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Disney’s latest animated film, "Wish," will debut this coming November. It’s the tale of a magical kingdom ruled by a king who has the power to grant wishes, but he only chooses to grant some.
What an evil tyrant.
Along comes Asha, a 17-year-old apprentice, who makes a wish of her own that will threaten the king’s power to determine who gets their wishes granted and who does not.
If you can’t see where this is going, then allow Lauren Chen to explain in greater detail.
King Magnifico “actually doesn't grant everybody's wishes,” says Lauren. “He only grants wishes that would be good for the kingdom as a whole.”
“The horror!” she mocks.
“Doesn't that seem like the reasonable thing to do? There are people out there who would absolutely wish for, like, crazy stuff,” she continues. “A good king, a reasonable king should be able to tell people no – that's what being a responsible leader is all about; that's what actual stewardship means.”
To be fair, Lauren acknowledges that “we don't know how the plot is going to play out exactly.”
“Maybe the twist in this film is that King Magnifico actually isn't evil at all; he's just more mature and Asha needs to realize that being an adult actually means sometimes telling people no and not doing whatever you feel like all the time,” Lauren speculates.
But that would mean that Disney has some common sense, and based on the string of recent films the company has put out (most of which were giant flops), it’s probably unlikely that will be the theme.
Further, “the king is a white guy and Asha, the lead, is a diverse female character,” Lauren points out. Add to that the fact that he’s portrayed multiple times in the trailer as an evil tyrant, and it’s almost certain he will be the irredeemable villain.
Lauren isn’t the only one who’s skeptical of “Wish.”
People all over have called out the obvious “questionable moral lesson and identity politics,” but they’ve also expressed a general lack of interest in what they assume will be yet another typical Disney plotline.
One X user commented:
“A magician with immense power being challenged by a young girl with an animal sidekick? That’s just cut and paste Disney.”
“I remember a time not that long ago when Disney animated films were dependably good, where you could count on every single one essentially being a home run, an instant classic, but it seems like we've strayed so far from that,” says Lauren.
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