Disney’s Wish features dozens of references to the studio’s rich history of animated classics, including their very first movie from 1937.
- Disney’s Wish is filled with references to the studio’s long animation history, including their very first movie, making it a celebration of Disney’s 100-year anniversary.
- The movie pays homage to classic Disney films such as Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, with nods to their visual styles and iconic characters like Maleficent and the Evil Queen.
- Wish combines modern computer animation with Disney’s classic watercolor art, creating a unique style that harks back to the studio’s early days.
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Disney’s Wish features dozens of references to the studio’s long animation history, including their very first movie. The 62nd animated feature film from Disney, Wish follows a 17-year-old girl named Asha who, after sensing a darkness in her kingdom, wishes on a star but ends up getting more than she bargained for. The Wish cast features the voices of Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Angelique Cabral, and Alan Tudyk.
Ahead of Wish‘s release date later this year, directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the movie will be loaded with references to Disney’s rich animation history. The directing duo explained a few references from the film, including the movie’s wide aspect ratio which is a reference to Sleeping Beauty. Wish‘s villain, Magnifico, also shares similarities with Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Read their full explanation below:
Buck: They’re all over the movie. We are compiling a list, and I couldn’t tell you how long it is now. Each department puts things in and there’s some that we don’t even know are there yet, and we may not know until they tell us… It’s a wider screen. So, it just has that epic feel to it — and the story does too.
Veerasunthorn: We were always attracted to the idea that the villain and hero, for a moment, might align philosophically. In the understanding of what wishes mean to people, the most important part of you is what drives your heart. Asha and Magnifico understand the importance of that, but what drives them apart is how you go about achieving your wish.
The goal is that this is a moving illustration. Every frame is a painting. When you pause on it, we don’t put a lot of motion blurs in this film or in the background. We employ the watercolor technique of when things are in the distance, you reduce the detail. This is a new technology that our team has developed to be able to control the lines and the details that go into whichever area on the screen. So, when you want to narrow down the focus to someone or some situation, we have all those tools at our hands to really emanate the real-life watercolor.
Buck: We wanted to make a movie that celebrates the joy of Disney and make a movie for the fans. It’s a hundred years. The Disney audience has kept us going and kept this studio going, and so there’s so much of that.
Every Disney Reference In Wish We Know So Far
It’s no surprise that Wish, which is meant to be part of Disney’s 100-year anniversary celebration, is loaded with references to the studio’s rich history of animation. Because of the nuances they contain, these references are more accurately categorized as “legacy nods,” as opposed to Easter eggs, according to the directing duo. For instance, the very premise of Wish, which involves Asha wishing upon a star, is a reference to 1940’s Pinocchio which popularized the classic concept of a wishing star.
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Another example of an obvious legacy nod from Wish is its villain, King Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine. In his lair resides a poisoned apple, similar to the one used by the Evil Queen from 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney’s very first animated feature film. The similarities between Magnifico and Maleficent extend by their names, as Wish also explores how the philosophies of its hero and villain might align, something that Disney’s live-action Maleficent movies did so well.
Wish also contains visual references to Disney’s animated classics, with one of the more nuanced nods being the unusually wide aspect ratio, the same one as 1959’s Sleeping Beauty which hasn’t been used by a Disney film since. Wish‘s animation style also combines modern computer animation with Disney’s classic watercolor art, which is another nod to Snow White. These are all the known Disney references in Wish so far, with more likely to be revealed as it nears its release date.
Key Release Date
- Wish Release Date: 2023-11-22