2023 marks the A hundredth anniversary of Disney. The studio’s releases this yr have highlighted the corporate’s wealthy historical past, most importantly with an unique concept in Pixar’s Elemental, an adaptation of a Disneyland journey with Haunted Mansion, and a live-action remake of the film that kicked off their animation Renaissance, The Little Mermaid. Yet the studio has determined to shut out its celebration yr appropriately with the movie that kicked off the studio’s legacy: an animated movie from the studio Walt Disney constructed.
That movie is Wish, a film centered on the taking pictures star that has been current in lots of Disney animated movies. Guiding this movie are producers Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones. Del Vecho gained an Academy Award for producing Frozen (which was co-directed by Wish’s co-director Chris Buck) and has produced different Disney animated classics like The Princess and the Frog, Winnie the Pooh, and Raya and the Last Dragon. Meanwhile, Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones has been working in improvement on Disney animated movies, beginning with Frozen II, which led to Raya and the Last Dragon, Encanto, and most lately, Strange Worlds. Now he will get his first main producing credit score with Wish.
Certainly, there should have been loads of stress and trepidation to get the producer job for the studio’s A hundredth-anniversary movie. “We each ran in the direction of the problem,” stated Del Vecho. “Everyone on the studio wished to be a part of this movie as a result of all of us are Disney followers ourselves, and due to that, there was a lot enjoyable and pleasure as a result of this was the A hundredth-anniversary movie.”
Both Peter Del Vecho and Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster-Jones sat down with MovieWeb to speak about Wish.
Wish Is an Original Fairy Tale
Wish Release Date November 22, 2023 Director Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn Cast Alan Tudyk, Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine Main Genre Animation
Anniversaries are tough; they should be marked by one thing particular. Disney has a wealthy historical past of adapting traditional fairy tales, from Snow White to Beauty and the Beast to Tangled. They have additionally tailored traditional literature with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tarzan, and even a Marvel Comic with Big Hero 6. For the movie launched to rejoice the A hundredth anniversary, what sort of story would they adapt? Instead, they went one other route. “It was essential for us to have it’s an unique fairy story,” stated Del Vecho.
“It’s our first unique fairy story. All of our different fairy tales had been impressed by some recognized traditional,” added Reyes Lancaster-Jones. Notably, he does say fairy tales, as movies like Lilo and Stitch, Moana, and Encanto are unique concepts as properly. Del Vecho was trustworthy about tackling the animated movie that may be launched to mark the A hundredth anniversary, as clearly, expectations could be excessive:
“This specific second in time we took very severely, and added loads of stress at first that slowly modified to pleasure and pleasure as a result of we’re all Disney followers right here. To be capable to craft a narrative that stands by itself as an unique story with unique songs and characters, but in addition imbue it with all of the issues we love in regards to the Disney films of the previous and the feelings — that, we felt, was actually a enjoyable problem.”
This additionally creates an fascinating dilemma for advertising and marketing the film. Should Wish play up the anniversary nature of the movie and highlight the lengthy historical past of Disney animation, or ought to it focus extra on the movie itself and let it converse for itself? “We need folks to know it is an unique story and that they know they’re in for a terrific journey but in addition need them to know that it’ll really feel like these films that they’ve gone to the theater and loved.” Del Vecho added. “If that is your first Disney film, that is going to face by itself.”
Return of the Classic Disney Villain
Disney has among the most iconic villains in cinema historical past. Maleficent, Cruella De Ville, Jafar, Captain Hook, and Ursula are just some of the names audiences have come to know, worry, and embrace. Yet the final notable straight-up Disney villain was Mother Gothel in Tangled, launched 13 years in the past. King Candy in Wreck-it-Ralph was a villain but in addition the start of a “twist” villain when it was revealed he was, in actual fact, Turbo. Then, beginning with Prince Han in Frozen, Disney’s animated movies began to skew away from the standard villain.
This is a component of Disney movies that many followers have missed, and Wish marks a return to that system with the inclusion of King Magnifico, voiced by Chris Pine. The movie solely takes a couple of minutes to tug the rug out that King Magnifico shouldn’t be a great man and is, in actual fact, a villain. Magnifico is definitely probably the most outwardly evil villains Disney has finished shortly. “We had been very intentional in having a Disney villain on this film as a result of we had been all craving it as Disney followers.” stated Reyes Lancaster-Jones.” He continued:
At the identical time, in right now’s viewers, they need that huge villain however need to know the place they’re coming from. The story itself guided that as a result of we had the prospect to have a really charismatic particular person you’re prepared to offer your want to, however on the identical time, he exhibits his true colours as a result of somebody is difficult him. And we see an evolution of the character as properly.
Disney Easter Eggs
Wish is stuffed with thrilling Easter eggs. While there are some apparent ones from Disney’s historical past of animated movies, together with Peter Pan and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, they prolonged far past that and even contact different main corners of the Disney franchise, from Mary Poppins to even the well-known “you are watching Disney Channel” half mouse ears. “Everything you see within the film that feels very Disney was finished in an natural approach. We had been making an attempt to convey the feelings of what Disney makes you’re feeling. We have the wishing star, and we went from there.” stated Reyes Lancaster-Jones.
Related: Who Is the Star of Disney’s Upcoming Movie, and How Has She Proved She’s Perfect for the Role?
“We are all Disney followers, and we’re conscious of that, however we solely positioned [references] in there if it made sense. One of my favourite ones is Star having the Mickey masks and there are many those who folks will discover. Some extra direct, others extra oblique,” he added. Keep a watch out for loads of Disney references if you are watching.
The Future of Disney Animation
Instead of asking somebody about their favourite scary film, a way more pleasant query is to ask somebody about their favourite Disney film. That reply is slightly more durable to reply for somebody who has labored on so many movies as Del Vecho has. “Currently, it is Wish, however I’ve been very lucky to have labored right here lengthy sufficient to have many characters which are actual to me now.”
Reyes Lancaster-Jones did have a solution: a Disney traditional that was additionally a serious affect on the film. “I typically wish to say Sleeping Beauty, as a result of it is likely one of the ones I grew up watching. It was additionally an enormous affect on Wish. Mike Giaimo [art director] loves that film and put loads of the aesthetic into this film, together with the CinemaScope of Sleeping Beauty, which makes this film an occasion to be watched on the massive display.”
Related: Disney’s Wish: Why You Should Be Excited for This Upcoming Film
As Wish concludes Disney’s 100-year celebration, it’s time to look ahead to the longer term. Currently, Disney has not introduced what their subsequent animated movie goes to be or when it will likely be launched. After so lengthy, what does the way forward for Disney animation appear to be? “I believe Disney at its very core is about nice storytelling and making well timed and timeless tales. So so long as we proceed to deal with tales that resonate with audiences, we’re in a great place,” stated Reyes Lancaster-Jones.
He added one remaining be aware to finish on. “At the identical time, it was Walt Disney himself that stated hold transferring ahead, so bringing that concept to thoughts and increasing the artistry in what we will do by means of artwork and expertise, I believe it’s going to be very thrilling.”
Here’s to a different 100 years of Disney.
Wish opens in theaters on November 22, 2023. You can watch the trailer beneath: