100 years have passed and the formula is still intact. From Pinocchio to Moana, by freehand or with Mousse, Disney characters are created under the same DNA that leads them to search for magic, to believe or, as in the case of Wish, the power of wishes – the most recent factory movie-, to be desired under a star. Wish: The Power of Wishes is not only Disney’s latest creation, but it celebrates the anniversary of the century-old company founded in October 1923 by Walt Disney. The film takes up the fairy tale structure with numerous nods to the legacy of classics such as Cinderella, Pinocchio and Snow White, to name a few. In times of Twitch and Tik Tok, it is at least a challenge to capture the attention of new childhoods under classic formulas. Of course, not necessarily less effective. Disney’s latest two creations – Wish… and Once Upon a Studio, the 12-minute short film that also celebrates the iconic company’s centenary – use new technologies and bet on a balanced coexistence between modernity and the past with the aim of “creating a sense of unity and nostalgia.” The story introduces the magical kingdom of Rosas, where “Asha, a young, resourceful dreamer, makes a wish so powerful that it is heard by a cosmic force: a small sphere of unlimited energy called a Star. Both face an imposing enemy, the Magnificent King, whom they must defeat to save their community and demonstrate that, when the will of a brave person joins the magic of the stars, wonderful things can happen. Asha is the daughter of a woman from North Africa and a man from the Iberian Peninsula, they say in Disney. She lives with her mother and grandfather in Rosas, a Mediterranean island located somewhere between North Africa and the Peninsula.
Disney and Pixar have decided to take us around the world. The places in their stories will be invented, but increasingly they are inspired by real places. The latest example is Wish: the power of wishes. Disney’s 62nd film, with which Mickey Mouse’s house celebrates its centenary, is a new journey into an imagined kingdom that will be familiar to you. Unlike Encanto, for example, which was recognized and deeply rooted in the country in which it was inspired, Colombia; or Coco, who in the friendly house, Pixar, was soaked in Mexican culture, in Wish the references to Spain are much more subtle, although they fly over everything. Every story of revolution has different spaces: the village, the forest and, above all, the castle. For the latter, the most important setting, the one that always stands out the most in Disney stories, is the one in which they focused on different and great Andalusian monuments, such as the Alcázar of Seville, the Torre del Oro, the Mosque of Córdoba or the Alhambra of Granada. The architectural forms, the columns, semicircular arches, the tiles, the fountains. “This king has a huge ego. Therefore, his castle had to be huge and extravagant, but it also had to be cozy so that Magnifico could attract the people of Rosas,” explains Eric Provan, head of environments at Wish: the power of wishes. And, above all, the castle had to be special, unique within the Disney universe. Like every great Disney film, the music is fundamental and special. In this case, the compositions by Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice, in addition to looking at the melodies of the animation studio’s previous films, include Spanish and Mediterranean notes and instruments, such as guitars and castanets. And, finally, the dances that accompany these songs, especially the song *Welcome to Rosas,* are created by the Spanish choreographer and dancer Antonio Najarro, mixing flamenco and classical ballet plus contemporary dance. “My goal was to show that the kingdom of Rosas is the expression of many different cultures and, most importantly, I tried to use my choreography and dance as the union of all those different people and cultures.” Critic Amy Nicholson for The New York Times: “Interestingly, and quite fascinatingly, it is a film about a spiritual revolution. The question is: can Asha, a humanist, convince the islanders to reject the man in the embroidered robe who preaches that only he can perform miracles?
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