Chris Pine as a Disney king in Wish

Why Is Everyone Being So Mean About Chris Pine’s Song in ‘Wish’?

Let me put on my musical theatre snob hat and start yelling at the internet. Disney released a new video from its upcoming film Wish, featuring Chris Pine’s character King Magnifico singing “This Is the Thanks I Get?!” It’s a typical villain song, so why is it fueling such intense backlash on TikTok?

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The instant response to the song was that it is the “Lin-Manuel Miranda-fication of Disney,” but that’s a wholly inaccurate reading. It is also an incorrect assessment of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s style, but trying to explain that to people who don’t like him is like talking to a brick wall and I value my sanity too much to get into it. Still, the reaction to this fairly harmless villain song from a new Disney movie has sent the internet into a tailspin of conspiracy theories. Is there nothing better to do?

Julia Michaels and Benjamin Rice wrote the music for Wish with lyrics by Michaels, but many on social media, and notably on TikTok, are saying that this feels like they just fed ChatGPT the prompt “Lin-Manuel Miranda villain song” and got this. Obviously, there are valid concerns about the increasing use of generative AI in arts and labor, but there are also people who love to run with anything anti-Disney, and they’ve turned this song into a thing. Which is especially annoying, seeing as Wish is written by two women: Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore.

To be quite honest, the song is fine! It’s fun! And also, the movie isn’t out yet. This might not be the only villain song that King Magnifico has, we simply don’t know. Some are comparing “This Is the Thanks I Get?!” to songs like The Hunchback of Notre Dame‘s “Hellfire,” which is arguably a top-tier villain song, which doesn’t make sense. You’re taking a song out of context and comparing it to a beloved classic. Anyway, listen for yourself!

Let Chris Pine have fun

As someone who was pleasantly surprised by Elemental, there are some Disney movies where the trailers don’t do them any justice. Sure, this song isn’t as catchy as Disney songs from the past, but it also is from a movie we only know a little about. Hey, if Wish isn’t a great Disney movie, then so be it, but I also just think that the response is pushing back a little too hard. Especially since this is just one song from the film.

“Welcome to Rosas” and “This Wish,” both sung by Asha (Ariana DeBose), are more in line with what we’ve come to expect from the recent collection of Disney animated films. “This Is the Thanks I Get?!” is just a little different. Personally, I hope that’s not the only song that Pine gets because I do love his singing voice. Even so, I want to wait until I know the context of the movie before I make my final decision. The song is fine. Jumping to conclusions that it’s the work of AI dismisses the work from Michaels and Rice, and all because … you don’t like how it sounds?

(featured image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her current obsession is Glen Powell's dog, Brisket. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.