Wish UHD Steelbook Review

4 Stars I wish this was a better movie
Wish Disney Review

Disney ends its 100th anniversary celebration with the animated film Wish.

Wish (2023)
Released: 22 Nov 2023
Rated: PG
Runtime: 95 min
Director: Chris Buck, Fawn Veerasunthorn
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk
Writer(s): Jennifer Lee, Allison Moore, Chris Buck
Plot: A young girl named Asha wishes on a star and gets a more direct answer than she bargained for when a trouble-making star comes down from the sky to join her.
IMDB rating: 5.7
MetaScore: N/A

Disc Information
Studio: Disney
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution: 2160p HEVC w/HDR
Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
Audio: Dolby Atmos, English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 7.1 DD+:Spanish 7.1 DD+, French 7.1 DD+:French 7.1 DD+
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Rating: PG
Run Time: 1 Hr. 35 Min.
Package Includes: UHD, Blu-ray, Digital Copy
Case Type: 2-disc UHD steelbook
Disc Type: UHD
Region: All
Release Date: 03/12/2024
MSRP: $39.99

The Production: 3.5/5

On an island in the Mediterranean Sea, sorcerer King Magnifico (Chris Pine) and his wife Queen Amaya (Angelique Cabral) build the kingdom of Rosas. When a resident turns 18, they give their wish to the King for him to keep safe and any memory of that wish by the resident is wiped clean. Once a month, the King holds a ceremony where he grants one of those wishes. The role of apprentice to the King has opened up, and a young girl named Asha (Ariana DeBose) who is just a few months shy of turning 18 has applied for the job in hopes of convincing Magnifico to grant her grandfather Sabino’s (Victor Garber) wish before he turns 100. During her interview, she discovers Magnifico’s dark secret – that he is holding back any wishes that may do harm to the kingdom or to himself, and that Sabino’s wish is one of those wishes being held back. With no one believing what she has discovered, she makes a wish on a star that evening, which then comes down from the sky to visit her and help her steal the wishes so they can be returned to their rightful owners. When Magnifico learns of her “rebellious” plot, he tries to turn the village against her, eventually calling upon dark magic to keep his throne and grip on the village.

The latest animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Wish, unfortunately is more interested in paying homage to the studio’s 100th anniversary than telling a story in a way that connects with audiences. Don’t get me wrong, the film is beautifully animated, using a style that appears more like traditional hand-drawn animation than the computer-generated animation we’ve become accustomed to (similar to what the latest Puss in Boots and Spider-Verse movies achieved). The songs by Julia Michaels, Benjamin Rice, and JP Saxe are forgettable, and the story (from a screenplay credited to Jennifer Lee & Allison Moore) meanders to its predictable conclusion. The movie does have some fun moments, and Alan Tudyk’s talking sheep Valentino steals most of the scenes his character is in. Wish isn’t a bad film, but it’s a film that could have been much better.

Video: 5/5

3D Rating: NA

Wish was a digital production, rendered as a 2K digital intermediate in the 2.55:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Vision high dynamic range for its premium theatrical engagements. Disney’s 2160p HEVC-encoded upscale only offers HDR10 high dynamic range, but still looks rather marvelous. Fine detail is excellent, from the freckles on Asha’s face to textures in the stone palace walls. Colors are vivid and bold, with noticeable and smooth gradients. Contrast is also excellent, with deep blacks and strong shadow detail. Highlights are superb as well, the HDR adding an extra layer of brilliance to the bursts of magical light throughout the film.

Audio: 5/5

Perhaps Disney has finally figured out how to bring Dolby Atmos into the home, since this is the best-sounding Atmos track I have heard on a Disney 4K disc since Avatar: The Way of Water and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and you don’t even need to do adjust your master volume by much. This is a dynamic mix with a very wide and immersive soundstage, active surrounds and heights, and strong LFE to assist with sound effects and music. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3.5/5

All of the special features can be found on the included Blu-ray edition.

Once Upon a Studio (1080p; 8:48): A 100-year animated tribute to the studio, featuring every major animated character in the studio’s history lining up in front of the animation building for a cast photo.

100 Years in the Making: The Story of “Wish” (1080p; 64:14): a look at the history of the studio and the making of the film and how they intertwine.

“Wish” D-Classified (1080p; 6:27): A brief overlook of some of the easter eggs featured in the film.

Outtakes (1080p; 2:44): A blooper reel from the voice recording sessions.

Deleted Song A Wish Worth Making With Introduction by Directors Chris Buck & Fawn Veerashunthorn (1080p; 2:54)

Deleted Scenes (1080p; 22:02): Head of Story Mark Kennedy introduces this set of five deleted scenes mostly in storyboard form.

Song Selection (1080p; 21:213): Watch just the songs with karaoke-style subtitles or select them individually.

Digital Copy: A Movies Anywhere code is included to redeem a 4K digital copy and earn points on Disney Movie Insiders.

Overall: 4/5

Wish is hampered by a story that often tries too hard to celebrate the studio’s 100th anniversary, and the forgettable songs don’t help, either. The film is available on 4K disc exclusively from Walmart in steelbook packaging.

Only available at Wal-mart

Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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