Review of 'Wish Dragon'

wish_dragon.jpg Din (voiced by Jimmy Wong) dreams of reuniting with his childhood friend Li Na (voiced by Natasha Liu Bordizzo) who moved away with her father and now live in a mansion. One day Din is given a teapot by an old man out of which emerges Long (voiced by John Cho, channelling his inner Robin Williams) a “Wish Dragon” who, surprise, surprise, offers Din three wishes. Din soon realises Li Na's father Mr Wang is hoping to save his failing business by stealing the Wish Dragon…

While watching this I could not stop thinking of the “Aladdin” animation staring Robin Williams as the genie. It seems the filmmaker's of “Wish Dragon” set out to duplicate this film in all but the setting. Though this film is quite fun I just could not help comparing the two films throughout and ended up disappointed. “Wish Dragon” is a good bit of fun but never captures the sheer exuberance of “Aladdin”…it should have carved it's own way but ends up simply being a pastiche. Ok, ok, setting all of this aside: Is the film itself any good? Yeah, actually, it is not bad: The animation is fun, colourful and lively, the characters are appealing and the story is mildly engaging, if somewhat simple. This is not difficult to understand given the obvious target audience of younger children (though, as with any good animation there is still enough for older audiences to be kept entertained also).

“Wish Dragon”, or, “Aladdin in China” is a bit of light fun that is low on originality but high in energy.

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2021-09-04

Directed by: Chris Appelhans

Studio: Base Animation

Year: 2021

Length: 98 minutes

Genre: Animation