Wish Dragon (2021) is the latest film from the mind of Gavin Nascimento and is the follow-up to his previous film, The Dreamer.

When I was little, I had a little pink dragon named Wish. He was a fun and carefree dragon who would always smile and say “yay”. I was happy to have him around, even though I was only a child. After a while, I got older and Wish wasn’t as amusing anymore. He became a more serious dragon and became more and more annoying as he grew up. He became very angry and resentful. Finally, he left me and my family, and went far away with the rest of the Wish Dragon Tribe. I miss him.

Wish Dragon (2021): I could go on about the plot, but let me get to the point, Wish Dragon (2021) is a beautiful, moving, and often heart-wrenching film that will stick with you. It’s a film that will make you think about what’s important, it shows how the smallest actions can have the biggest impact on those around you.

After finally sitting down and watching Dragon of Wishes on Netflix, I have to admit that I learned an important lesson (again): You should never judge a movie by its first 20 minutes. Although Dragon of Wishes gets off to a rather slow start, it eventually picks up speed and tells a great story.

Set in modern-day Shanghai, The Tale of the Dragon of Wishes tells the story of a skilled (but poor) young man named Ding who unexpectedly comes into possession of a magical teapot containing a wishing dragon named Long, who can grant him three wishes. If this sounds suspiciously like the plot of Aladdin, it is, and for that reason alone I almost gave up on the movie, because let’s face it, Disney told this story years ago and did it very well.

But there is one crucial difference between the two films, and that is the titular Dragon of Long Wishes. The pink dragon is not a djinni, and the movie is well written so we don’t see it that way. Long is an unexpectedly complex character; he was annoying at first, but gradually became one of my favorite characters in the film. Long is not only a magical dragon, he also has his own motivations that color the plot, and this creates a very different relationship between Dean and Long than the one between Aladdin and the genie. It’s a brilliant twist for a story like this, and I’m glad I followed the film to see how this plot develops.

Another thing I like about Dragon of Wishes is how this story puts a platonic spin on the plot of a boy longing for a girl. When I first heard about this movie and realized it was about a young man and a girl, I rolled my eyes and thought: Here it is, another romantic YA style animated film. Go for it! And then I saw the part of the trailer where Dean admits that he does NOT want Lina to fall in love with him, he just wants her to be his best friend again. And then my jaw dropped. Searching…. that you don’t see in the stories, or at least not so far. It was so refreshing to see a story where romance is NOT the end goal of these magical wishes (another big difference from Aladdin).

In addition, the film deals with the themes of truth and friendship. The main theme of this movie is of course friendship and how that is one of the most important things one can have, even more than money or fame. But, uh… At the same time, there is almost equal emphasis on telling the truth, whether it’s about what you really want in life or being honest about who you really are. You have to be honest with yourself and the world about what you really want, at least that’s what I realized after seeing this movie.

By the way, I would like to mention that there is also a small lesson in the Wish Dragon: Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. It’s a lesson not often found in magical wish stories, but in this film Dragon of Wishes makes good use of it, and Long even alludes to the idea that you should be careful what you don’t wish for.

As much as I like the Dragon of Desires, it takes time to get into it. I ask you to be patient in the first act of the film, because once it gets going, the story becomes very funny. Other than that, I have no serious complaints about this movie. The animation is expertly done and the music, I learned in a conversation with the film’s composer, is truly a perfect blend of East and West.

Despite some minor bugs and a slow start, Wish Dragon turned out to be everything I was promised and more. It proves that a story like this doesn’t have to be romantic to work, and it also shows that money isn’t everything, and neither is wealth. When the credits rolled, I was more than satisfied with what I had seen and would happily recommend this movie on Netflix.

Tell me what you think of Dragon of Wishes on Netflix in the comments below, and have a great day!

See also:

Music, magic and dragons: Conversation with composer Philip Klein about The Wish Dragon (2021)

Animated film reviews

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May:

How do you load…Every year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gathers to celebrate its rich history and looks forward to its future. At the recent SAG Awards, the academy awarded some of its most prestigious honors to actors, directors, and writers who have passed away. One of the categories they honored this year was the honor of being nominated for a SAG Life Achievement Award, which is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the movie industry. The award recipients included actor and singer Eddie Vedder, director (and my favorite director) Martin Scorsese, producer Robert Evans, and the legendary film composer John Williams. One of my favorite movies would have to be the 1993 smash hit, “Jurassic Park”. It was written by David K. Read more about wish dragon box office and let us know what you think.

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