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'Wish' And Other Things About Wishing and Praying

November 10, 2023 | By

“Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight."

We grew up wishing on the first star of the night. Wishing is part of our past and present. To wish for something brings a spark of hope, even though many times we know what we wish for is out of our control. With the right intention, wishing is basically putting your desires in God’s hands.

Wishing is part of our lives, our childhoods, our pop culture, and definitely part of our movies and TV.

After all, the simple act of making a wish brings hope. And for many people, hope is just what they need to keep going. Hopes and prayers add up to wishes.

Songs and movies have been dedicated to wishes and wishing, and by design, praying.

Disney Makes a Big Wish

The new animated Disney movie Wish is all about a young girl in a fantasy kingdom somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula, who wishes on a star and gets more than she imagined or expected.

“Imagine a place where wishes come true. Where your heart’s desire can become a reality.”

That is, simply put, the story of Wish. Put aside all the politics surrounding the studio in recent years and go back to the days when Disney was filled with great films for families and did not bow to the woke agenda.


Intended to celebrate Disney's 100th anniversary, the film intentionally pays homage to many of the past iconic films.

As Clayton Davis, senior awards editor for Variety said on X (formerly Twitter):

#WISH    is the celebration of 100 years of the famed studio with Easter Eggs galore. Surprisingly, thematically, it was more rich than I would have anticipated. I'd argue, maybe a little depressing? Ariana DeBose brings the house down as one of our great modern-day princesses. Villain song, "This is the Thanks I Get," is out of this world by Chris Pine. The foot tapping group number "Knowing What I Know Now" is my favorite. "This Wish" will likely be the big push. Gorgeous animation.

While all modern Disney movies have to be approached with caution, the co-writer of Wish (with Allison Moore) is Jennifer Lee, a writer and director on both generally beloved Frozen movies. She also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature for the first Frozen.

Wish premieres in theaters November 22.


Ruby and the Well returns to BYUtv for a third season

The series, which launched its third season on Sept. 30 on family-friendly cablenet BYUtv (part of Brigham Young University, itself part of the LDS Church) continues with teenage girl Ruby (Zoe Weisenthal) continuing to take care of the wishes of the local townsfolk. She magically sees what has to be done to help those in the town and restore their faith and inspire their lives.

An enchanted well shows her unfulfilled wishes. In the tradition of her family, she becomes the keeper of the wishes. It's her duty to do what she can to make them come true for the townspeople.

We wrote previously about the show here.


Wishing at the Fountain of Trevi is a tradition for visitors to Rome

The 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain heavily centered on the idea of wish-making. This movie saw three American women working in Rome and dealing with bosses, love, and life. According to the legend, when a visitor tosses a coin into the Fountain of Trevi, it could come true.

The catch is, the wish must be to return to the Eternal City. Actually, that is only a myth from the imagination of the screenwriter.

And there is a specific way to make the wish at the fountain. The wisher must turn away from the fountain and toss the coin in over his or her shoulder. Voila. That’s all there is to it. Hmm. Well, maybe it does take a little nudge from fate.

As a caveat to this: According to the Catholic News Agency, the coins scooped from the Trevi fountain go to Caritas, a Catholic charity that helps Rome's poor and homeless.


Another Well

The 2009 Hallmark Movies & Mysteries production The Wishing Well is about a reporter from the city who came to a small town (of course, she does) to write about their famous wishing well.

Not believing that the well was magic, she didn’t write the most glowing article. But just for kicks, she tosses in a coin. What happens next is unbelievable, or believable depending on your belief in wishes.

Of course, the well is only reliable when the wisher makes the “right” wish. Apparently, there’s a caveat for everything.

Solomon's Wish

The Bible has a long list of people who have wished, or prayed. According to

“Solomon knew that God wasn’t a fairy godmother or a genie from Aladdin’s lamp. He knew to be careful and not ask for material things. What he asked for was wisdom and knowledge so that he could lead the people well.

This pleased God. So, in addition to making Solomon a wise leader of the people, he also gave him the things he could have asked for and didnt. He gave him riches, peace from all his enemies, and a long, prosperous life.”

Even prayers are basically wishes, expressed through faith. “May the Lord bless us and keep us….” Isn’t that a wish?

Image: Walt Disney Studios

Francine Brokaw is a longtime journalist, covering entertainment, product reviews and travel, and is the host of Beyond the Red Carpet on Village Television and YouTube.

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