic to become a sorcerer. Eventually, when he feels threatened enough, he turns to a book of “dark, forbidden magic.” This spews green magic that “tethers” Magnifico to the book, and he is warned that anyone who consults the book is used by the magic for its own nefarious purposes. He uses the magic to possess one character briefly, and also uses it to keep everyone in check as well. Later, he absorbs the magic of several wishes, and eventually pays the price for doing so.

The song, “I’m a Star,” encourages Evolutionism’s false teaching that we are made from stars, not by God. Lyrics excerpts:

Have you ever wondered why you look up at the sky for answers?
…What’s passed down generationally, to you? (And to me?)
And why our eyes all look like microscopic galaxies?
…Well, you don’t have to look too hard
…If you really wanna know just who you are
You’re a star (Yes)
Boom, did we just blow your mind? Uh-huh
Well, I’ve known the entire time
When it comes to the universe we’re all shareholders
Get that trough your system (Solar)
See we’re all just little nebulae in a nursery
From supernovas now we’ve grown into our history
…We eat the leaves and they eat the sun
See that’s where all the balls of gas come from
Hey, you still look like you’re hanging on by a strand
But If you just see the mushrooms then you’ll understand
So your dust, is my dust?
Fantastic, huh
…If you really wanna know just who you are
I’m a star!
…It’s all quite revelatory
We are our own origin story
…I’m a star (Wooh)

Q & A

Are we really made of stardust? Answer

When were the stars created? Before the Earth or after? What is the order of events in the biblical Creation? Answer

Creation SuperLibrary.comTop choice for accurate, in-depth information on Creation/Evolution. Our SuperLibrary is provided by a top team of experts from various respected scientific creationist organizations who answer your questions on a wide variety of topics.

Meanwhile, Magnifico claims he got his genes from outer space. Meanwhile, Star spews a style of magic to bring plants to life and translate animal speech to English.

Brief mild bathroom humor comes in the form of Valentino mentioning “balls of gas” and that his “butt” found a secret path.


“Wish” was created with Disney’s centennial anniversary in mind. The concept of making a movie based on the Mouse House’s key mantra (“When You Wish Upon a Star”) sounds like a good idea on paper, even if it also seemed a little too on the nose. And, considering the recent controversy the celebrated studio has found itself in, overall buzz and reception was middling at best, polarizing at worst.

In hindsight, I’m glad I lowered my expectations, because “Wish” did exceed that low bar. There’s a few story surprises here and there that kept things relatively interesting. The soundtrack is overall pretty strong, with at least a couple I am listening to multiple times. There’s a few solid character creations in the mix. And, being Disney’s centennial year, there’s some solid Easter eggs (or should I say, hidden Mickeys!) to classic movies thrown in too.

That does not mean “Wish” is going to be on anyone’s favorite Disney movies list. The story (while refreshingly simple) lacks the complex, more interesting and memorable characters of recent Disney efforts. And the character animation (at times) feels like something that needed a few more months of work before being put on a big screen.

As for content concerns, “Wish” carries a couple of mixed/questionable messages that might make it a dealbreaker for some, or may lead to some conversations with younger kids either before or after the movie. Otherwise, save for a few darker moments of magic (there is a clear good/evil line here), it is among the cleaner, less intense films Disney has made.

Ultimately, while I found “Wish” reasonably enjoyable and engaging, it does fall short of the high creative marks set by its predecessors (“Tangled,” “Frozen,” “Moana,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” “Encanto”). Not a must-see. But as far as family movie nights go, it’s not the worst choice.

That is, unless you and your family are decisively (and understandably) staying away from Disney content due to recent controversy. In that case, “Wish” does not make for a compelling return to form for the studio.

  • Occult: Moderate
  • Violence: Minor
  • Profane language: None
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Sex: None
  • Drugs/Alcohol: None
  • Wokeism: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—This movie has the most outright and obvious sorcery and witchcraft with black magic then any Disney movie I have seen. Sure the little girl fights against it and says it’s not right, but the witchcraft with magical powers is SO dominant in this movie, I wouldn’t let a child see it. Not only is there black magic going on from the “king” that the whole village trusts to protect them and keep them safe but really he is lying to them and harming them, but when the main girl actress makes her “wish,” a star comes from the sky and does all of this magic is as well. The whole thing is full of sorcery and witchcraft, another abomination from Disney! Sadly they just get more outright with this.

Oh yeah and songs about where people were created from and who made them, telling them all kinds of lies. I enjoy animated movies and even Disney ones, its just sick the conditioning they are doing especially in this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
Stephanie, age 49 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I was going to see the movie but thought of checking the reviews first. The last thing I wanted to do was waste money on a movie that turned out to be bad. I learned this the hard way after begging my mom to take me to see the Rugrats movie. (It was so bad that my mom wanted to write an angry letter to Nickelodeon!)

After reading the negative reviews from everybody on how bad “Wish” was, it is safe to say that I have dodged the bullet. I did some research on the behind the scenes of “Wish.” Their old ideas were 1) Asha being a daughter of Amaya and Magnifico, making her an actual princess, 2) Star being a magical boy that can shapeshift into animals and being a love interest for Asha, 3) Amaya being just as evil as Magnifico, and 4) The movie being 2D animated.

Why didn't Disney keep those concepts in the final cut of the movie? For the last reason, the creators said that 2D animation wasn’t as expressive as CGI but I find that hard to believe. If you seen Looney Tunes, Tex Avery cartoons, and old Disney movies like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, you'd be surprised at how expressive the characters were despite being in 2D animation. I'm not sure if the old concepts would have change the movie's harmful message, but it would have made the movie more enjoyable.

The idea of a good Disney couple battling against a Disney villain couple is something new that Disney foolishly deleted. Not only was this movie made by people who are anti-Christian but also by people who are anti-creative.
Farah, age 34 (USA)
Secular Movie Critics
…Even during its more successful moments, Wish’s magic falls flat. The film is weighed down by its purpose: to revel in Disney nostalgia while soaring into the future. …
Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter
…Though the visuals are often quite stunning, you’ll wish that “Wish” had a better story. …feel more like a corporate product than a magical event… [2]
Odie Henderson, The Boston Globe
…Even for hardcore fans, “Wish” comes close to overdoing it with the, well, Disney-ness. That’s when Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) becomes the movie’s saving grace, as a likable, idealistic teen heroine with plucky verve and powerhouse vocals. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…Disney’s centenary animation feels like an attempt, after a wobbly decade, to return the brand to first principles – but it doesn’t come off. …[2/5]
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…The story is off, the heart is missing and the laughs aren’t there. …“Wish” is a fantasy musical of unfulfilled wishes, starting with “I wish this children’s animated film had been better.” …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…Though this film is well-intentioned, fleetly paced, and boasts a unique blend of animation, it’s a desperate and sweaty attempt to revive the past glories of the studio. …
Josh Spiegel, SlashFilm
Disney’s “Wish” fails on every level… Unfortunately, Wish manages to be none of the things it wants to be. It is neither evocative enough of the past to work as a tribute, nor irreverent or inventive or just plain funny enough to justify its constant but half-hearted callouts. It’s the ultimate cop-out — a lifeless, uninspiring mess of bland brand management. …
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture (New York Magazine)
…For a film meant to be a milestone for 100 years of the Walt Disney Company, “Wish” is a monumental failure. …
Alan Ng, Film Threat
…I wish upon a star that this movie was over… The vacuous intellectual-property parade gets by on making ample references to other, better Disney films such as “Mary Poppins” and “Peter Pan”… When the group learns that all living things are made of stardust, kids sitting in the theater get a musical lesson in egotism: “If you really wanna know just who you are — you’re a star!” … [1½/4]
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
… Perhaps there’s enough here to satisfy young children (my four-year-old daughter was delighted) but the older one gets, the less there is to enjoy. This may be the worst major animated film Disney has released in the past 40 years and its lack of creative energy doesn’t augur well for the immediate future. [2]
James Berardinelli, ReelViews