Disney Introduces First Non-Binary Character in ‘Wish’

in Disney, Movies

Asha looks nervously at a dancing star in 'Wish,' the upcoming Disney movie.

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest movie, Wish (2023), premieres this Thanksgiving. The film not only celebrates Disney100 and the history of 2D animation but features the studio’s first-ever non-binary character!

Wish (2023) – A Movie Celebrating Disney100

Though fans initially rejected Wish for its unusual villain song and similarity to other Disney Princess films, the early critical reception to the movie was overwhelmingly positive. It introduces fans to the Disney Princess behind the Wishing Star, a piece of iconic Disney imagery that’s inspired millions of children worldwide.

Villageres in Wish looking shocked
Credit: Disney

“In ‘Wish,” ‘Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star,” the official Disney movie description reads. “Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.”

“Featuring the voices of Academy Award®-winning actor Ariana DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Asha’s favorite goat, Valentino, the film is helmed by Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (‘Frozen,’ ‘Frozen 2’) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (‘Raya and the Last Dragon’), produced by Peter Del Vecho (‘Frozen,’ “Frozen 2’) and Juan Pablo Reyes (‘Encanto’). Jennifer Lee (‘Frozen,’ “Frozen 2’) executive produces—Lee and Allison Moore (‘Night Sky,” “Manhunt’) are writers on the project. With original songs by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice, plus score by composer Dave Metzger.”

First Non-Binary Disney Character

Wish’s non-binary character isn’t the first transgender character under The Walt Disney Company umbrella. In Elemental (2023), a lovable water creature named Lake, voiced by Kai Ava Hauser, was Pixar’s first non-binary character. Baymax, a Disney+ series, briefly featured a transgender character advising the lovable healthcare companion on the best menstrual products.

The star from Wish floating through the air upside down
Credit: Disney

Still, this is a first for Walt Disney Animation Studios. In all marketing, trailers, and descriptions for Wish, Disney doesn’t gender Star – the “cosmic force” created by Asha’s wish.

As noted in the movie description, Disney only refers to Star as “a little ball of boundless energy.”

The same is true for shopDisney products. The description of a jumbo “Cuddleez” plush of the character never references gender.

Two images of a large Star plush, inspired by the movie 'Wish.' In one, the Star is by itself. In another, Star is hugged by a happy girl.
Credit: shopDisney

“So soft and cuddly, this Star Cuddleez plush has sweet embroidered features and a spongey, super-soft fill to make it an extra cozy and comfy nap companion,” shopDisney writes. “Inspired by Disney’s Wish, this adorable, snuggly plush is the stuff dreams are made of.”

The same goes for a Loungefly wallet featuring Star.

“You’ll be inspired to pursue your deepest wishes when carrying this wallet from Loungefly,” the product description reads. “Star, the cuddly ball of light from Disney’s Wish, glows in the dark on this simulated leather purse which is covered in golden stardust.”

A navy Loungefly wallet features Star from the movie 'Wish.' It smiles. In one image, it glows in the dark.
Credit: shopDisney

While Walt Disney Animation Studios hasn’t explicitly referenced Star as non-binary, many fans already adore the Wish character.

“I have consumed every tiny ounce of info I can on this film and it appears that Star 1) doesn’t speak whatsoever 2) is the cute magical wholesome entity compared to the goat who is NOT and goes ham on the butt jokes (also Star isn’t gendered oddly, only referred to as it/its),” @gayracecare wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Are you going to see Wish? Share your hopes for the film with Inside the Magic in the comments! 

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