The movie that we’re reviewing today is called “Wish Dragon”. This movie is currently available on Netflix and finally we had the pleasure of watching it. We’re excited to tell you about it first of all its rated PG and it’s an hour and 38 minutes movie.
Sony Pictures Animation combines efforts with a Chinese animation company to introduce a more modern Chinese spin on the famous and popular Disney’s “Aladdin”. In fact, the protagonist’s name in the story is short for Aladdin. This is Sony animations,
We just thought it was super fun. Writer and director Chris Apple Hans explains that he was inspired by Aladdin but then he wanted to veer off with a new direction with some unique Chinese mythology settings and elements. He does a great job. He’s actually best known for other animation work like Disney’s “the princess and the Frog” and more recently “wonder park”.
This Disney spark definitely comes through in this film. There were millions of things that we really liked about the movie. This movie does a great job teaching people more about the amazing country and culture of china. The movie captures so many little details of Chinese life and we are so glad that Asia has been in the spotlight lately in quite a few movies on Netflix and elsewhere.
Voice Over: Wish Dragon
The Wish Dragon is voiced by John Joe in the English version. In the mandarin version, guess who voices the Wish Dragon? The legendary Jackie Chan which would have been awesome if he did it in English. However, he does have a really thick accent and so people might have had a difficult time in understanding everything he was saying.
Cast: Wish Dragon Review
Jackie Chan is one of the film’s producers. We were so thrilled to see China being represented in animation. The beautiful Constance Wu from Crazy Rich Asians voices the mom in the movie and we are surprised they didn’t use her for the younger girl but still it was great to have her in the cast. Other famous voice talents included Jimmy Wong, Will Young, Lee Bobby, Lee Natasha, Lou Bordiso, Ronnie Chang among others. They all do a really great job. There’s a really quick scene that shows how fast Shanghai has grown.
It really celebrates the ancient with the modern all at the same time. We’ve been there a few times. The animation is simple but very colorful and sweet with great textures and depth. We were really impressed, lots of purples and pinks are used as you see in the movie poster itself and then a lot of the images that incorporates some different styles of animation to illustrate specific things in this story and we thought that was really clever. There’s a lot of humor and enough for all age groups, lots of cute visual humor that just made us laugh out loud.
Watch Wish Dragon on Putlocker
Pay attention to the writing on signs play on words and the body movements of the characters that often made us laugh. It’s really fun to watch the Wish Dragon discover technology and all of the magical things that exist in our modern world today. The back story of the wish dragon is revealed slowly but when we learn more it’s concise and extremely powerful. The conversation about what the dragon had learned about humans during the past hundreds of years of his life was really profound and important now.
Ironically capitalism is huge right now in china, the entire country is focused on money and any time you see a special decoration or a food you know. We would ask oh what this is for. They would always say “oh it’s for good fortune”. Fortune is on the minds of everyone in China so we wonder if the Chinese viewers will actually take notice of the important life lessons that are presented in the movie about money and what’s truly important in life and of course we hope other audiences get that too.
The Kung Fu action and kicking sequences are hilarious. One of the characters fights only with his feet while he’s wearing a suit and his hands are in his pocket. It’s just kind of random and just super funny.
The movie’s focus wasn’t solely on love and romance like Aladdin is. This one offers so much more at a deeper level and we really appreciated that. There were only a few things that we thought could have been done better.
- First of all we recognized a lot of American viewers might be turned off thinking this is yet one more thing that China has stolen and copied from America saying that the Wish Dragon is a complete rip off of Aladdin and the Aladdin’s genie and so they won’t give this film a chance. But there are similar elements of course in the two films but this one really does offer something unique and it’s definitely worth a watch.
- It’s really hard to feel sorry for a rich young famous beautiful girl. There is some really endearing side characters that we wish could have had more time with and getting to know such as some of the neighbors and that was really cute.
- Two of the villains, Henchmen really didn’t even blossom until the last few minutes of the movie. Overall the length of the movie is just right for little kids even though we wished we could have had a little bit more like we mentioned with some of these other characters.
Let us give you some tips for parents because it is a family-friendly movie and the target audience is kids. You can absolutely expect some toilet humor however not as much as a lot of animated children’s movies so we appreciated that. In fact, the one big moment is when the dragon is in a bathroom and he drinks out of the bidet.
A lot of people might not even understand what that is because that typical home doesn’t have a bidet and most people don’t even know what one is or have ever had experience with it. So they need to explain what that’s all about and technically that fancy toilet that’s demonstrated in the movie is actually Japanese.
Most of the toilets in china are very simple commodes or they’re the hole in the ground type of toilet which is a whole other thing and we didn’t see any of those in the movie. There’s a nod to the king Midas story in the film that younger children may not be familiar with. When you see someone’s hand turned gold you might want to explain to your kids about that story and of course as to be expected there’s lots of animated violence and crazy death defying shenanigans and stunts and that kind of thing.
The themes that are illustrated really well in the story are friendship and reconnecting with lost friends. Imagining being true to yourself, promises greed, power, money, family and their expectations. The value of community, the value of wisdom, status and pressures from society.
Final Words: Wish Dragon Review
We always write down funny lines and interesting lines, so that you can get a flavor and a feel for the movie. One thing that just made me laugh is when the dragon and din are riding in a taxi and all of a sudden it comes to a screeching halt. Then, the camera zooms out and you see just a massive traffic jam everywhere and the dragon is just like in awe and can’t even believe it which is exactly how we felt the very first time.
We were in a real Chinese traffic jam it is no joke we sat with the worst traffic jam. We were ever in china was at a four-way intersection for some reason the street lights had turned off and so cars were just all going at the same time.
We’ve gotten this big gnarled mess in the middle of the intersection, we could not move and nobody else could either. After sitting there for probably 45 minutes while the cars honked at each other and were like dude we can’t move honking is not going to help anyway.
We thought that scene just really nailed it but anyway the funny line is when the dragon looks around at all of this and he says “the sun is moving faster than us” and we were like exactly and then another time he says to din “careful what you don’t wish for”.
It was interesting and another interesting line is when din is trying to explain to the dragon he doesn’t want richness and fame and all of that he says he just wants to be reunited with his friend and the dragon is completely incredulous.
It doesn’t understand it and then just very innocently says what could be more important than friendship and of course that’s a foreshadowing in the movie.
We don’t want to give you any spoilers but there also is another really sweet line. We’ll tell you one more where din’s mom says to him, “I’m sorry, we can’t give you a better life” because they’re very poor and he says you’ve given me a lot everything that matters and we were like so there’s some really powerful lessons.
All right so you want to know the movie review, we are giving the movie a 6. Well it’s probably no big surprise. We really enjoyed it and as we said when it first started, it was kind of like “what is this? A knockoff of Aladdin” for a moment but of course, we kept watching because we wanted to watch the whole movie and felt like it was richly rewarding. It’s very different from Aladdin in many ways that are meaningful.
If you haven’t seen or if your kids haven’t seen the original Aladdin then they won’t know that there is a comparison and it’s fun to pick out the similarities because there are actually even a few Easter eggs.