Sony Pictures Animation recently published a film called THE WISH DRAGON. I finished watching it a couple of weeks ago, and here is my takeaway and review about the film.
STORY: The Wish Dragon has this cliche but effective storyline. I could clearly see that the inspiration came directly from ALADDIN (animated) – it is like a modern and (maybe) Chinese version of Aladdin. The story formula is a combination of a kind peasant boy, a magical creature who can grant 3 wishes, and a princess or in this case wealthy lass. Plotwise, The Wish Dragon is entertaining, funny and most importantly, it shows the younger generation the importance of family, friends, and humility.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: The main character here is Din, a smart teenage boy who wishes to reconnect with his childhood best friend Li Na. The main protagonist is smart, kind but comes from a humble background. There is not much of a character development of him in the film. He remains as he is throughout the film as nothing much has been added to his character’s growth in terms of goals, desires, and attitude. He only has one goal from start to finish, and that is to reunite with his childhood friend and become a part of her world once more. On the other hand, his singular focus enables him to engage with the audience and become relatable in a way that most of us will do everything we can to achieve our innermost goals and dreams. What I really like about him is his firm decision-making, he never hesitated in helping others along his way.
Next is Long, a cynical but all-powerful dragon capable of granting wishes. He is the main reason why I enjoyed watching this film. He has been stuck in a teapot for a thousand years so he has no knowledge about the new technology found in the world he has been summoned into. Personally, I love his character development. His story started with him being a cynical and detached wish-granter who is just waiting to successfully serve his last master. His goal is to have access to the heavens and get the welcome parade he has been dreaming of. After his adventures (and sometimes misadventures) with Din, he has evolved into a caring and sacrificial friend. He has a bittersweet ending for me. Long really proved that he is the star of the show.
As for Li na, don’t get me wrong because this is just my personal opinion but Li na is somehow the boring version of Princess Jasmine. She does not have any kind of personality or identity. She was just put in there for the sake of having a female character that could fit into the princess role. She is rich, she is boring and she just has nothing else to do.
GRAPHICS: I enjoyed the color scheme and graphics of The Wish dragon. It has this watercolor effect with its main color scheme being pink and purple. This makes viewing it very pleasing to my eyes. The China Town scenery is a fun addition as it captures the daily life cycle of an Asian community. Overall, the graphics and motions are superb.
BOTTOMLINE: The Wish Dragon has its ups and downs but still it is a great film to watch along with your family, especially if you have kids. Wish Dragon is a colorful and quirky romp that will warm the audiences’ hearts.