Disney’s Wish: ‘Most Aggressive Piece of Disney Propaganda In Years’

Disney's Strange World bombed a year ago on Thanksgiving, too.

Disney's Strange World bombed a year ago on Thanksgiving, too.

Disney's Wish: 'Most Aggressive Piece of Disney Propaganda In Years'

Disney may have done it again with its animated Wish movie as the reviews aren’t good with one going so far as to describe the film as the “most aggressive piece of Disney propaganda in years.”

The flick is currently getting clobbered by critics on Rotten Tomatoes and has a Rotten Tomatoes Score of only 50% with 80 reviews accounted for. Update: The score is now at 47% with 116 reviews; the Audience Score is at 84%.

RogerEbert.com blasted the flick namedropping Ron DeSantis and even Joseph McCarthy.

“It’s not just the abundant references to everything from ‘Peter Pan’ to ‘Mary Poppins’ to ‘Bambi’ and beyond, but the sense that the entire production is about how we really need to keep wishing on not just stars, but Disney-branded ones, to make ourselves happy,” states the review. “There’s also a reading of a film about a political leader that crushes the dreams of Disney adults that made me think of Ron DeSantis (and even a little Joseph McCarthy), but that’s a different piece.”

Check out what the critics think below.

wish rotten tomatoes 47

What about the box office?

Universal’s Trolls Band Together animated movie is seeing decent numbers as it brought in $30 million this past weekend, so Disney is hoping for something similar or even bigger for this extended Thanksgiving weekend.

That said, I believe Grace Randolph also said Wish has some questionable political undertones, so who knows, this could be another disaster for Disney at the box office, which follows The Marvels, and even Strange World, which bombed last Thanksgiving for Disney.

According to estimates, Wish is projected to bring in anywhere from $45M-$50M over five days, with some estimates even offering $57M-$86.8M.

Update: Wish brought in $2.3 million for its Tuesday preview which includes $500K from Saturday’s limited sneak peeks. The estimate for the 3-day opening are now between $24M-$27M, and the estimates for the long weekend have dropped to $40M-$45M.

Update #2: Estimates offer Wish may come in second at the Thanksgiving box office with a $41.8M five-day.

Update #3: Estimates have been revised lower again: $35M-$38M 5-day, with a 3-day of $20.5M.

Update#4 (Saturday pm): Revised lower again to $32M-$33M over 5 days, and Wish may come in third place behind Hunger Games and Napoleon and looks to be a big bomb.

Sunday update: Wish comes in third place, looking like a 3-day $19.5M and 5-day $31.7M.

disney wish movie

What don’t reviewers like about Wish?

Here is what some of the negative reviews from the Top Critics offer:

Wish is so obsessed with the past that it fails to add anything new of its own. If you’re going to pay tribute to 100 years of Disney magic, you can’t forget to save a little magic for yourself. – Entertainment Weekly

But as a piece of storytelling, Wish is as flimsy as a star decal stuck to a wall. It’s high on complicated magical rules and low on genuine magic. – The Daily Beast

Wish is harmless holiday programming for the family, but it’s strange to watch a movie about celebrating the individual “star” in everyone that feels like it was made by mandate, not a dream. – Associated Press

Watching all the tried-and-tested elements fail to coalesce just makes us nostalgic for the classics instead. Let us all wish Disney can find that magic again. – Guardian

Wish plays out like the No Frills version of a Disney princess story. – Slant Magazine

Wish’s visually appealing celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary mostly lacks inventiveness and gravitas but features some memorable music. – IGN

Ariana DeBose belts out a few good tunes, but this supposed centennial celebration falls flat. – The Messenger

Wish is a strained animated musical which overtly references the company’s most beloved films, a strategy that mostly exposes how singular the studio’s productions used to be. – Screen International

The strategy behind “Wish” seems to be: If we do an homage to enchantment, the audience will be enchanted. True magic, however, can’t be recycled. – Variety

disney wish poster

What is Wish about?

Here is the official synopsis provided by Disney:

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Wish” is an all-new musical-comedy welcoming audiences to the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star.

Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.

Featuring the voices of Academy Award®-winning actor Ariana DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Asha’s favorite goat, Valentino, the film is helmed by Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (“Raya and the Last Dragon”), and produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) and Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones (“Encanto”). Jennifer Lee (“Frozen,” “Frozen 2”) executive produces—Lee and Allison Moore (“Night Sky,” “Manhunt”) are writers on the project.

With original songs by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice, plus score by composer Dave Metzger, “Wish” opens only in theaters on Nov. 22, 2023.

Watch the trailer:

Wish | Official Trailer

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