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Local Make-A-Wish families get preview of new Disney movie in Tysons

A Make-A-Wish family attends an advance screening of the Disney movie “Wish” in Tysons (courtesy Walt Disney Company)

Some local families got an early holiday present this past weekend, courtesy of the Mouse House.

Disney offered an advance screening of its latest animated film — appropriately titled “Wish” — at Tysons Corner Center on Saturday (Nov. 18) to beneficiaries of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the nonprofit that grants requests from kids with critical illnesses.

The 11 a.m. screening at the AMC Theatres in Tysons drew more than 150 attendees, according to a Disney spokesperson.

“At Disney, we’ve always believed in the magic of making wishes come true,” Lisa Haines, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement to FFXnow. “Our relationship with Make-A-Wish has spanned over four decades, and it’s a testament to our commitment to delivering joy to children and their families.”

Launched in 1980, Make-A-Wish began in Phoenix, Arizona, after the community united to support a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to become a police officer. The nonprofit has now granted more than 520,000 wishes worldwide, according to its website.

The Mid-Atlantic chapter, which encompasses the D.C. area, was founded in 1983 and has granted more than 11,000 wishes to kids diagnosed with cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

According to Make-A-Wish, it has been partnered with Disney since its inception, and one out of every two requests from kids in the U.S. are fulfilled by the company that has become synonymous with childhood entertainment.

Disney conceived of “Wish” as an homage to classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “The Little Mermaid” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios, though early critical reviews suggest it struggles to capture that past magic.

Directed by “Frozen” alums Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn from a script by Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore, “Wish” follows a girl voiced by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose who must save the fictional kingdom of Rosas from its villainous king. She gets help from “a little ball of boundless energy called Star” that she brought into existence with the titular wish.

The movie officially opens tomorrow (Wednesday), but screenings will get underway at the AMC in Tysons and other local theaters this afternoon in anticipation of Thanksgiving weekend, which is typically a busy period for moviegoing — at least in pre-pandemic times.