Wish Dragon – Review

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Wish Dragon
Wish Dragon – Review

In Sony Pictures Animation’s Wish Dragon, Din, a working-class college student with big dreams but small means, and Long, a cynical but all-powerful dragon capable of granting wishes, set off on a hilarious adventure through modern day Shanghai in pursuit of Din's long-lost childhood friend, Lina. Their journey forces them to answer some of life's biggest questions – because when you can wish for anything, you have to decide what really matters.

I get it, each generation their own Star Wars, or in this case Aladdin. We all knowsa howsa that wentsa…

For those unfamiliar with the above pun, Wish Dragon is essentially Aladdin set in modern day China, a cheap and lazy knock-off of Disney’s animated “Aladdin” (not the live action one) one might say. Sure, for those who never heard of the 1001 Arabian Nights stories and are coming to this completely unaware, maybe it will be endearing and mildly entertaining, but do these viewers exist? I dare say, no?!

With that in mind, it’s hard to rate this movie on its own merit, because it has so little of it, merit, I mean. You may look past all those strikingly familiar scenes everyone knows from Disney’s Aladdin, with Robin William’s dialogue retrofitted to a dragon. The main actor “Din” short for… AladDIN maybe, is a peasant/street rat who of course is in love with the unattainable princess Li Na, there are no surprises here and that’s OK. It is a copy of a copy of a copy, etc. Even Disney’s Aladdin is a copy, so that’s all cool.

Wish Dragon tries to put its own spin on it but falls flat and only succeeds to mildly entertain. My son at some point 2/3rds through the movie just wanted to switch off because he was bored and annoyed by the similarities to Aladdin.

All similarities and copying aside, for what it’s worth it is an OK production and the story is still a classic, visually well presented and it has a good message and that’s already worth something but please don’t mistake this for an original take on a popular fairy tale, for it is not and hardly rises above the bland line. Funniest part? Going from Nomani to Nomoney suits.

Watch with very young kids up until age 8 and you should be fine, watch with older kids and you may get an earful what an awful copy this movie is. Whatever you do, keep an open mind though (like we did with Jar Jar!), for an enchanted Arabian Night… Arabian Niiiiiights, like Arabian days… ahem, excuse me, I am going to check on my Tupperware now.

Good

  • Modern take on a beloved fairytale

Bad

  • Bland execution of a modern take of a beloved Fairy Tale
5

Average

Alexander has been around the internet since some time (FidoNet anyone?) and has been an avid cineast for even longer, with over a decade of stage acting and almost two decades in the computer game business and over four decades of IT and entertainment media experience, which is to say, he watched countless movies and series and played way too many video games on too many platforms. He currently resides near Paris, France and has gotten back into writing, when he is not out fishing with his son.

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