Warning: Spoilers ahead for Disney’s Wish!
- Wish pays homage to classic Disney movies through its use of over 100 Easter eggs and references throughout the film.
- The character archetypes in Wish, such as Asha’s friends who reference Snow White’s seven dwarfs, align with Disney’s past beloved characters.
- Wish also references classic Disney villains through Magnifico’s evil nature and his lair, which contains Easter eggs that tie him to iconic Disney evildoers.
Disney’s Wish is a love letter to the production company’s 100 years of iconic animated classics, exemplified by Wish’s impressive amount of Disney Easter eggs and references. Wish follows 17-year-old Asha, who discovers that the wish-granting King Magnifico isn’t as benevolent as he wants to seem. After Asha learns that the wishes that Magnifico takes from Rosas’ subjects won’t be granted, she, along with the magic-wielding Star and her goat Valentino, endeavor to return the wishes to the people. In many ways, the dynamic between Asha and Magnifico is a return to form for Disney’s animated movies, but that isn’t the only way Wish pays homage to Disney’s past.
Wish’s story is completely original, but the newest Disney movie finds many ways to salute past beloved Disney classics through its liberal use of Easter eggs. In fact, the creators behind the movie claim that there are over 100 Disney Easter eggs and references throughout Wish. Given the staggering amount of Easter eggs, catching all of Wish’s Disney references is a Herculean feat. However, doing so allows audiences to both enjoy nostalgic Disney memories of past features while making new ones with Wish.
23 Wish’s Storybook Intro Is A Nod To Other Classic Disney Intros
Wish’s Storybook Opening References The Intros Of Classic Disney Movies
Wish’s Disney Easter eggs begin as early as the movie’s intro, which calls back to some of Disney’s other classic movies. The movie’s opening is framed through the use of a storybook to establish Wish’s lore and backstory. Although this is a clever way to give exposition without weighing down Wish’s plot, this isn’t the first time Disney has used a storybook to frame its story. Using a storybook as a framing device is a tactic that several of Disney’s early classics employed, namely Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. This framing device is an early hint that Wish is a love letter to classic Disney.
22 Asha’s Friends Are A Reference To Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs
Asha’s Friends In Wish Each Correspond With One Of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs
Wish uses several character archetypes that Disney is known for employing, including a reference to some of Snow White’s most famous characters. Asha’s best friends are all references to Snow White’s seven dwarfs. This point is driven home by their names: Dahlia (Doc), Simon (Sleepy), Gabo (Grumpy), Hal (Happy), Dario (Dopey), Bezeema (Bashful), and Safi (Sneezy). Their names aren’t the only thing that aligns with the Seven Dwarfs, with the Wish counterparts taking on many of their personality traits as well.
21 Magnifico Is A Nod To Past Disney Villains
Magnifico’s Evil Ways & Lair Pay Homage To Disney’s Classic Villains
Disney has varied their villain archetypes in recent years, but Wish’s Magnifico is a nod to classic Disney villains. Rather than being a twist villain like many of Disney’s recent animated baddies, it is established early in Wish’s run that Magnifico is pure evil, with his actions being fueled by pride and vanity rather than the altruism he tries to claim. Magnifico’s evil nature and powers harkens back to several classic Disney villains, such as Snow White’s Evil Queen, The Emperor’s New Groove’s Yzma, The Little Mermaid’s Ursula, and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent.
To drive home Magnifico’s connections to past Disney villains, Wish sprinkles many Easter eggs throughout his evil lair that tie him to classic Disney evildoers. For example, Vials that resemble Yzma’s poison potions can be seen in Magnifico’s lab. There are even more references in the dungeon once Magnifico decides to embrace forbidden magic, including the Evil Queen’s poison apple and magic green hands that resemble the ones Ursula used to steal Ariel’s voice. Magnifico’s vain obsession with mirrors also harkens back to the Evil Queen’s vanity with the Magic Mirror. These Easter eggs tell the audience right away that Magnifico is unequivocally up to no good.
20 A Copy Of Aurora’s Dress From Sleeping Beauty Appears In A Wish
One Of The Wishes Shows Aurora’s Iconic Outfit From Sleeping Beauty
When Wish’s main characters view the wishes that Magnifico is keeping in his possession, they often contain brief references to classic Disney movies. Though these vary in how obvious they are, one of the clearest can be seen in a wish where the subject desires to be a dressmaker. In the wish, the lady is shown crafting a gown that is nearly identical to Aurora’s iconic dress from Sleeping Beauty.
19 The Advice Asha Got From Her Father Harkens Back To Mufasa’s Speech To Simba
Wish’s Fatherly Advice References Mufasa’s From The Lion King
One of the guiding forces in Asha’s life is the memory of her father, who used to take her stargazing. According to Asha, her father used to tell her that “the stars are there to guide us,” which is a reference to one of Mufasa’s famous speeches to Simba in The Lion King. While Mufasa’s advice for Simba is more metaphorical, Asha is inspired by her father’s past words to wish upon a star. As a result, this is one of the most important Easter eggs to Wish’s plot, as Asha’s wish is what sets the story in motion.
18 Asha’s Hair References A Famous Pocahontas Moment
Asha Recreates Pocahontas’ “Colors Of The Wind”
Many of Wish’s Disney references are brief visual cues, including a quick Pocahontas Easter egg. While Asha is standing on the cliff as she makes her wish, the wind blows her hair. This visual is reminiscent of the famous image of Pocahontas in the “Colors of the Wind” sequence from the movie of the same name. Similar to Pocahontas in “Colors of the Wind”, Asha’s wish is a moment of her reconnecting to and affirming her personal beliefs when confronted with sinister influences, making the reference an apt one.
17 Wish’s Wishing Well Is A Reference To Snow White
The Well Asha Passes In Wish Looks Like Snow White’s Wishing Well
After Asha’s wish results in the arrival of Star, she and Valentino chase Star through the woods. During the chase sequence, Asha briefly leans against a well. This well bears a striking resemblance to the wishing well from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, one of the first of numerous references that Wish makes to Disney’s first feature film.
16 Wish’s Woodland Animals Reference Disney’s Famous Talking Animal Characters
The Animals Star Gives The Power Of Speech To Reference Other Disney Animals
Disney’s animated movies are known for featuring talking animals, and Wish continues this trend when Star enchants several woodland creatures, including Asha’s goat Valentino, allowing them to speak. This itself is a reference to classic Disney features, but there are other references and Easter eggs within this woodland scene. The references in this scene vary in specificity, with some animals merely being familiar features in other Disney animated classics to actually referencing specific Disney characters.
Although few of the animals featured in Wish’s woodland scene receive names, those that do are clear Easter eggs to other Disney movies. When a bear and deer talk to each other, they call each other “John” and “Bambi,” which reference the characters Little John of Robin Hood and Bambi from his eponymous film. There is also a rabbit who stomps his foot while speaking, which is a clear reference to Bambi’s Thumper. In addition, there are two mice inside a leaf that bear a resemblance to Bernard and Bianca of The Rescuers.
15 Star Accidentally Draws Mickey In Magnifico’s Library
Then Enchanted Quill References Mickey Mouse
Star is the source of many of Wish’s Disney Easter eggs, including a brief moment in Magnifico’s study. When Star, Asha, and Valentino are attempting to break into Magnifico’s library to steal back the wishes of Asha’s family, they get stuck in the food chute that they were trying to sneak in through. In an attempt to release the locking mechanism, Star tries to use magic, but it backfires. Instead, Star accidentally enchants a quill on Magnifico’s work table, which can be seen drawing the outline of the Disney mascot Mickey Mouse.
14 Asha’s Moves In Magnifico’s Library Are Like Sorcerer Mickey From Fantasia
Asha’s Movements When Trying To Unlock Magnifico’s Door Are Like Mickey’s In Fantasia
Once Wish’s three main characters finally free themselves from the locked food chute, they quickly set to work on trying to get into the locked door, behind which Magnifico keeps the wishes of the people of Rosas. As the only person who had been inside before, Asha attempts to unlock the doors by mimicking Magnifico’s movements. Though Asha is unsuccessful in her attempts, the movements that Asha tries on the door resemble those that Sorcerer Mickey used in Fantasia. Similar to Mickey in Fantasia, Asha has a middling track record of successfully using magic, and Star luckily comes in to help, just like Fantasia’s Sorcerer.
13 Magnifico’s Animated Objects Reference Beauty & The Beast
Magnifico Enchants Objects Like Beauty & The Beast’s During His Villain Song
Magnifico goes full evil in his song “This Is The Thanks I Get?!” after his actions are questioned during an address to his subjects, and the song’s sequence holds many Disney references, including one to Beauty and the Beast. At one point in the song, Magnifico enchants some empty knight gear, which all become animated, seemingly alive. The Coat of Arms that Magnifico dances with during “This Is The Thanks I Get?!” is a reference to Beauty and the Beast’s own enchanted everyday objects, which are central to that film’s plot.
12 Wish’s Dungeon Stairs Are Like Snow White’s
The Stairs To Magnifico’s Dungeon Look Like The Ones In Snow White
Once Magnifico makes the decision to embrace the forbidden magic that he had been waxing poetic about the dangers of, he decides to retreat from his library to the dungeon in the basement. A set of spiraling stairs appears that wasn’t there before, and Magnifico enters the dungeon, where he creates his evil magic staff. These dungeon stairs bear a striking resemblance to the ones from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, adding to Wish’s long list of Snow White homages.
11 Asha’s Messenger Mouse For Queen Amaya Is A Nod To Cinderella
The Mouse Asha Sends To Talk To Queen Amaya References Cinderella’s Gus Gus
During the ceremony where King Magnifico declares Asha a wanted enemy of Rosas, Asha, and Star employ some unorthodox help to get Queen Amaya’s attention from a creature in a nod to Cinderella. Star enchants a mouse to deliver a message from Asha to Amaya, which is similar to the role of the mice in the Disney classic Cinderella. To fully cement this nod, the mouse is even nibbling on a kernel of corn when Star and Asha enlist its help, which is an Easter egg to Cinderella’s Gus Gus.
10 The Wishes Magnifico Crushes Reference Past Classic Disney Characters
Magnifico Destroys The Wishes Other Past Disney Characters Towards The End Of Wish
In an effort to gain even more power, Magnifico crushes the wishes of three citizens of Rosas. As he does so, Magnifico states the wishes depicted in each orb, laughing at them before destroying them. Although all three of the townsfolk whose wishes Magnifico crushes have been seen throughout Wish prior to this, the contents of their wishes that Magnifico describes reference past Disney animated movies.
The first wish that Magnifico destroys is a reference to Peter Pan, which Magnifico states is a wish for a Fantasyland, to which Magnifico dismissively says, “How about Neverland?” Next, Magnifico destroys a wish for a nanny to take care of the wisher’s children, which is a clear reference to Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins. Finally, Magnifico crushes a wish for “true love.” Although this could reference nearly any Disney Princess feature, the specific reference in this scene is likely meant to be to The Little Mermaid since Magnifico says, “So much for true love,” a line that Ursula utters to Ariel.
9 Asha’s Becomes Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother
Asha Takes On The Fairy Godmother’s Characteristics In A Nod To Cinderella
Asha’s arc in Wish sees her become something of a Fairy Godmother for Rosas, which is a nod to the famous Cinderella character. There are a few different nods to Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother throughout the ending of Wish, beginning with Asha’s robes, which bear a resemblance to those that the Fairy Godmother dons. Star also gifts Asha a magic wand, just like the one that the Fairy Godmother wields in Cinderella. At the very end of the movie, when Asha’s friends declare her Rosas’ Fairy Godmother, Asha even undergoes the iconic Cinderella transformation, cementing her new role in the kingdom.
8 Wish’s Flying Books Are A Reference To The Sword In The Stone
The Flying Books In Wish Are Reminiscent Of The Sword In The Stone
While Asha attempts to draw away Magnifico, her friends, and Queen Amaya attempt to free the wishes from the castle by opening up the roof. In doing this, they are aided by some flying books. These flying books reference Disney’s lesser-known movie The Sword in the Stone, in which Merlin similarly bewitched books to levitate. Interestingly, Disney is developing a live-action The Sword in the Stone movie.
7 One Of Wish’s Characters Does A Tarzan Yell
Wish’s Character Yell Is A Reference To Tarzan
After several failed attempts to pull the roof open, the Wish characters come to the conclusion that they aren’t strong enough. A suggestion from Star and Gabo leads them to jump over the railing of Magnifico’s study, using gravity to help open up the roof. As they jump, one of the characters lets out a loud yell, which is reminiscent of the iconic one used by Disney’s Tarzan.
6 Magnifico’s Green Thorns Reference Sleeping Beauty
Magnifico’s Magic Thorns Are Reminiscent Of Maleficent In Sleeping Beauty
When Magnifico reveals the full extent of his evil powers afforded to him through his magic staff to Rosas’ citizens, he uses a strong magic spell to trap them after they attempt to dissent. This releases glowing green thorns, which trap his subjects to the ground, keeping them in the kingdom and under his rule. These magic green thorns bear a resemblance to the ones that Maleficent uses in Sleeping Beauty.
5 Magnifico’s Fate Is A Nod To Aladdin’s Villain Defeat
Magnifico Is Captured In The Same Way As Aladdin’s Jafar
After Magnifico spent so many years trapping the wishes of Rosas’ citizens, he is finally defeated by the power of wishes in Wish’s ending. This power not only frees Star from Magnifico’s staff, but also traps Magnifico inside the staff, where it appears he will remain indefinitely, according to Queen Amaya. Trapping Magnifico inside his staff is reminiscent of Jafar becoming trapped within the genie lamp in Aladdin, making Magnifico’s defeat a nod to a past Disney villain takedown.
4 Valentino Wish Is Similar To Zootopia
Valentino’s Wish For An Animal Utopia Is A Reference To The Plot Of Zootopia
Once Rosas is free of Magnifico’s evil grasp, Wish’s main characters begin actually granting the wishes of Rosas’ citizens. During this ending scene, Valentino expresses his desire for a utopia in which animals are all equal and don clothing like humans. Although Valentino doesn’t get to see his wish come to fruition in Wish, his desire is a clever nod that is realized by the plot of Zootopia, which features anthropomorphic animals living in a utopia.