It just wouldn’t be a Disney animated musical with its signature villain song to go with the protagonist’s “I Want” song. Today, Disney has released a snippet of their newest villain song, “This is the Thanks I Get,” as sung by the benevolent and very conceited King Magnfico (Chris Pine), which can be heard only in the highly anticipated Wish.
One might think that a narcissistic and vain man would sing about feeling unappreciated by his people after granting so many wishes, but if you look at some of the lyrics provided, its almost as if this was an anthem for parents. “I can’t help it if mirrors love my face” and “Peep the name, I’m magnificent/ I put the ‘i’ in omnipotent, I’m passionate not petulant/ someone praise me for my benevolence.” These lyrics express a desire for some sort of moral dessert. Of course, that will never come for anyone who would grant the wishes out of the kindness of their hearts.
And here is where it gets a little parental. “I let you live here for free and I don’t even charge you rent/ I clean up all your messes and am always there when you need to vent.” Seems like King Magnifico isn’t up to the job to being a king, much less a parent if he is expecting to get something from being so graceful.
Disney also released a behind-the-scenes look at Pine in the recording booth singing “This is the Thanks I Get.”
It’s not as though we haven’t seen the actor sing before. Thematically, the song bares some resemblance to the one his character belted in “Into the Wood.” It just oozes self-centeredness and narcissism. And it looks like Pine is certainly having a lot of fun using his charming and likable image in a villainous form.
“This is the Thanks I Get” is one of seven songs penned by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy®-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice. Cue “This Is The Thanks I Get?!” “We just had a blast with it,” said director Chris Buck. “The visuals are terrific—he’s the King and he feels like nobody respects him. It’s been a while since we’ve had a good villain song, so Julia and Ben just went for it.”
Director Fawn Veerasunthorn said “This Is The Thanks I Get?!” is a good example of how a song can help shape the character. “We’d provide a rough version of the script [to Julia and Ben] and they’d go away for a while and come back with a song. Their songs inspired us. For ‘This Is The Thanks I Get?!’ we knew we wanted Magnifico to be charming and, of course, evil. He’s also funny! In the song, he cracks jokes—he’s narcissistic. But it’s all tongue-in-cheek and he’s still somehow completely likable, which is great for a villain.
Wish features the voices of Ariana DeBose and Alan Tudyk. It opens in theaters on November 22, 2023.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Wish:
Walt Disney Animation Studios “Wish” welcomes 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.