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Movie Review on ‘Wish’ - Part II

Mimicking God & Catholic Symbols

Film review of Wish, directed by Chris Buck & Fawn Veerasunthorn, 2023

Salwa Bachar & Isabel Camacho
After exposing the basic plot and the gnostic doctrine behind Wish (see our first article here), we note that there are anti-Catholic allusions in many passages of the movie.

We will first list the similarities between the worship given to Magnifico and the Catholic worship of God:

The Gothic/ Romanesque style of Rosas' Wish Tower (top row) is similar to Catholic Cathedrals; bottom left the east side of the gothic Notre Dame Cathedral has the same cone-like shape and flying buttresses; bottom right, a tower from the Romanesque Basilica of the Assumption and St. Stephen in Speyer, Germany, with the same arches of Rosas

1. The architecture of Rosas is mostly Romanesque and Gothic, two styles well-known as inspired by the Catholic Church and adopted for the construction of her churches and religious buildings.

The Gothic-Romanesque Wish Tower even features flying buttresses, while Spanish Romanesque and Moorish keyhole arches with Solomonic (spiral) columns are present throughout the film.

Incidentally, these spiral columns, which feature prominently in the Rosas Wish Ceremony Coliseum, happen to be used in famous Catholic monasteries & churches, the most famous example being St. Peter’s Baldachin over the main altar in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Further, the staircase room of Magnifico features stained-glass windows, a key aspect of Gothic cathedrals.

So then, the fact that Disney chose to surround the worship due to Magnifico in this movie with elements similar to those the Catholic Church reserves to God, induces the viewer to associate the one with the other. Thus, Magnifico appears as a caricature of the true God.

2. During his evil transformation song “This is the Thanks I Get”, Magnifico affirms explicitly “I’m omnipotent.” This is a reference to God, since only God is omnipotent. He also says “I can’t help it if mirrors love my face – it’s genetics! Yeah, I got these genes from outer space!” Again, Magnifico is presented as an other-worldly, all-powerful being similar to God.

3. When Magnifico is first introduced, he appears in front of the mirrored doors that lead to the Wishes. His reflection shows two more figures, making the final impression look like three Magnificos. This three-in-one mirrored reflection of Magnifico can be interpreted as an allusion to God who is Three Persons in One God, that is, the Trinity. This reflection is peculiar, because in other instances the reflections on those mirrored doors look normal, projecting only one image. Thus, the initial three-in-one reflection looks like an intentional choice made by the filmmakers.

Three in one reflection

At left: Magnifico’s three-in-one reflection, which calls to mind the Trinity, vs. Asha, at right, with a normal reflection in front of the same glass doors

4. In the beginning of the film, when Asha goes to her apprenticeship interview, Queen Amaya leads Asha to Magnifico’s study, going through a room with a large spiral staircase. Hanging in this room leading to Magnifico’s study are thuribles, which are typically used to spread the smoke of burning incense during the Mass and other Catholic ceremonies for the worship of God.


Two pictures at left: thuribles hang from the ceiling of Magnifico’s staircase room; two pictures at right, the famous botafumeiro thurible, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

5. In the song “This is the Thanks I Get” and immediately afterwards, Magnifico makes a gesture with his arms in the shape of a Cross a total of 7 times. In a hall leading to his study, Magnifico is painted on a hanging tapestry, holding the wishes with his arms held up unusually high, giving the impression once again that he is forming the shape of the Cross.


Magnifico makes Cross gestures

6. The stage on which the wish ceremonies of Rosas occur and upon which Magnifico grants people’s wishes is in the shape of a Cross. The outer “gate” of the stage bears a resemblance to traditional Catholic altar/communion rails.


Top left & right: the stage of the Wish Granting Ceremonies is in the shape of a Cross; bottom left, a close-up; bottom right, the traditional altar steps & altar rail of St. John Cantius Church, Chicago, is similar to Magnifico's stage and gate in the top right picture

7. The shape of Magnifico’s garb, particularly seen from the back, looks like a benediction cope of a Catholic priest.


Magnifico’s cape, at left, looks exactly like Catholic Benediction copes, at right

8. In the after-movie featurettes about the sartorial inspiration in the film, one of the Disney staff affirms: “The stars in his cape were inspired by the stars in the medieval [church] ceilings, and it’s also saying ‘hey, I own the universe’... he is really one with the world that he built.” The ceiling of which this staff member speaks seem to refer specifically to Sainte Chapelle in Paris, built by St. Louis IX to host Thorns from the Crown of Thorns of Our Lord.


Top row, Magnifico’s starry cape; middle row, the ceiling of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, bottom row, the starry ceiling in the gothic Basilica of St. Mary in Krakow, Poland

9. In one of the city’s murals, people offer their wishes to Magnifico in an explicit praying position (with eyes closed, head bowed, and hands joined together in front of the chest), which brings to mind the traditional prayer position of Catholics.



Although these analogies are not indisputable, when we consider the ensemble it is very difficult not to conclude that there are at least some attempts to mimic the true God and the worship that the Catholic Church offers to Him, while others remind us closely of Catholic liturgical vestments, ceremonies and symbols.

The whole seems to reveal an anti-Catholic bias very characteristic of the enemies of the Catholic Church.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted April 24, 2024
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