Disney’s latest animated movie, Wish, is facing a struggle to turn things around after receiving poor initial reviews and currently holding a 59% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Wish was chosen by Disney to celebrate their 100th anniversary and has high expectations, but it has fallen behind other recent Disney originals like Encanto and Raya and the Last Dragon in terms of critical reception. The boom in streaming platforms, including Disney+, has changed the landscape for movie releases, and a film’s success can now be determined by its performance on streaming platforms rather than the box office. Strange World, one of Disney’s recent box office failures, became a hit on Disney+ after its cinematic release.

Back in 2019, Disney seemed to be riding high on a wave of success. From the mighty Avengers franchise under their Marvel Studios banner, through the animation of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, to the live-action remakes of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin, it seemed that little could stop the House of Mouse’s dominance of the box office. However, Disney’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse in recent years, and it looks like their latest animated movie, Wish, is going to have its own struggle to turn things around after a poor initial wave of reviews.

Currently, Wish is holding a 59% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As the first Disney movie to be rated “rotten” since Chicken Little almost two decades ago, it is not exactly how Disney would have wanted to celebrate their 100thanniversary. It also comes with the slightly worrying statistic of having a much lower score than last year’s box office bomb, Strange World, which has a 72% critics score.

As the movie chosen by Disney to help usher in their centenary, with a story that holds links to one of the studio’s constant icons – the wishing star – the high expectations don’t seem to have been met according to the consensus. As well as falling behind Strange World, other recent Disney originals, including Encanto and Raya and the Last Dragonhave also outshone Wish, with scores of over 90%. Naturally, this is not the end of the story, as on many occasions, the views of the public are drastically different to those of movie critics.

Related: Why Strange World Bombed At The Box Office


One big change in the last three years has been the boom in streaming platforms. This has included the arrival of Disney’s own Disney+ platform, which has played host to exclusive movie releases from Pixar and contains pretty much the entire catalogue of Disney-owned movies, including releases from the last few months.

While at one time, Disney fans would have to wait up to 8 months to see a movie transition from cinemas to home media, now it can be as quick as 30 days for films that just don’t set the box office alight. In the last few years, movies like Encanto and Elemental have ended their theatrical run with a moderately successful profit under their belts, and an even biggest success on Disney+. However, last year, Strange World became one of Disney’s biggest box office failures for decades, standing alongside the lacklustre performance of Pixar’s Lightyear, as part of a severely disappointing year for the House of Mouse’s theatrical performance.

What confounded these failures even more, is the fact that on its arrival on Disney+ just several weeks after its cinematic debut, Strange World proved to be a hit. This came on the back of the streaming success of movies like Encanto, which also gained much more attention once available to subscribers in the comfort of their own homes.

Whether Wish can manage to turn things around for Disney’s big screen fortunes will be revealed soon, when the movie makes its debut on November 22, 2023. In the meantime, you can read MovieWeb’s review of the film here, and check out the trailer below.

 Disney’s Wish has arrived during the company’s 100th anniversary celebrations, but its review consensus may dampen the party.  Read More