When you wish upon a movie star….

Regular readers of our site will likely be familiar with our Japanese writer Daiichiro Tashiro, who has the unusual side hobby of being an intense fan of all things Disney. Since it’s a massively popular media production company, that’s not such a strange thing, but Daiichiro’s particular level of obsession can be startling to some at first.

But even after hearing him speak about Disney for a few minutes, you can begin to understand that his knowledge of Disney films and theme parks is so pure and on point, that it’s a source of surprisingly refreshing positivity and kindness that we probably need more of in the world today.

Fellow writer P.K. Sanjun, on the other hand, adopts a more “realistic” outlook on life.

So, when SoraNews24 was chosen as one of only 10 media outlets to attend a press conference held by Will Smith to promote his latest film Aladdin, he thought about cancelling.

The invitation stated that Smith’s time was very limited and there was a chance that they wouldn’t even be able to ask him a single question. “What’s the point of that?” thought P.K., aware that no interview would mean a pretty lame article. Just then, Daiichiro, fresh from watching a preview of Aladdin, chimed in.

“Surely it’ll be OK! The spirit of the lamp will fulfill my wish!! No wait, it’s not just the spirit of the lamp! You can bet ol’ Walt will cast his magic from his distant world too!”

Daiichiro’s passion was contagious, and his optimism was enough to convince P.K. to go to the press conference with Daiichiro in the slim chance they could ask him but one question. What was the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen suddenly occurred to P.K. while they were standing in the lobby of the venue. Daiichiro’s Disney-faith-based lifestyle has gotten him impressively far through life, but P.K. suddenly felt nervous that a guy who gets advice from the ghost of Walt Disney might be capable of something… rash.

Of course, Daiichiro didn’t have a violent hair on his head, but it wouldn’t be too far-fetched for him to suddenly feel the urge to run up and give the international movie star a big ol’ Disney hug. This of course would be misinterpreted by Smith’s security detail and an embarrassing and painful scene would ensue.

The atmosphere in the conference room was tense. Most people there were probably nervous about meeting Will Smith, but P.K. was growing increasingly terrified about what Daiichiro might do.

Suddenly, the door opened.

Looking as young and charismatic as ever, the Fresh Prince came into the room with an air of both excited energy and relaxed casualness.

All the other reporters were asking the same dumb questions like “how did it feel to blah blah flippity flah…” and time was running out. P.K. glanced at his watch and thought there probably wouldn’t be enough time for Daiichiro to ask anything. Maybe it was for the bes—

“Okay next up is um, Tashiro, Daiichiro,” a staff member called out, and Daiichiro quietly stood up.

“Yes, um. Particularly interesting to me were Genie’s shackles on his wrists. Because of those cuffs, even the extremely powerful Genie cannot be free?”



“Um, yeah that’s right.”


“I think that each of us living in modern society also have shackles: expectations from others around us or stereotypes and so on. Does Will Smith have any shackles?”



“Actually, I’ve been troubled with that problem for several years and I just finally got free. My shackles are being Will Smith.”


“Just being Will Smith you say…”


“Because I’m THE ‘Will Smith’ who built up a huge career as a successful movie star, before I knew it, there were things I couldn’t say my own way anymore or things I couldn’t do anymore. So yeah, being Will Smith was like shackling both my hands and my feet. But now I’m like — shackles down!”


“I see!”


“Yeah, that’s how it is. Say, that was a good question. Hey, manager! Make a note of this question and answer! I want to use that ‘shackles down’ thing in other interviews because I like it [laughs].”


And with that, time was up.

P.K. sat in his chair, stunned at what just happened. Rather than making a total spectacle of himself or even just asking some lame question about Duffy the Bear, Daiichiro actually asked megastar Will Smith a question so good that Smith himself even complimented it.

Daiichiro simply turned and smiled at P.K. as if to say, “See, I told you ol’ Walt would come through.”

If you want to try and work up this strange Disney magic that seems to surround Daiichiro everywhere he goes, watching Aladdin (in theaters now worldwide) would be a good place to start. And if you ever hear Will Smith drop that “shackles down” line again in other interviews, you’ll know where it came from.

Photos: © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. / SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]