Animated character Asha, voiced by Ariana DeBose, appears in the movie "Wish." (OSV News photo/Disney)

NEW YORK (OSV News) — This year marks the centennial of the entertainment empire established by cartoonist extraordinaire Walt Disney. To mark the occasion, we’re given “Wish” (Disney), a paean to the Mouse House’s legacy.

Genuinely challenging material is absent from this jaunty animated musical. But a few potentially problematic elements do lurk in its background.

Set in an imaginary kingdom ruled by a sorcerer called Magnifico (voice of Chris Pine), this is the story of one of his younger subjects, 17-year-old Asha (voice of Ariana DeBose). Asha starts out as an admirer of her monarch and aspires to the high honor of serving as his apprentice. But close contact with Magnifico reveals to her that he has his dark side and may be dangerous.

So Asha sets out to defeat Magnifico’s schemes for gaining greater power. She’s aided by an ensemble of youthful friends, led by gifted royal baker Dahlia (voice of Jennifer Kumiyama), as well as by her talking pet goat, Valentino (voice of Alan Tudyk). A voiceless but cuddly-cute star also helps in her struggle.

Directors Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn’s fantasy adventure has a handsome look, its style reminiscent of delicate and detailed watercolor paintings. As for Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice’s songs, they’re enjoyable without being especially memorable.

Fortunately, this salute to all things Disney avoids the studio’s recent tendency to insinuate positive messages about the homosexual lifestyle into movies aimed at children. And its celebration of popular unity in the face of oppression is certainly in keeping with Gospel values. Yet, as scripted by Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore, the picture does raise a few red flags.

Thus, while the screenplay carries a clear warning about black magic, it implies — if only by its silence on the subject — that other forms of it might be acceptable. A mushy mythos also is built up overly exalting the power of wishes.

Additionally, the morally dubious idea is introduced that it’s OK to purloin something that doesn’t rightfully belong to the person currently in possession of it. Such ingredients are unlikely to prove genuinely harmful to older kids. But they may give the parents of the most impressionable viewers pause.

The film contains characters in peril as well as fleeting scatological and gross-out humor. The OSV News classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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