Wish, Walt Disney Animation Studio’s 62nd film, which also celebrates the studio’s 100th anniversary, is an original animated musical fairy tale story that explores the origins of Wishing Star. The visual storytelling captures captures a stunning illustrative watercolor feel and pops off the screen thanks to CG technology. While achieving the look and feel wasn’t easy, finding the voices that would honor the legacy of animation would be even more of a challenge. And Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose, who voices Asha; and Chris Pine, who voices King Magnifico bring voices to the characters that feel timeless.
Wish follows, Asha (DeBose), a sharp-witted selfless and idealistic 17-year-old who lives in the Kingdom of Rosas. She interviews to be King Magnfico’s (Pine) apprentice, an honorable title because he has the ability to grant anyone’s wishes, just as long as they are willing to give them away to him. However, upon learning that not all wishes are granted as promised by the exalted highness, Asha looks to the night sky, just as she did with her late father, and wishes upon a star. Her call is answered, although, she gets more than she bargained for when trouble-making star comes down from the sky to join her in her quest to help her community.
The Nerds of Color were invited to join their fellow journalists at the Wish press day at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, CA. There, we had a chance to speak to the film’s two stars, Ariana DeBose and Chris Pine.
In our interview with Pine, we talk about how the recording process has changed throughout the years since he first stepped into the booth. We also addressed how his villain song, “This is the Thanks I Get” could be misconstrued for a parental anthem. The actor also added some of his input on what makes a good villain and his thoughts on recording efforts at the end of each session.
In our interview with DeBose, we talk about when she realized that she was a part of a Disney animated musical that also celebrated the studio’s 100th anniversary. The actor also talked about what audiences can learn from someone like Asha. And finally, we talked about her performance in the recording booth and how her spirit and love of dance would help influence some of the musical numbers seen in the film, like “Welcome to Rosas.”
Directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn (in her feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore, based on a story by Lee, Buck, Veerasunthorn, and Moore, and produced by Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones, Wish opens in theaters on November 22, 2023. The film also features seven original songs written by Grammy®-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer songwriter-musician Benjamin Rice.