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.