Din (voiced by Jimmy Wong) and Li Na (voiced by Natasha Liu Bordizzo) are childhood best friends, finding magic and joy in each other’s company in their working-class Chinese village. But when Li Na’s hardworking but often absent father (voiced by Will Yun Lee) packs up her family and moves them to the city for a better life, Din is left with only memories of the friendship they’d vowed would last forever.
Ten years later, Din is a college student, still living with his mother (voiced by Constance Wu) in his childhood village. Li Na has become a famous model. Dreaming of seeing his friend again, Din plans to skip class and work as a delivery driver to save up enough money to purchase a suit and sneak into Li Na’s upcoming 19th birthday party – a very exclusive event.
When Din delivers an order of dumplings and meets an old man who claims to be a god (voiced by Ronny Chieng), Din finds himself exchanging the dumpling order for a strange jade teapot. He discovers a Wish Dragon by the name of Long (voiced by John Cho) within the teapot. The dragon will grant him 3 wishes before being freed to return to the spirit world.
While Din is helping Long to understand why friendship is more important than power and gold, Din is hunted by 3 gangsters, led by Pockets (voiced by Aaron Yoo). They’ve been hired by a mysterious figure to obtain the teapot by any means necessary.
Din must battle the gangsters, reconnect with his friend, and help Long learn the meaning of life, all with only 3 wishes and his kind heart.
Wish Dragon has some violence. For example:
- When Li Na is a child, she throws a dumpling at the head of a bully who’s being mean to Din. This is presented as both funny and justifiable.
- Din’s mother hits him with a rolled-up newspaper several times as punishment. This is presented as funny, but the punishment is genuine.
- The gangsters fight with Din and other people. They kick and punch using martial arts moves, clearly hurting others.
- Din uses a wish to learn Kung Fu, because he wants to use this skill to beat up the gangsters. These fight sequences present Din as heroic for beating the bad guys.
- The gangsters attack Din and Li Na with knives. No-one is hurt.
- Li Na’s father is pushed from high scaffolding and falls to his death. This is an emotional scene as he dies in Li Na’s arms. Long eventually brings him back to life.
Wish Dragon some sexual references. For example, Long flirts with a woman while in human form. His tail accidentally smacks her bottom, which she sees as an invitation, so she chases him around a building.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Wish Dragon shows some use of substances. For example:
- Adult characters drink alcohol.
- Long drinks multiple cocktails while in human form and gets drunk. He doesn’t act drunk, but his dragon features start to return.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Wish Dragon.
The following products are displayed or used in Wish Dragon: Smartphones and Jaguar cars.
Wish Dragon has some coarse language and name-calling, including ‘stupid’, ‘jerk’ and ‘son of a cabbage farmer’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Wish Dragon is an animated movie set in China. It has a similar plot to Aladdin, but with stronger themes of friendship, sacrifice and kindness.
With bright and fun characters, exciting action sequences and magic, this movie is likely to entertain older children. It isn’t suitable for children aged under 8 years, however, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged up to 12 years. This is because of the movie’s animated action violence, themes of death and loss, and frightening scenes.
Values in Wish Dragon that you could reinforce with your children include:
- being yourself when you’re trying to make friends
- telling the truth and asking for support from family and friends during difficult times.
Wish Dragon could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- Din drives his delivery scooter recklessly and without wearing a helmet. This is risky and could cause him injury or death.
- Li Na is criticised for being too skinny and having a flat nose. This negative body talk could make her feel bad about herself.