Disney’s Wish marks the 62nd entry in the storied Disney Animated Canon, as well as the project intended to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary. As such, it’s purposely styled in keeping with a classic fairytale, right down to the storybook opening, optimistic message, and, of course, reams of marketable animal sidekicks.
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Do you love references? Wish granted!
Perhaps the thing that’s most intriguing about Wish, however, is its ending. Prior to the film’s release, director Chris Buck confirmed that it’s intended to be taken as an ‘origin story’ of sorts for many of the Disney company’s famous tropes and iconography. The adorable Star, for example, is quite literally the wishing star that appears in the studio’s logo, and which debuted in 1940’s Pinocchio. Wish’s ending takes this concept and runs with it — to the point it can be a tad overwhelming trying to spot all the nods! Here’s the movie’s dénouement, broken down and explained.
As you’d expect, this article fully details the final battle, ending, and post-credits scene of Wish. If you’ve any desire to experience the story for yourself, steer well clear! There are more than a few surprises that work best when you aren’t expecting them.
What Happens Leading Up To The Final Battle?
Wish centres on plucky 17-year-old Asha, who senses something amiss about King Magnifico, the leader of the city of Rosas.
Rosas operates on a seemingly benign wish-granting system: when each resident turns 18, they give up their heart’s greatest desire to Magnifico, a sorcerer by trade, who keeps them sealed in his study.
Once a month, Magnifico gathers up the populace for a ceremony, where he makes one of these wishes come true. In this fashion, Rosas has become a multicultural utopia, whose residents want for nothing and pay no taxes.
While interviewing to be Magnifico’s apprentice, though, Asha discovers two terrible truths:
- He erases each citizen’s memories of their wish, preventing them from pursuing it themselves.
- He has no intention of returning ungranted wishes to their original owners, instead hoarding them like the world’s most twisted collector.
In this way, he’s ensuring his continued stranglehold over the people’s abilities and aspirations. Obviously, Asha can’t have that, and so she wishes on a star for help.
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And the star answers, in a big way. Down comes the lovably anthropomorphic Star, who agrees to help Asha, and her friends, recover the trapped wishes; and perhaps remove Magnifico from power in the process.
Things soon spiral out of control — Magnifico turns to an ancient dark spellbook to ensure he remains in power, Asha and her mates are branded fugitives, and Magnifico’s own wife, Queen Amaya, agrees to join the band of rebels.
What Happens During The Final Battle?
While Star and Asha’s chums open the roof of Magnifico’s study, setting Rosas’ wishes floating free, Magnifico has a ploy of his own in play.
He’s sent his brainwashed stooge, Asha’s former friend Simon, to distract Asha out in the forest, disguised as the king himself.
By the time Asha realises the deception, it’s too late: Magnifico ascends to the top of the castle, and traps both the wishes and Star in a dark forcefield.
Asha races back to the city on horseback, only to be grabbed by Magnifico’s magic and hoisted atop the tower. She’s forced to watch as Magnifico drains the power of every wish in Rosas, giving his staff enough energy to absorb Star.
The 10 Best Disney References And Easter Eggs In Wish
Do you love references? Wish granted!
This effectively grants the king unlimited power, and he wastes no time putting his interstellar abilities to the test.
First, he binds every citizen in place and down on their knees with terrifying green thorns, and then summons gigantic black clouds to cover the skies, so no one may repeat Asha’s little star-wishing stunt.
With his subjects now forced to bow to him, Magnifico gloats, and slams Asha against the ground a few times for good measure. “There will be no more hope, no more telling of tales,” he cruelly declares.
“There will be no more hope, no more telling of tales.”
How Is Magnifico Defeated?
But all is not lost. Asha recalls what the newly-talking wildlife of Rosas told her earlier in the film: that all living things come from stardust, and that humans and stars share common galactic ancestors in nebulae and supernovas.
So, even though Magnifico may have blanketed the skies, there are more than enough stars still to make a wish: the citizens of Rosas.
Via a goosebump-inducing rendition of ‘This Wish’, Asha pleads the trapped residents to make a stand. Magnifico is quick to shut her up with a jolt of pain, but he can’t silence everyone.
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Asha’s best friend Dahlia and Queen Amaya continue the song, and soon the entire town square is warbling away, their chests lighting up with star power. The king repeatedly attempts to renew his hold over them, but it isn’t enough.
Asha rejoins the crowd, and with one final, bombastic note, the wishes’ power is restored, and Magnifico’s dark staff turns against him a la Dr. Facilier.
Dark green arms reach out and pull the king inside the tip of the staff: a mirror.
At the exact moment he enters his eternal prison, his face morphs into something most familiar. It’s the famous mug of the Evil Queen’s Magic Mirror, from Snow White.
What Happens After Magnifico’s Defeat?
With Star now freed, the dark clouds in the sky are dispelled, and the bubbles containing Rosas’ wishes are popped.
The wayward wishes cascade downwards in a breathtaking shot, and each one returns to its original maker.
Having seen Magnifico’s true colours (shades of green, no less), the people are more motivated than ever to pursue their dreams sans magic.
Asha’s mother is among those to have her wish returned, and Asha reconciles with both her family and friends, as well as Simon, who’s released from Magnifico’s hypnosis. All seems rosy in Rosas.
There’s one more loose end to tie up, though. Amaya finds the Magic Mirror containing Magnifico on the ground, and, ignoring his pleas for freedom, orders a guard to hang him on the wall of the dungeon.
What Becomes Of Asha And Star?
Cut to some time later, and Amaya has now assumed full-time control of the kingdom. She assists the citizens in bringing their dreams to fruition through more conventional, hardworking means — and we see a very familiar pairing take place.
A young lady named Wendy wants to be able to take to the skies, so Amaya introduces her to a lad named Peter, who’s “looking for a way to fly.”
You might think this is sheer coincidence, but you’d be wrong; Peter is dressed in full green Pan regalia, right down to the tights and feathered cap. Subtle, Disney.
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As for Asha, she’s overjoyed that the people of Rosas are now able to remember their heart’s desires. But Star isn’t through with her yet.
He presents her with a magic wand, and renders her dress all sparkly and whimsical.
Around the midway point, Asha begins wearing a familiar blue robe, complete with a hood and purple ribbon. Yep, it’s the outfit of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother.
If this wasn’t blatant enough, Asha’s friend Dario now suggests, “you could be a fairy godmother!”
The implication is clear. Asha will either go on to visit Cinderella and many other famous Disney faces, manifesting differently in appearance each time, or she’s simply the first to bear the Fairy Godmother title.
Either way, it’s a touching connection and one that leads directly into yet another Disney reference.
What’s Asha’s pet goat Valentino’s dream? “A utopian metropolis, where all mammals can be equal. And wear clothes.” Zootopia’s founder, everyone. Granted, it might just be a comedic nod, but that is very specific wording.
How Does Wish End?
Unfortunately, Star can’t stick around to help with Asha’s training. He’s got to return to the sky, to be there for other folks (i.e. Disney characters) to wish on.
After all, how will Geppetto, Moana, Simba, Tiana, Chicken Little, and a whole bunch besides make it through their stories without Star there to guide them? It’s a heartfelt goodbye, but for the first time, Asha can translate Star’s twinkling into his parting words: “just keep wishing!”
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Star zooms into the sky above Rosas, setting off a series of fireworks as he does so, in a manner highly reminiscent of the nightly shows at Disney parks across the globe.
The final set of three fireworks forms a most conspicuous Mickey Mouse shape, and Star even winks directly at us, sealing the deal.
Star’s final act is to arc over the Rosas castle, just as he’ll go on to do at the start of every subsequent Disney movie, neatly tying the entire canon together. And so the storybook closes, ending the tale of Wish.
What Happens In Wish’s Post-Credits Scene?
There’s still one emotional gut punch up Wish’s sleeve, however. Following the credits sequence — which features Star creating silhouettes of every other canon Disney protagonist with his dust — there’s a bonus scene.
Asha’s 100-year-old grandfather, Sabino, sits alone on the shoreline. He’s still trying to figure out his inspirational musical composition, the one he had wished to be able to create. That wish, incidentally, was the catalyst for the entire conflict, so he’d better make this song a good one.
He idly strums for a few moments, and then an idea strikes him. Suddenly, he starts playing an iconic tune: ‘When You Wish Upon A Star,’ the Disney company’s theme that debuted in Pinocchio.
It might be a bit rich to swallow the implication that Sabino composed such a legendary piece of music, but it’s impossible to deny the sweetness of the gesture. Happy birthday, Disney, and see you in year 200!
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