'Wish': Disney celebrates its 100th birthday with a film that goes back to its roots

The movie, which features the voices of Ariana DeBosé and Chris Pine, introduces viewers to Asha, a young Hispanic woman who will fight to recover the wishes of all the inhabitants of Rosas.

Walt Disney Studios had a complicated challenge, celebrating 100 years of magical stories, but, as the company stated, it was prepared. "A film that has been waiting to be told for a hundred years," stated several of the promotional content for "Wish," the story with which Disney will celebrate its 100th birthay and which will arrive to the big screen on Friday, Nov. 24.

"Wish" brings the company back to its roots, giving audiences a feature film about the star that all the company's characters will later wish upon. Reminiscent of its famous princesses, Walt Disney Studios' latest project will feature a female main character: Asha.

Ariana DeBosé voices Ahsa, the young protagonist of 'Wish' -
Ariana DeBosé voices Asha, the young protagonist of "Wish." | Walt Disney Animation

However, Asha is not a Disney princess, she is a young Hispanic woman with a mission: for the inhabitants of Rosas (a town located in the Mediterranean, which makes Asha the first Spanish lead in Disney history) to recover their wishes. To do this, she will make a wish upon a star. Audiences will meet Star, an endearing character who will become the favorite toy this Christmas for children around the world.

Star, Ahsa and Valentino, three of the protagonists of 'Wish', the film with which Walt Disney Studios celebrates its centenary.
Star, Asha and Valentino | Walt Disney Animation

Adults will enjoy all the classic references that the company has hidden in "Wish." These so-called "Easter eggs" in Disney animated films allow adults and children will enjoy looking for allusions to their favorite past films from the company.

King Magnifico, Asha and Star: The main characters of 'Wish'

"Wish" will feature an all-time villain, King Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine. He embodies the charisma of a classic Disney villain, giving audiences an antagonist on par with Jafar and Hades. Even though no one in their right mind would do what he does, audiences empathize with him and can relate to his villainy. He does everything possible to prevent anyone from going through what his family went through again and, to do so, he takes away their most precious asset from anyone he considers dangerous: their wish.

Chris Pine voices King Magnificent, the villain of 'Wish'.
Chris Pine voices King Magnifico, the villain of "Wish" | Walt Disney Animation

King Magnifico will meet his match, Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBosé. She starts out as his pupil, but soon realizes what a terrible mistake Magnifico is making and decides to put an end to it. In her mission, she does not need a prince to save her, embodying this ideal that Disney has been emphasizing for a few years: that a woman does not need a man to rescue her.

Fans saw this in "Brave," "Frozen" and "Moana," and now with "Wish." The lead character is once again a young woman, Asha, who does not have a classic love story. Instead, she has the power of her wishes and the love of her family and friends as the only weapon to defeat King Magnifico and recover all the wishes of the inhabitants of Rosas.

Hispanic music

In classic Disney style, Asha sings "My Wish," the film's main song, and she makes her intentions clear throughout the entire film with the song she wakes up to.

While "My Wish" is a sort of theme song for the film, it is not the most important. There are countless musical numbers, and Spanish culture is evident in all of them. One example is "Welcome to Rosas," one of the first musical numbers full of allusions to flamenco music and Mediterranean culture.

Promotional image of 'Wish', the film with which Walt Disney Studios celebrates its centenary.
The kingdom of Rosas, where "Wish" takes place | Walt Disney Animation

The technical prowess of the film is also worth highlighting. Disney is an expert in innovation, and "Wish" proves it again, a stunning mix of 2D and 3D illustration, reminding audiences not only of the company's most recent films, but also of the original Disney animation projects which were done in 2D.

In short, "Wish" is a worthy tribute to Disney's 100-year history. For the first time, the company gives us a Hispanic heroine and shows us, once again, that the past and the present can coexist. It is still possible to make films that remind us of the golden age of Disney and give them a somewhat more innovative touch that does not lose the charm that the company has achieved throughout its history. That is the true magic of Walt Disney Studios.