New Disney Film Sparks Controversy for Alleged ‘Frozen’ Borrowings

Left: Anna looks to Elsa and smiles in 'Frozen 2' (2019). Right: Asha and her goat, Valentino, sit on a tree branch looking at the stars in 'Wish' (2023).

The upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios film Wish (2013) has stirred controversy ahead of its release. Despite Disney’s promise to return to traditional animation for its newest Disney Princess movie as part of Disney’s 100th celebration, initial trailers have left some fans disappointed. Criticisms include concerns about the protagonist’s striking resemblance to other Disney Princesses and dissatisfaction with the perceived lackluster villain song.

In a recent teaser for Wish, some fans have noted that Walt Disney Animation Studios may have drawn inspiration from one of its previous hits, Frozen (2013), to attract potential viewers.

Wish (2023) has received early positive critical reception despite fan complaints. Scheduled to premiere over Thanksgiving weekend, the film introduces a new Disney Princess, Asha, who inadvertently creates the wishing star. “In ‘Wish,” ‘Asha, a sharp-witted idealist, makes a wish so powerful that it is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star,” Disney describes. “Together, Asha and Star confront a most formidable foe—the ruler of Rosas, King Magnifico—to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.”

Asha from Disney's 'Wish' standing in front of a door

The film boasts a star-studded cast, including Academy Award®-winning actor Ariana DeBose as Asha, Chris Pine as Magnifico, and Alan Tudyk as Asha’s favorite goat, Valentino. Oscar®-winning director Chris Buck (‘Frozen,’ ‘Frozen 2’) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (‘Raya and the Last Dragon’) helm the film, produced by Peter Del Vecho (‘Frozen,’ “Frozen 2’) and Juan Pablo Reyes (‘Encanto’). Jennifer Lee (‘Frozen,’ “Frozen 2’) serves as executive producer, with Lee and Allison Moore (‘Night Sky,” “Manhunt’) as writers. Original songs are composed by Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning producer/songwriter/musician Benjamin Rice, with a score by composer Dave Metzger.”

The film’s marketing appears to be outperforming recent box office disappointments like Lightyear (2022) and Strange World (2022). However, a particular trailer has caught attention for its similarity to a famous line from Frozen.

In the clip, Asha expresses shock while conversing with talking mushrooms. “This is crazy,” Asha exclaims. “We love crazy,” respond the mushrooms in unison.

Asha snuggles with her goat, Valentino, on a balcony.

The similarity to an iconic line from Frozen’s song “Love Is An Open Door,” where Prince Hans proposes to Princess Anna, has sparked discussion. Whether this resemblance is intentional or a hidden Easter egg by Walt Disney Animators remains unknown.

Wish is set to premiere on November 22, 2023, with special early access screenings available on November 18.

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