Disney Faces Racist Claims After Casting White Villain

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Magnifico enchants Asha in Wish

Credit: Disney

Disney Animation’s newest villain in Wish (2023) seems to be a return to the classic formula. All he’s missing is a big, brassy musical number performed by Chris Pine. But he might not be as evil as some might think.

King Magnifico in Wish trailer
Credit: Disney

Inside the Magic has addressed the concerns surrounding King Magnifico before, as the latest trailer for Wish essentially laid out his grand and evil plans for all to see. But since when has using your powers for the common good of the kingdom been considered evil?

Related: ‘Once Upon A Studio’ Celebrates Disney Animation With Every Iconic Character

At face value, the project might seem precisely what the doctor ordered. Wish is marketed as a classic Disney fairytale that reinvigorates all the classic tropes and elements made famous by the Walt Disney Company. While it does return to those familiar formulae, a closer inspection reveals a troubling flaw.

From the trailer, we see the brave Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, defying the forces of Chris Pine’s King Magnifico as he seeks to control all the wishes in the magic kingdom of Rosas. Wish certainly sounds like the recipe for a classic Disney fantasy, but some have noticed a chink in its armor.

Is Disney’s Wish Really Racist?

The Princess and the Frog
Credit: Disney

Since the release of The Princess and the Frog (2009), Walt Disney Animation Studio has made efforts to be much more inclusive with its casting. Since Tiana, we’ve seen Hiro Hamada, Moana, Raya, and Mirabel Madrigal take center stage. The opposite effect has been seen on the villain end of the spectrum.

Related: Immersive Disney Animation is Nightmare Fuel

Some would argue that the last classic Disney villain was the stylish and shadowy Doctor Facilier, but looking back at characters like Bellwether, Dr. Callaghan, and King Candy, Disney seems to rely on white-toned villains in some of its most recent and most successful entries. Granted, there has been a shift in the types of villains the studio has created, but it’s a factor that hasn’t gone unnoticed.

WARNING: The views expressed by the individual above do not necessarily reflect those of the author or Inside the Magic as a whole.

Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator from Daily Wire+, offered his two cents on the upcoming Wish. While not everyone will agree with his assessment of the trailer, there’s no denying his points made about King Magnifico and his plot against Asha.

Walsh states,

“In this case, the guy who’s supposed to be the villain is like clearly the good guy… The “evil king” is absolutely correct. You can’t grant everybody’s wishes. In fact, if you had the power to grant wishes, the morally correct thing would be to grant nobody’s wishes… or only a few. And the ones you would grant would be ones that would advance the common good and the good of the kingdom.”

While this writer can’t necessarily agree with Walsh’s take on Gaston, there’s no arguing that Magnifico’s motivations aren’t at least somewhat correct. Walsh might be in the right on this one.

Related: Disney Completely Cuts Prince From New Fairytale

To take a page from Star Trek, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. While we can only wait until the film premiers to grasp the full story, it’s shaping up to be another divisive delivery from Disney.

Is King Magnifico really the villain or part of some hidden agenda? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!



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