“Wish” has this message of taking charge and taking the steps to fulfill your dreams since you can’t rely on someone to do it for you wholly. What made that theme ideal for “Wish” and its place in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Disney Animation?
Juan Pablo Reyes Lancaster Jones: Well, back in 2018, when Jen Lee became Chief Creative Officer, she noticed that the anniversary was coming up, and she was really fond of creating an original movie that had Disney as its spirit [and] that was a love letter to Disney Animation. We started to say, “What does Disney mean to all of us?” Words like “hope” and “joy” and “wishing” and “wishing on a star” came to the forefront, and that became our guiding light from the very beginning.
Literally, because of the Star.
Reyes Lancaster Jones: Literally a guiding light.
What was the thought process concerning the aesthetic of the film? How did you decide which aspects of Disney animation to pull from the past while simultaneously pushing those boundaries to set up what could be in the future?
Peter Del Vecho: Looking back to some of the classic movies, our production designer, Mike Giaimo, and his team — Lisa Keene, David Wormsley — wanted to pay homage to it by creating a watercolor look, yet we also wanted to have that feeling that it was a modern film going to the future. So [it was] the idea of creating a watercolor look and marrying characters to that kind of background, and using technology and camera work that we wouldn’t normally expect to create something unique and special.
We didn’t quite know how to do it when we started, although we built a lot on many of the shorts we’ve done in the past — “Paperman,” “Feast,” “Far from the Tree.” To scale it up, to be able to do it in a full feature, was a challenge. But just like the story evolved, that process also evolved in time — fortunately for us — to make the movie.