“Wish ”Star Harvey Guillén Addresses 'Progressive' Disney Film's Mixed Response: 'We're Moving Forward' (Exclusive)

"Of the last year that we've had, everything is just being dissected under a microscope, and people want instant gratification," the actor tells PEOPLE

<p> Disney, Zachariah Schmitt</p> From L: Ariana DeBose

Disney, Zachariah Schmitt

From L: Ariana DeBose's character, Asha, in Wish (2023); Harvey Guillén

Released just after the Walt Disney Company's 100th anniversary, Wish celebrates the legacy of Disney through the past century, with countless nods to its animated films.

But not all reactions to the film have been positive. Wish has had mixed reviews since its release this past November: It holds a 48% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. (Its Audience Score sits much higher at 81%.)

For the release of Wish on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD, Harvey Guillén spoke with PEOPLE about the reception of the movie and where he thinks the criticism stems from.

"I think it's been a weird time for film in general and for animation," says Guillén, 33, who voices Gabo opposite Ariana DeBose's Asha. "I think of the last year that we've had, everything is just being dissected under a microscope and people want instant gratification."

"I think that any other year or [at] any other time, I think the movie might've been critiqued a little bit differently," he adds.

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Related: Harvey Guillén Says Friendship with Ariana DeBose Is 'Opposite' of Their Wish Characters (Exclusive)

Directed by Chris Buck (Frozen) and Fawn VeerasunthornWish follows Asha, an optimistic young woman in the fictional kingdom of Rosas who makes a wish and is answered by a cosmic force named Star.

Together, Asha and Star work to defeat King Magnifico (Chris Pine), a villain who has been described as one of the most "formidable foes" in Disney history.

"It's about a young woman who's empowered to do the right thing for her community to help," Guillén tells PEOPLE. "And for some reason, there were critics who might have a different opinion of what they think a Disney hero should look like or what a Disney female role should look like."

"It's very progressive of Disney to maybe change that narrative and to be on the forefront of that," adds the What We Do in the Shadows actor. "Maybe some people aren't ready for that, but there's no point in looking back. We're moving forward."

Part of the forward motion, Guillén says, is "telling a story like this where it empowers young women to take charge and to maybe not necessarily look for a love interest." (Frozen had a similar theme, where the type of true love required to break a curse was found between two sisters as opposed to a romantic interest.)

"That is not the goal of life," Guillén says of having a love interest. "The goal of life is to do what's right, to be surrounded with family and friends and loved ones and to build a better community. And if love comes along the way, then what a blessing. But that is not the goal that I think we should be teaching young children, young ladies, at all."

For the Blue Beetle star, who also has experience voicing the titular Funny the funhouse on the preschool series Mickey Mouse Funhouse, it has been an honor to voice Gabo — so much so that he would "do it in a heartbeat" again, should a sequel ever come to fruition.

"Gabo has many more adventures ahead of him. Maybe [he and Asha] pair off, or they go investigating and solving some mysteries around Rosas," Guillén says. "Anything's possible."

Wish is now available on digital, and on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD.

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