Wish Dragon premiered on 11th June 2021 on Netflix. The film is written and directed by Chris Appelhans and produced by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Beijing Sparkle Roll Media Corporation, Tencent Pictures, Base FX, Flagship Entertainment Group, Boss Collaboration and Cultural Investment Holdings.
The 98-minute long film stars Jimmy Wong, John Cho, Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Jimmy O. Yang, Aaron Yoo, Will Yun Lee, and Ronny Chieng.
Friendship and Love
Wish Dragon is one of those animated films where no matter how old you are you will find yourself engaged in the storyline and with the characters. The storyline here is simple and not exactly new – if Aladdin would have been in Shanghai and if Genie would have been a dragon then this would have been it. Wish Dragon revolves around Din, a boy from a humble background who becomes best friends with Lina but their days of happiness and innocence don’t last long as Lina has to leave for the big city with her father.
Lina and Din, thereafter, go on individual paths. While Lina becomes a model, Din leads his life on a bare minimum yet content hoping for a day he would meet his best friend Lina again. As the film progresses, Din receives a magical pot with the Wish Dragon in it and as he tries to bring his life in place, the enemies enter seeking the pot. Alongside them enters fights and moral dilemma. We also see Din and the Dragon aka Long, form a wholesome bond and more.
Wish Dragon doesn’t offer anything new but still, it’s a good film. There are hilarious and heartfelt moments in the entire film and a beautiful message that, while one may think that money is the ultimate source of happiness and everything follows after money, it’s not the truth. What matters above all is your relations, emotion and your deeds and well, I couldn’t agree more.
The film uses a cartoonish shine to illustrate the disparity between the affluent and the rest of the population in modern-day Shanghai. It’s a lot of rounded edges and soft colours, which gives Din’s less-affluent neighbourhood a particularly warm look, especially when compared to Lina’s mansion’s stark whites. Even though Long’s fluffy pink serpentine shape lends itself to antics, Lina and Din aren’t particularly intriguing in terms of character design. Only the carrier of the teapot can see him, so when he squishes himself into a cab with Din, the taxi driver is baffled as to how one teenage boy completely threw off the load weight of the automobile.
Overall, Wish Dragon, despite its predictable plotline, is a beautiful and enjoyable family film. It has some valuable and hilarious moments that help to keep the balance of the film. Although the film is aimed towards children, anyone who remembers the Disney Renaissance will have a sense of déjà vu.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Wish Dragon is a beautifully executed film with everything about it just right!
Wish Dragon is streaming now on Netflix.