But while Wish Dragon repeats quite a few family stories from the Disney classic, it offers enough new elements to be entertaining and sweet.

Wish Dragon it is Aladdin with a twist. That’s no exaggeration, as the latest from Sony Pictures Animation, Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation, and a host of other production companies, recalls the story from poverty to riches, all featuring a magical being who grants wishes. Only this time the story is set in 21st century Shanghai and Din (Jimmy Wong) is the endearingly healthy protagonist. The first half of the movie will have many wondering if they are not just watching Aladdin, so similar are the rhythms of the story of the animated film. But while Wish Dragon repeats quite a few family stories from the Disney classic, offers enough new elements to be entertaining and sweet.

Written and directed by Chris Applehans, Wish Dragon opens with a friendship montage. Din Song (Wong), who is an outcast at school, meets Li Na Wang (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) and the two quickly become friends. They do everything together and it seems that Din finally has someone he can trust and spend time with. But the friendship between him and Li Na was sadly cut short when she and her father (Will Yun Lee) move in. Years later, Din is determined to surprise Lina, who has become the promotional face of her father’s corporate initiatives, for her birthday and to reconnect. When she encounters a random man with a kettle, Din’s world changes forever after discovering that it contains Long (John Cho), an ancient dragon who grants three wishes to whoever owns the artifact.

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Jimmy Wong and Natasha Liu Bordizzo voice Din and Li Na in Wish Dragon

Wish Dragon it retreads a lot of territory from its Disney counterpart, yes, but it is also self-aware enough to understand what it is doing and then turns things around, touching on relevant themes of capitalist excess and how it often replaces what people really need, like love and attention. The animation silently shows how Shanghai has changed from its humble beginnings to a bustling city with skyscrapers and billboards lighting up the night sky. The city’s changes also function as a parallel to Din and Li Na’s relationship, with the former coming from a working-class family and rushing to make ends meet, with Li Na, a wealthy heiress whose face adorns the same billboards that light up the city.

Din’s belief that an expensive suit, car, and gadgets is the only way Li Na will see you is also crucial for him to realize that it’s his humanity, seriousness, and personal connection to his past that makes him stand out. before their eyes. What ultimately shapes this heartfelt story is Long, whose backstory isn’t as simple as being a wish-granting dragon. He is cynical and believes the worst in humanity because it has been around for a long time; He sees exactly what people want (a lot of money), the ways it changes them and, most importantly, how alone their lust for riches ultimately leaves them. Long’s history twist with humanity is one that focuses Wish Dragon, elevating it beyond its initial comparisons.

wish dragon review

Jimmy Wong and John Cho voice Din and Long in Wish Dragon

Long, which is based on John Cho’s portrayal of him as a sarcastic, world-weary entity, changes the script, making him not only the giver of wishes, but also a thoughtful giver of life lessons. For the first time, he feels needy outside the parameters of his kettle and this revelation, coupled with Long and Din’s friendship, elevates the animation and gives it a heartfelt and emotionally resonant sense. By setting the film today, the story addresses related themes, including the division of wealth, with the characters attempting to break the capitalist rules of society claiming their spirits rather than working to defend them. There is also a parental perspective, in which Li Na’s father’s disappointment and frustration stems from the pressure he feels to improve his life. She consumes him and the storytelling offers him some sympathy because he is also trying to be what he thinks his daughter and society need him to be as a provider.

The animation style of Wish Dragon it is also exciting, sharp, distinct and colorful. The movie doesn’t venture too far out of the box, but it does do enough within its story to establish itself on its own merits. Applehans infuses the film with a lot of heart, humor and adventurous fun without giving up on its serious themes. While the film takes its time to come out on its own and out of the shadows of Aladdin and his “tale as old as time” story (Long’s own words), Wish Dragon It is a heartwarming and charming movie with a great message and charming characters.

Next: Wish Dragon Trailer Explores The Meaning Of Lasting Friendship

Wish Dragon is currently streaming on Netflix. The film is 98 minutes long and is rated PG for its smooth action and rude humor.

Let us know what you think of the movie in the comments!

Our rating:

3 of 5 (good)

  • Dragon’s Wish (2021)Release date: June 11, 2021

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