D23 Expo featured a variety of exciting reveals, among them, Ariana DeBose’s role as the lead in “Wish,” the studio’s upcoming animated feature film. Does this mean that DeBose will play the first Afro-Latina Disney Princess?
The photo released shows a woman with long black hair alongside a goat, staring longingly at a castle, giving plenty of Disney princess vibes. Per Disney, the film explores “how the iconic wishing star came to be,” and will be directed by Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn, both Disney veterans. Buck directed “Frozen” and “Frozen II,” and Veerasunthorn has worked on the art and animation of films like “Moana,” “Raya and the Last Dragon,” and more. It will star DeBose, Alan Tudyk and will feature new songs by Julia Michaels.
DeBose will voice the lead, named Asha, making it likely that the character is an Afro-Latina, like herself. Per Deadline, Asha is a 17-year-old who’s “driven, incredibly smart and an optimist, a sharp-witted leader in the making who sees darkness that others do not.”
“Wish” blends old and new techniques, using classic watercolors with 3D CG animation. “Fawn and I both grew up on Disney classics and fell in love with them,” Buck said. “Truly is no greater power in the universe than someone with a true wish in their hearts.”
“Wish” joins a long and exciting roster of projects that star DeBose, who’s quickly risen and become one of Hollywood’s most coveted stars. In the near future, she’s set to star in “House of Spoils” and in the Marvel film “Kraven the Hunter.”