Jennifer Lee Talks ‘Wish’ Easter Eggs and How The Movie Came About
We are little over a two months away from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest original film, Wish. As fans anxiously await the arrival of a new trailer, Disney Animation head honcho Jennifer Lee has revealed some new details on the upcoming epic.
While speaking with E-Cartelera before the ongoing WGA and SAG-Aftra strikes, Lee discussed the easter eggs that will make their way into the film. Most Disney fans are well aware that Disney has been putting various easter eggs in their animated projects since Walt Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
“I can’t reveal all the easter eggs but I’ll say the priority was the narrative. Then we had the opportunity to add some stuff to the script because they fit the narrative and some other things were the animators having fun. The first thing was to create a big and epic story that was worthy for the audience. We wanted to have fun, we wanted everyone to laugh, to bring them joy. While watching the movie, those references made us feel like “Wow, we reunited all those movies together into one movie!”. Listening to the audience’s reaction is incredible, because we’re in every place in the world and thanks to Disney we can create a completely new story and we can look around and see we are sharing it with everyone. To me, that was what the 100th anniversary meant, there are not a lot of people that have lived more than 100 years. We all remember our first experience with a Disney movie. This movie works as a way to celebrate everywhere in the world, a movie that unites us with joy, hope, fun and imagination.”Lee
The site also asked Lee about how the movie came to be as the company is celebrating its 100-year anniversary with Disney100 and how the iconic Disney song/phrase “When You Wish Upon A Star” factored into the movie.
I remember someone told us: “This is a huge challenge, good luck on that!”. I was excited about it! The first thing we did was to talk about it to other filmmakers and crew from the studio. We asked them: “What would you like to bring back?”. Of course, the first one was a villain. We already have that in mind, we love the idea! But it was interesting to talk about what Disney meant to us, and the most common words were “hope”, “possibility”, but how do you transform those terms into something anthropomorphic? Then, without having the script yet, we saw the video Chris (Buck) and our editor made with “A dream is a wish your heart makes” for the anniversary. And Chris wasn’t involved with this project as a director. The video inspired us, you could feel it. When we watched it, everything was clear: Wish. Because wishing is active. A dream is a dream, but a wish is a statement that I’ll act, that I’ll do something. We want to pay homage to that, but modernizing, it’s not enough to wish and wait for it to come true. Remember that it is your responsibility how far you’ll go to make your wish come true. But that starting point will feel like opportunities, not like difficulties. In that aspect the story was becoming something I have never experienced.
The movie is still months away but has had multiple test screenings, and from everything we are hearing, the movie was met with enormous praise. Critics have also seen cuts of the movie, which have been received with positive acclaim.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original fairytale adventure Wish is an all-new story is set in the magical kingdom of Rosas, where Asha (DeBose), an optimist with a sharp wit and a deep caring for her community, turns to the sky in a moment of need, and makes a wish. Asha’s plea is answered by a cosmic force, a little ball of boundless energy, Star. Together, they will face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars – wondrous things can happen.
Academy Award winner Jennifer Lee wrote the film, while singer/songwriter Julia Michaels will provide original music for it.
Also featuring the voice of Alan Tudyk as Asha’s favorite goat, Valentino, the film is helmed by Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (Frozen, Frozen 2) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (Raya and the Last Dragon), produced by Peter Del Vecho (Frozen, Frozen 2) and co-produced by Juan Pablo Reyes (Encanto). Jennifer Lee (Frozen, Frozen 2) executive produces—Lee and Allison Moore (Night Sky, Manhunt) are writers on the project. With original songs by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice, plus score by composer Dave Metzger.
The film hits theaters on November 22.