16 Wishes was a good family movie. Predictable plot, but nice twists. I like how we got to understand a few layers beneath the surface with the antagonist and protagonist. Once their differences and true root issues beneath the obvious feud were revealed, we along with the characters could go down a bold path. Empathy, diversity, seeking forgiveness, releasing hatred, and freeing both people in the process. An above average lesson in movies typical of this genre. Kudos to the author, Annie. If you watched the behind the scenes Blogs and video footage at the end of the movie, you could tell that the cast and crew had fun on set. That energy translated on camera as well. Kudos to Peter DeLouise as director for creating and protecting the atmosphere that translated into the movie. An outstanding performance by an underrated rising Disney Star in Debby Ryan. Although it was not a high school musical or camp rock type movie, music and artistic expression were plentiful. The majority of the cast and crew were not from Hollywood, but from Canada. A lot of budding talent there. While we are on the topic, the sad montage turning point scene was delivered heartfelt genuine emotion reflecting a true range of acting contrary to Ryan's role as Bailey Pickett on the light hearted over the top Disney comedy Suite Life on Deck. Also the reconciliation scene between Abby and Krista was honest and believable. Music was subtle but on target. The sixteen year old Ryan wrote the sad montage song "open eyes" and sang it with her brother spoken from the advice she would give Abby if they were friends. The lyrics and hook are apropos, as well as insightful and wise for a 16 year old Disney comedic actor. The fun upbeat "A wish comes true everyday", which was performed in the music video by Debby Ryan kept to the innocent family friendly theme while launching Youtube videos galore of young girls wanting to recreate the fun. Jean-Luc was talented and understated enough for the chosen medium. Not only was he cute, but the chemistry between him and Debby translated as authentic true friendship that many a teen hopes to grow into something more. Anna May was the best modern version of the magic creature. The promotion was very limited and only 6 weeks or so out. I did not see any posters in malls, radio adds, etc. Contrast that with the Camp Rock II consisting of multiple top Disney stars and big names, it had a year long marketing on-slot in magazines, radio spots, interviews, merchandise, posters, billboards, malls, multiple Web Presents, Disney Channel commercials network and Nick channel commercials, etc. That's show business. But from a business point of view, 16 Wishes drew 5.6 million viewers with only one rising Disney star (Debby Ryan) and a 6 week minimal marketing campaign still returned multiple times more on the movie's investment than did Camp Rock II drawing 8 million viewers in exchange for its much higher budget, star power of 10 or so big names, and year long marketing campaign.
All in all, a great family friendly movie with much opportunity to spend time with the family, laugh, cry, and sign together, and did I mention discuss life lessons in the movie and generate dialog with your teen about relevant things in their lives.