Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Netflix movie Wish Dragon.
There are plenty of memes on the internet lampooning the "Wish" versions of popular products. If you've ever been on the receiving end of the "Wish bait and switch," then my heart goes out to you: There are fewer consumer experiences more disappointing that being tricked by either false advertising or your own wishful thinking.
This same "bootleg" mentality applies to movie properties too, but is that the cause of the Wish Dragon vs. Aladdin debate?
Netflix's 'Wish Dragon' vs. 'Aladdin': What's the fuss?
Movie and TV plots aren't exactly original, and they never have been. William Shakespeare straight up stole the plotlines for every single one of his plays (except The Tempest), but that doesn't really change the fact that the dude is a legend. No one else told Shakespeare to put a bunch of dirty jokes and wordplay in these plotlines, so it's up to the director/crew to put their own unique fingerprint on the property they're working with.
That still doesn't stop people from crying foul whenever there's a popular movie or show that seems to straight up rip off another well-known flick, especially if it was successful and/or was a cultural phenomenon. Which is exactly what's happening with Wish Dragon and Aladdin.
Sam_thunderdogs writes: "It even has the same jokes and exact same set-up. How can a studio like Sony get away with this in 2021? I'm not even mad just bewildered.
Some similarities I noticed:
Protagonist is poor and is in love with someone far above their station
He finds a magical, wise-cracking being in an old artefact
Said being gives him 3 wishes and wishes to hurry it up as he has been trapped in the artefact for a long period of time
Protagonist tricks being into flying him away but not using one of his wishes
Protagonist uses first wish to pretend to be rich so he can talk to the love interest at same perceived social level
Being does not allow for wishes to involve someone falling in love
Please tell me if I missed any from the trailer but my god, it's just Aladdin."
On the surface, yes, the two movies are extremely similar. They both feature a "wish" dynamic. They both feature a magical, wise-cracking sidekick. And they both feature a guy who's in love with a girl from a different social standing.
However, CBR has pointed out some key differences between the two flicks. After Li Na discovers that Din isn't a prince midway through the movie, it provides a more "realistic approach" to the conflict between these two characters.
This forces Din and Li Na to reevaluate themselves individually and doesn't put a bow on the ending like Aladdin, where getting a significant other magically solves everyone's problems.
Yes, like Aladdin, Wish Dragon features tons of magic, but, as corny as it sounds, the real magic was in their own personal quests of self-discovery. But dagnammit, it's the truth.
Who plays the dragon in 'Wish Dragon'?
John Cho voices Long, the Dragon aka Genie to Din's Aladdin in the flick. His character, like Robin Williams' was in the 1992 Disney classic, ultimately becomes a friend to both Din and Li Na. He seems more concerned with his personal development than simply fulfilling his wishes.
You can check out the movie on Netflix by heading here. Have you seen it yet? What do you think?