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Wish Dragon (2021) MOVIE REVIEW | CRPWrites

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  • Connor Petrey
  • crpWritescom
  • crpwritescom
  • crpWrites

Movie Review

CASUAL

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 Published: 06.10.21

         MPAA: PG

Genre: Animation. Comedy. Adventure.

"Three Magical Wishes. One Life Changing Adventure."

     RELEASE: 06.11.21

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WISH DRAGON (2021) 

OPENING THOUGHTS:

If you watch the trailer for Wish Dragon you may draw instant comparisons to Disney's Aladdin, and you'd be in the right for doing so. However, this classic tale actually originated as a Chinese folktale popularized by the 1992 animation. While it shares a lot of similar beats, Wish Dragon is in fact its own film that falls into its Chinese roots with this modern retelling.

DIRECTION:

I could hardly recognize John Cho as Long (the Wish Dragon), however his performance did levitate as one of the best in the film with easily the most energy shining through in his voice work. Following up his work from 2020's Mulan, Jimmy Wong plays our film's lead, Din; he's respectable in the role, albeit similarly with the remainder of the cast, not spectacular.

PLOT:

We all know how this story goes: a peasant boy wishes to impress a young woman of higher class through the power of his three wishes granted by a magical being within a "lamp" (in this case a teapot). From start to finish we have slight changes to the formula, but it all can be easily predicted until the final minutes. There are only minor surprises and those familiar with the Disney classic might be disappointed in just how predictable the final product is, even if it does stick to its origins.

ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:

I could hardly recognize John Cho as Long (the Wish Dragon), however his performance did levitate as one of the best in the film with easily the most energy shining through in his voice work. Following up his work from 2020's Mulan, Jimmy Wong plays our film's lead, Din; he's respectable in the role, albeit similarly with the remainder of the cast, not spectacular.

VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:

Wish Dragon is bright and easy on the eyes, but when analyzed against other recent releases, it stumbles.

MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:

We've heard this score time and time again in animation, but that doesn't mean it's getting any less enjoyable to hear. Orchestrator for films like Joker and Ender's Game, now composer Philip Klein conveys a large array of emotion in his familiar delivery.

CLOSING THOUGHTS:

"Three Magical Wishes. One Life Changing Adventure." Wish Dragon might be a Sony Animation being released on Netflix, but it sure does feel like a classic DreamWorks production. While rather predictable, Wish Dragon is immensely charming and full of lighthearted comedy that will entertain both children and adults.

 

WISH DRAGON is Now Streaming on NETFLIX

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CONCLUSIVE VERDICT:

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SCREENER COURTESY OF NETFLIX