‘The Art of Wish’ brings the animated film to readers with insights and images

Category: Books and Music

The highly anticipated Disney animated feature Wish is now in theaters. Whether you have seen the film yet or not, The Art of Wish is a good addition to your Disney film library and “Art of” book collection. This latest publication from Chronicle books takes readers inside the story and behind the scenes with those involved in the film.

This is the 100th anniversary of the Disney Studios and those at the studio wanted to celebrate and pay tribute to the last 100 years. They did so with this film and to prepare themselves they watched every animated feature film created from Disney, beginning with the first full-length animated feature Snow White all the way up to Moana. Their goal in making this movie was to pay tribute to the legacy, as writer, executive producer and chief creative officer Jennifer Lee states in the Preface of the book.

The book delves into the beginning of the process of creating the film. The story was just one element. The characters, atmosphere, and background of the land of Rosas is examined throughout the pages of this beautiful book. And even for those who do not want to read about all the intricacies involved in creating the film, the images tell the story in their own right. 

From simple and original drawings through the digital art, this book, and indeed the film, are not only a tribute to the legacy of Walt Disney, but also a love story in itself. Walt Disney was a dreamer and a wisher, and those aspects come out in the story through the characters and the newest Disney hero Asha. And, true to the history of Disney films, she has a cute companion – a pet goat named Valentino who supplies plenty of fun antics. He’s cute and cuddly, but can be a little bit of a nuisance. Read how he was imagined and how the animators settled on how he is dressed. Associate Production Designer Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay said, “Valentino’s costume is inspired by Lisa Keane’s private collection of pajamas for goats.” (p 140) Keane was a co-production designer and is an animal expert at the studio.

The songs in the film also add to the story and they are examined in this book. The movie brings out aspects of all the past Disney animated films and that is evident when looking through the pages. Star, another creative character, often imitates the facial expressions of Mickey Mouse himself. 

There is a four-page fold-out looking at the Hamlet in which Asha lives as well as her cottage itself. Plus, there are images of the new land of Rosas and the castle where the king and queen live. After all, Disney is famous for their castles and palaces, and this one is quite beautiful, even if a villain resides there.

The villains in the Disney films are also shown and the book looks at the various characters in the past films that added to the look and feel of this movie. Also, there are plenty of critters and different foliage that pay tribute to the other films. All of these are shown in the book.

As Lee writes, “There’s a moment when the film starts telling you what it wants to be.” (p. 84) The evolution of the movie, from beginning to end, comes to light throughout the pages of the book.

Besides the story, characters, and background, the filmmakers delve into aspects of animation like color-blocking, among others. This is a great lesson for anyone interested in how animated films are made.

The entire environment of the film is discussed and shown very clearly throughout all the pages. This is truly a book that will be opened many times just to see all the wonderful artwork or to learn about the making of the film.

The Art of Wish is a must-have for those collecting the “Art of” series of books. It is also a great gift for fans of the film. All you have to do is to look at the beautiful cover art to see what’s in store when you open the book.

  • Publisher  :  Chronicle Books (October 24, 2023)
  • Hardcover  :  200 pages
  • ISBN-10  :  1797222198
  • ISBN-13  :  978-1797222196

About the Reviewer

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 30 years. She also writes about books, products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.