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‘Wish’ Review: The New Disney Animated Musical Wishes Upon a Star — and a Brand

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Owen Gleiberman Chief Film Critic “When You Wish Upon a Star” is one of those songs, like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” that’s bigger than a song.

It was first heard, of course, in the 1940 Walt Disney animated classic “Pinocchio,” where it was sung by Jiminy Cricket. Disney made it the company theme song in the ’50s, and since the early ’80s it has been featured in the studio’s motion-picture logo.

Steven Spielberg added a layer of fairy dust to the song’s mythology when he talked about how close he came to playing it over the final moments of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” For Disney, “When You Wish Upon a Star” is more than an anthem — it’s a totem of corporate magic, a statement of everything the company represents and holds dear.

So what does it mean that “Wish,” the studio’s lavish new animated musical, while it doesn’t include “When You Wish Upon a Star,” is a kind of literal-minded theme-park-ready illustration of it?

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