Sunday, June 16, 2024

Producer Juan Pablo Reyes Shares The Inspiration Behind Disney’s ‘Wish’

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are.

You may not have continued singing the lyrics but I bet you continued to hum the melody. The song, “When You Wish Upon A Star” is probably one of the most recognized songs from a Disney movie—often playing at the opening credits of most films. If you are a true Disney fan you’ve noticed the theme of numerous characters making a wish to help their dreams come true. It was only fitting that Disney made a film dedicated to this idea of wishing upon a star.  

In the new animation “Wish” – Asha described as a sharp-witted idealist, is introduced to the Kingdom of Rosa. Asha makes a wish so grand, a literal star comes to her aid in bringing her wish to fruition. Of course, they are met with some resistance and that is where the true story begins. Like any wish or dream in real life, one may face challenges that make holding on to the dream difficult. The creative team behind “Wish” wanted to push the message of persevering through your dreams. Along with paying homage to the whimsical fairytale story, Disney is known for.

Ariana DeBose in Disney's WISH (2023)
Ariana DeBose in Disney’s WISH (2023)

We spoke with producer Juan Pablo Reyes about what inspired the making of this film.

“Back in 2018 when Jennifer Lee became the Chief Creative Officer she noticed the 100-year of Disney animation was coming up. And we really wanted to create an original story while still making it a love letter to Disney,” said Reyes. As they began to brainstorm they realized the reoccurring theme of hopeful Disney characters. Many of the characters always had a big dream. And a wishful belief that the dream would come true with the assistance of wishing on a star. 

They also drew inspiration from Walt Disney himself.

“Walt Disney himself was a big dreamer. As our director, Chris Buck likes to say, ‘one wish can change the world.’ And that is exactly what Walt, in my opinion, did,” said Reyes. The spirit of Walt Disney can be seen in Asha’s character. She is determined to make her wish come true for herself and her community.  

Niko Vargas, Evan Peters, Harvey Guillén, Ariana DeBose, Ramy Youssef, Jon Rudnitsky, Jennifer Kumiyama, and Della Saba from Disney's 'Wish' (2023)
Niko Vargas, Evan Peters, Harvey Guillén, Ariana DeBose, Ramy Youssef, Jon Rudnitsky, Jennifer Kumiyama, and Della Saba from Disney’s ‘Wish’ (2023)

Most of us grew up watching Disney films. We were always able to take something away from the films. Maybe I am a big kid at heart, but I think Disney films are for all ages. And “Wish” is no different. The children are taught how to dream and adults are reminded of theirs.  

The film releases wide in time for Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 22.

Fans have the chance to be some of the first to see Disney’s all-new animated musical “Wish” during special Early Access Screenings this Saturday, November 18. Plus, the soundtrack releases Friday, November 17, making the Early Access Screenings the first place fans can see all of the music from the film come to life. Songs written by singer, songwriter Julia Michaels and producer, songwriter, musical Benjamin Rice and feature performances from Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose as Asha and Chris Pine as Magnifico. “Wish” celebrates 100 years of Disney Animation and features several nods to the legacy of the storied studio.

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