Cho voices an all-powerful, wish-granting spirit trapped in a teapot.

By Nick Romano
May 12, 2021 at 09:00 AM EDT
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It's easy to see the similarities between Netflix's Wish Dragon and Aladdin based on the new trailer for this new animated fantasy tale. John Cho follows in Robin Williams' footsteps as a comical, eccentric spirit that grants three wishes to a young man. But the tale of Wish Dragon is based on a well-known Chinese fable that has notes of that folktale from 1001 Nights.

Directed and written by Chris Appelhans, who was inspired to make the film after a 2006 trip to China, Wish Dragon sees Din (Jimmy Wong), a college student of humble means who wishes more than anything to reunite with his long-lost friend. He then inadvertently unleashes Long (Cho), an all-powerful wish-granting dragon from a seemingly ordinary teapot, and the two embark on a journey across Shanghai to fulfill that dream.

Just like the genie of Aladdin, Long makes clear he can't make people fall in love. But this seems more like a story about friendship than romance. There's even a "do you trust me?" moment as Din asks his bestie Lina to surf down some stairs with him.

The all-Asian voice cast includes Constance Wu, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Will Yun Lee, Jimmy O. Yang, Aaron Yoo, Bobby Lee, and Ronnie Chieng. Jackie Chan also produces the film with Aron Warner and Chris Bremble, and he also voices the role of Long in the Mandarin-dubbed version of Wish Dragon.

Sony Pictures Animation released Wish Dragon theatrically in China earlier this year, and now Netflix will premiere it on the platform this June 11.

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