I appear on “CTV News at 11:30” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend, including the Crave historical soap opera “The Gilded Age,” the final season of the Netflix series “The Crown” and Disney’s laytest animated film “Wish,” now playing in theatres.
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the epic “Napoleon,” the surreal “Dream Scenario” and two family friendly films, “Leo” and Disney’s “Wish.”
In “Wish,” a new musical-comedy featuring the voices of Chris Pine and Ariana DeBose, Disney celebrates 100 years of animated entertainment with a fairy tale featuring Easter Eggs referencing their classic films. There’s a deer named Bambi, snippets of the Pinocchio theme “When You Wish Upon a Star,” a magic mirror, and many other tributes.
Question is, does “Wish” live up to the tradition of the memorable films that came before it?
“Wish” takes place on the island kingdom of Rosas, a magical place where King Magnifico (Chris Pine) stores the wishes from people all over the world. “Imagine a place where wishes come true,” says Magnifico. “Where your heart’s desire can become a reality. What if I told you that place is within reach? All you have to do is give your wish… to me.”
At the age of 18 everyone in Rosas gives the King their deepest desire, which he then seals up in his castle’s observatory. “I grant the wishes I am sure are good for Rosas,” he says. Once a month he announces a winner and grants their dreams come true.
When 17-year-old Asha (Oscar winner Ariana DeBose) meets the king to apply for a job as his assistant, she hopes to convince him to grant her 100-year-old grandfather Sabino’s (Victor Garber) wish. When the king refuses, Asha uncovers a terrible secret. Magnifico not only deletes the memories of those who tell him their wants, he hoards the wishes to keep the citizens of Rosas compliant.
“King Magnifico has wishes in his castle,” Asha says. “He’ll never give them back. We have to free the wishes and return them to the people.”
To aid in her mission, Asha prays to the heavens and is visited by a cosmic force, a glowing, playful yellow star, named, appropriately enough, Star. “Joy, hope and possibilities, the most loving light,” says Asha. But the king sees the glowing star as a threat
As they join forces to stop Magnifico, the king manifest all his dark magic powers to stop them. “There is a traitor amongst us,” he bellows. “Find Asha.”
“Wish” has all the elements of classic Disney, but falls just short of memorable. The built-in nostalgia should appeal to fans as a centurial celebration, and aficionados will get a kick out of spotting the hidden tributes to the older movies, but the film is stuck in looking in the rearview mirror. It feels old fashioned, a celebration of what came before, from its look, to its storytelling. As pleasant as it is, there’s not much new happening here in its themes of the magic of dreams and power of good to defeat evil.
The mix of 2D and 3D animation evokes the look of Disney’s watercolor animation, but there is a dullness to the color palette that doesn’t jump off the screen. But, surreal talking mushrooms,
a carriage that sprouts legs and a sequence with Ziegfeld Follies style dancing chickens are fun, and inject some much-needed oomph to the artwork.
Character wise, its standard stuff, although Valentino (Alan Tudyk), a talking goat with a surprisingly deep voice earns laughs as he announces, “I cannot swim,” like Greek herald Stentor as he dives into the water. Best of all is the Star, a simple character with very expressive face, which is virtually guaranteed to move a bunch of plush toys as Christmas approaches.
Like the animation, the generic songs don’t perk up the ears, save for De Bose’s powerhouse vocals and Pine’s showstopping, villainous anthem.
As a celebration of 100 years of animation, “Wish” isn’t awful, just underwhelming. It feels like a blast from the past, with both eyes on the past, and none on the future.
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to kick a football! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about Benoit Blanc in “Glass Onion,” the sports drama “The Swimmers” and the animated “Strange World.”
I appear on “CTV News at 6” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the latest mystery from Benoit Blanc, “Glass Onion” and the animated “Strange World.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the latest mystery from Benoit Blanc, “Glass Onion,” the sports drama “The Swimmers” and the animated “Strange World.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to discuss the weekend’s flickers including the latest mystery from Benoit Blanc, “Glass Onion,” the sports drama “The Swimmers” and the animated “Strange World.”