Disney Makes Mistake With Latest ‘Wish’ Reveal, “Backed Into a Corner”

in Disney

Asha (Ariana Debose) with her friends in shock.

Credit: Disney

Wish (2023) was expected to be the Walt Disney Company’s biggest animated film in decades. A culmination of the last 100 years of film history in animation, it was promoted as a blend of 2D and 3D animation, and an homage to the dozens of films the company has released since 1937.

The film stars Ariana Debose as Asha, Chris Pine as King Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Valentino the goat. The film has been controversial for months with a variety of complaints. Recently, fans have complained about the quality of the trailer that was released, saying that it looked half-rendered and unfinished, expressing worry about what it meant for the final version of the film, while others bemoaned the fact that Asha was another adorkable Disney princess in a long line of similar heroines.

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door
Credit: Disney

The film has also seemed to suffer from a lack of marketing, similar to Pixar’s Elemental, which was released earlier this year. Pixar failed to market the movie in any significant way, which hurt the film upon its initial release. However, word of mouth helped promote the movie after its theatrical and it quickly became one of the highest-grossing films for Pixar and had the best premiere weekend on Disney+ this year. Fans are hopeful that Wish will follow suit and will end up being a secret underdog that will overcome its supposed issues. However, a recent revelation is drawing ire from fans once again.

One of the most popular merchandise items from the Disney parks is their spirit jerseys. A thicker version of a long sleeve shirt, but not quite a sweater, spirit jerseys often have a small logo on the front of the shirt, and some kind of word or phrase that spans across the back. Often times it either says Disneyland or Walt Disney World, or the names of various characters and movies. Recently, an image was released of the new Wish spirit jersey, and fans are confused at the choice made by the merchandising team.

Disney100 Platinum Celebration Mickey Mouse and Friends Spirit Jerseys Adults
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

A post shared to X/Twitter reveals the latest offering from the Walt Disney Company, with the caption, “It’s kind of weird to have to put “from the movie Disney Wish” on a shirt. Just Disney Wish would have worked or Disneys Featured Film Wish.” Images shared alongside the post show that the front of the spirit jersey says “From the movie Disney Wish” and online responses are confused as to why the shirt has such weird phrasing for its movie. The movie is not marketed or officially titled anything other than simply Wish, so the inclusion doesn’t make sense.

However, other fans are pointing out that that’s what happens when Disney creates two items that have the same name, like a cruise ship and a feature film. The Disney Cruise Line features five different ships, all named after various Disney themes including, Disney Dream, Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy, and the Disney Wish (with a sixth ship, the Disney Treasure, expected to set sail in late 2024).

The Disney Wish sailed on its maiden voyage in July 2022, making it the newest ship of the Disney Cruise Line Fleet. The ship offers dozens of unique and exciting attractions, including dining experiences themed after Frozen and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as an all-new water attraction and various live shows. However, it shares its name with the newest Disney film, and many comments under the post claim that’s why the spirit jersey has the awkward phrasing of “movie Disney Wish.”

disney wish ship collage
Credit: Disney

“I think they sorta backed themselves into a corner with this title – I’ve noticed it’s very hard to search for online without including “Disney movie Wish 2023,”” shared @matt_tbr. “Before reading these comments I thought the film was about the ship 😂 (haven’t seen a trailer yet),” said @doryrohrs. “In a move of consistency, all DCL Wish merch will now say “From the Ship, Wish,”” joked @jeff4magic.

However, many others claimed it was a bad decision that made them uninterested in purchasing. “Oh this is UGLY,” said @shannbon. “Ewww why would the put that it literally ruins the shirt,” complained @theahsokathanos. “Yeah. It completely put me off buying tbh,” replied @ryanogs. “Might as well just put a QR code on it so people can buy tix to the movie,” quipped @jake_coasters.

Asha looks nervously at a dancing star in 'Wish,' the upcoming Disney movie.
Credit: Walt Disney Animation Studios

It’s certainly a weird move from Disney that probably traces back to some legal reasoning or clarification between the film and the cruise ship. Disney has proven in the past that they do listen to online complaints and responses, so it’s possible they’ll release an updated version of the shirt after hearing the backlash. If not, it’s sure to be one of several items of merchandise released to promote and celebrate the film.

There have been several complaints recently about Disney parks merchandise, including spelling errors on shirts, seemingly  inappropriate designs, and an overall dislike of the current obvious souvenir style of merchandise released by Disney. It’s unclear if this is part of a broader issue within Disney merch or just a one-off issue, but it may be time for Disney to start taking input from its guests and fans.

What do you think of the wording on the Wish spirit jersey? Is it a weird differentiation, or just plain ugly? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Comments Off on Disney Makes Mistake With Latest ‘Wish’ Reveal, “Backed Into a Corner”