Wish Dragon - 2021
Age-appropriateness: mild action and rude humor
Overview: Determined teen Din is longing to reconnect with his childhood best friend when he meets a wish-granting dragon who shows him the magic of possibilities.
Themes: friendship, mother/son, father/daughter, family, purity, magic, wealth, heaven, honesty, promises, greed
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Friendship. Do you think anything is more important than friendship? Why is a great friendship so valuable?
Din eventually decides what he wanted to wish for, and he wished for his friendship with Li Na to be re-established. Long didn’t understand why he would waste his wish on a friend. Din said, “What could be more important than friendship?” Proverbs 18:24 talks about how close and amazing friends can be: "There are 'friends' who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother."
2. Honesty. Do you ever feel like you can't be honest about who you are? What makes you feel that way?
Din pretended to be someone named “Dan” so that he could impress Li Na. He felt like he couldn’t be honest with her because he feared she might not like him or want to be friends with him. It's important to always be honest, even when it's really difficult or comes at a cost.
3. Wealth. Do you agree with Long - that being wealthy solves all of the problems in the world? What problems cannot be solved with money?
Long explained how he used to be a human. He says he’s trying to earn his way back to heaven. Long went on to explain that money and wealth are the simple solution to every problem on Earth.
Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Heaven.
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. If you met a dragon that would grant your wishes, what would you wish for first?
2. The man with the magic teapot said he was a god. He selected Din, saying that he was “pure in heart”. While some people judge others based on what they look like, God sees someone's character and integrity. 1 Samuel 16:7 explains, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" Would you describe yourself as "pure in heart"? How can you work on your character and integrity?
3. When Li Na moved away, Din worked really hard to get back to her. They really missed one another and were sad to be apart. Have you ever been separated from one of your friends? How did that make you feel?
4. LongZhu was a magical Wish Dragon. Long said that he was magic and that he was real, even though Din didn’t believe it at first. What parts of this movie do you think are real - and what parts do you think are "pretend" magic?
Here's an article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Magic.
5. Long was out of place in Din’s home. He was a historical, ancient dragon and he had never been in a modern-day urban area. He was amazed by the electricity, airplanes, technology, and everything else he observed in the big city. Have you ever felt out of place somewhere? Were you able to figure out your place in that new environment?
6. Din eventually decides what he wanted to wish for, and he wished for his friendship with Li Na to be re-established. Long didn’t understand why he would waste his wish on a friend. Din said, “What could be more important than friendship?” Proverbs 18:24 talks about how close and amazing friends can be: "There are 'friends' who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." Do you think anything is more important than friendship? Why is a great friendship so valuable?
7. Li Ana’s father was constantly working and he was never really physically present with her. This led Li Na to be really wealthy and famous, but she never really had a good relationship with her father. How would you describe the best relationship between a father and a child? Do you have that type of relationship with your parents?
8. Din pretended to be someone named “Dan” so that he could impress Li Na. He felt like he couldn’t be honest with her because he feared she might not like him or want to be friends with him. It's important to always be honest, even when it's really difficult or comes at a cost. Do you ever feel like you can't be honest about who you are? What makes you feel that way?
9. Long was free to enter the spirit world only when he was willing to put the needs of others before his own. The gods told him that this meant Long finally understood the meaning of life. While this scene is much different than the truth we find in the Bible, there are some similarities with what we learn from the One, True God. Jesus taught and modeled selflessness. Selflessness is about considering others before thinking about yourself. How often do you put the needs of others before your own? What makes that so hard to do on a consistent basis?
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:05 Din meets Li Na, and they instantly become friends. They have similar interests and are there for each other when either one is in need. They make a promise to be best friends forever. Have you ever become instant best friends with someone? What did you both love to do together?
:12 Din was skipping school and lying to his mother about it. Din wanted to make extra money, but how mother emphasized the importance of his education. When was the last time you told a lie to your parents? Why do you think they want you to tell them the truth?
:18 Din meets Long, the Wish Dragon. The Wish Dragon grants Din three wishes and explains how Din is the last master he will have to serve. What do you think must be going through Din’s mind right now? What would you be thinking if you met a magical Wish Dragon?
:36 Din wished to be rich and fancy for 24 hours. Din said that Li Na wouldn’t care if he was rich. He knew that she would be friends with him no matter how fancy he appeared on the outside. True friendship is about connecting with someone's heart and loving them unconditionally. A deep friendship is formed at a level much deeper than how much money someone has. What is at the center of your best friendships? Is there anything that could make you stop being friends with that person?
:39 Li Na didn’t even recognize Din when they reconvened at her birthday party. How do you think this made Din feel? Has something similar ever happened to you?
:43 Din and Li Na both relate to how much they want to make others proud but something just seems to be missing. How much do you desire to make others proud? Does anything feel like it's "missing" in your life?
:48 Long explains how he used to be a human. He says he’s trying to earn his way back to heaven. Long goes on to explain that money and wealth are the simple solution to every problem on Earth. Do you agree with Long - that being wealthy solves all of the problems in the world? What problems cannot be solved with money?
Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Heaven.
:57 Long points out that greedy people don’t look at others and only talk about how much money they have. When Din begins to act like them, Li Na is unimpressed and walks away. She wants to be friends with someone who is authentic and kind. How authentic and kind would you describe yourself to be? Why is authenticity and kindness so important for friendships?
1:08 Li Na explains that she has a new career now, with high expectations. She says it’s not realistic for them to be friends anymore. How do you think Din feels in this moment? Have you ever experienced a friendship ending?
1:13 Long explains his past: he was born into royalty and learned that having gold equated to power. He continued to accumulate more gold, land, and monuments. And yet, he didn’t have any real, meaningful relationships. Long admits that no amount of gold can ever buy a great family and true friends. In Mark 10, Jesus tells a story of a rich, young ruler who had all of the possessions one could dream of, but His life was incomplete. Tragically, this rich, young ruler was unwilling to leave His possessions in order to gain the Kingdom of Heaven. Have you ever felt like your life was missing real, meaningful relationships? What might you need to give up in order to gain true, long-lasting friends?
1:17 When Pockets obtains the Wish Dragon, he immediately knew his first wish. He wished for everything that he touched to turn to gold. Greed is having a selfish desire for money and toys. Do you ever feel greedy? What makes you feel this way?
1:21 Long sacrificed himself in order to save Din. He stepped in front of the punch from Pockets and it caused him to turn to gold and to fall in the water. He loved Din and he was willing to take the punishment that was coming to Din. In real life, Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself in order to take the punishment that was coming to us. Because of our sin, we were separated from God and we deserved to be far apart from Him forever. But because of Jesus, we are forgiven and our lives have been redeemed. How much must Jesus love you, knowing that He gave up His own life to save you? What is the reasonable response when someone saves your life?
1:25 For his final wish, Din asks for Li Na’s father to be healed. Were you surprised by this selfless wish? What do you think motivated Din to make this bold move?