Disney Gets Another Critical Failure Headed For Box Office Disaster That’s Extra Painful

By Britta DeVore | Published

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Although their summer team-up with Pixar, Elemental, saved itself from a crushing defeat at the box office, Disney is already finding itself in a sticky situation with its latest film, Wish. While it doesn’t celebrate a wide release until November 22, the movie’s first critical reactions on Rotten Tomatoes are painting a bleak picture for the animated feature. Critics have hit the movie with only 53 percent on the Tomatometer, previewing a bumpy road ahead as the title sings and dances into theaters over the holiday weekend.

Wish Is Disney’s 100th-Anniversay Celebration

The movie comes as part of Disney’s 100th-anniversary celebrations, meaning that Wish was the project that the studio was hoping to dazzle the world and remind them why the House of Mouse is still on top. Unfortunately, those Rotten Tomatoes critics have slammed the movie, with reviews including lines that call Wish a “strained animated musical” and others pointing out that it’s nothing that audiences haven’t seen before with its centering on “kings and castles and princesses.”

Wish’s Lead Saves The Film

Still, others who have seen the latest Disney animated flick said that Wish’s leading star, Ariana DeBose’s singing voice and performance are what makes it stand out. Celebrating her breakthrough performance in Steven Spielberg’s on-screen adaptation of West Side Story, it should come as a shock to no one that the professionally trained singer’s voice is the highlight of the film. Having appeared in the original stage version of Hamilton, DeBose was the perfect choice for the studio to cast in its latest musical feature.

Chris Pine And The Rest Of The Cast

Along with Ariana DeBose, Disney also tapped Chris Pine for a co-leading role in Wish. The film transports audiences to a magical kingdom where King Magnifico (Pine) has the power to grant wishes. But, not all is as it seems within the palace walls and when Asha (DeBose) discovers that she has a similar power, she sets out on a journey to save her people from the King’s sinister plans. 

Filling out the cast for Disney’s Wish are Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien), Evan Peters (American Horror Story), Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows), Angelique Cabral (Friends with Benefits), Ramy Youssef (Ramy), Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow), Natasha Rothwell (Insecure), Jon Rudnitsky (Saturday Night Live), and Jennifer Kumiyama.

Other Movies Releasing This Holiday Weekend

While dropping its newest feature over Thanksgiving is a great way to get families to turn out, Disney is putting Wish up against a handful of other highly-anticipated films during the holiday weekend. Primarily, Ridley Scott’s latest historical epic drama, Napoleon, will ride onto screens at the same time. With Joaquin Phoenix in the leading role as the titular French Emperor, it will be a tight battle between Disney’s 100th anniversary celebrator and the legendary filmmaker’s newest project since 2021’s House of Gucci.

Can Disney Afford Another Failure?

Suffering another major setback at the global box office for its hand in The Marvels, the last thing that Disney needs is another financial flop via Wish. The good news is that with a holiday stay in theaters, the end of November and early days of December will give Wish the boost that it needs for a lengthy theatrical run. Beyond that, it will be up to the audience to decide if Disney’s newest production is a hit or a miss.