Can Disney’s ‘Wish’ Save the Company?

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies, Movies & TV

Asha (Ariana DeBose) stands looking shocked in 'Wish'

Credit: Disney

There is much hope surrounding Wish, the film Disney plans to use to get out of a slump. But with the changing population demographics for Disney, its parks, and content, it might be more wishful thinking than anything.

(L-R) Asha (Ariana DeBose) and King Magnifico (Chris Pine) in 'Wish' (2023); Movie Scenes
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney’s Success Rises if Wish Fails

The art of learning from experience is something that Disney knows extremely well. Disney’s Wish is therefore thought to be a culmination of the lessons the Walt Disney animation studio learned over the years. With its new trailer focusing on a wishing star, it aims to connect generations using the night sky.

After all, you don’t create countless iconic films, tease a trailer, and create an original song and soundtrack for nothing. If anything, it shows that the Disney movie is planning ahead. Curating relatable Disney characters takes time, and immortalizing them in Disney parks only adds to that investment.

What Disney’s Wish Content Is About

At its heart, Wish is a coming-of-age piece that follows a 17-year-old Asha making an impassioned wish on a star. A perpetually energetic Star answers the call, and the plot surrounds them saving the community. Voiced by Ariana DeBose, the show already has Oscar-level talent on board thanks to West Side Story.

Some believe that Wish is on track to save Disney animation, but that’s because of its focus on nostalgia. The power of Pixar and Walt Disney Studios is largely in its ability to evoke emotion. It’s virtually impossible to avoid shedding a tear or getting those iconic chills at a Pixar animation. But what happens when the references that evoke those memories grow obsolete? Can Walt Disney World fall into obscurity?

Asha (Ariana DeBose) stands looking shocked in 'Wish'
Credit: Disney

Population Changes Impact the Success of Disney

The Walt Disney Company was something that’s been around for the entire lives of the Silent Generation and Gen X. They saw the war propaganda during the Cold War and got to experience the wonders of color in animation and a channel dedicated to Disney. From Disney characters to literally using a wishing star, the Walt Disney Company has long been a way to relate to the world and make it easier to understand.

Millennials lie at the cusp of Disney’s technological revolution. Rides became more immersive. Television and media grew more extreme. Even more iconic films hit the market. Film after film, successes, and flops, Disney’s still going. But the nostalgia buck stops with Millennials; Gen Z just doesn’t have the same tie to Disney or Walt Disney World.

Asha (Ariana DeBose) stands amidst colorful butterflies in 'Wish'
Credit: Disney

United Nations Says Demographics Are Changing

According to the United Nations (UN), we’re experiencing a massive paradigm shift in generations. What’s known as “youth bulges” impact many areas of the world where the working age (25-64) is growing faster than any other age group. Globally, the age demographic of 65 and up is the fastest-growing group. To accommodate that, Disney’s content Wish has to have relevant appeal.

Pair that with a projected increase of up to 70% of people living in urban areas, and you have an entirely new animation audience. Disney’s Wish promises to be a powerful tale, but as for saving cinema, it might fall short. To appeal, Disney’s Wish film must appeal to both the fastest-growing and the youngest demographics.

Asha's hair blows in the wind in Wish
Credit: Disney

Keeping Up With the Times

Staying relevant is how Disney can reignite intergenerational connections. This dynamic is iconic in films like Coco and Encanto, and they can show the way. Ariana DeBose promises to bring talent. If the film holds up, it can connect both growing demographics. Otherwise, Disney’s Wish is nothing more than wishful thinking that conservative values rule the box office. That said, good Disney wish upon a star probably won’t hurt the outcome of the Disney Wish movie.

What’s your Wish for the Disney movie? Share your take in the comments down below!

View Comment (1)