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  • Having never been all that enthralled with Bloom County, I watched this with some doubt-for all of about two minutes and then I was hooked. What I saw was at one and the same time funny and heart-wrenching. There are a few running gags (watch the carolers particularly) and there is a very effective use of visual imagery on the fringes. Like with Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, invariably when I watch this again, I see some little bit I've missed. Very effective use of music to set the appropriate mood throughout. And the ending is perfect! Highest Recommendation.
  • This movie makes me laugh, especially the antics of Bloom County's/Outland's deranged and disgusting Bill the Cat. Bill acts as if he'd just had a lombotomy (as usual) and somehow manages to remain a sympathetic character even though you would never want to take him home and allow him to cough up hairballs on your rug. I particularly recommend this movie for those who don't like saccharine movies at Christmas and prefer the Grinch Who Stole Christmas/Scrooged/Nightmare Before Christmas type of holiday fun.
  • I know from reading an interview with Berkeley Breathed that he didn't like this TV special. He didn't explain exactly why, although being as familiar with "Bloom County" and its various spin off comics over the years as I am, I can guess as to why. Still, I don't know exactly.

    It may have been because this TV special was marketed specifically toward younger audiences, whereas "Bloom County" is traditionally not for kids. Then again, this special was made in conjunction with a picture book Breathed wrote specifically for kids, so I really don't know what Berkeley's beef was.

    I haven't read the book on which this film is based, but I liked it just the same. The TV special successfully walked the fine line between Berkeley Breathed's usual adult humor on politics and pop culture, and other cute-sy Christmas specials like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer". It was a smart movie that, in my opinion, doesn't alienate kids, while being a good piece of holiday eye candy with a lot of heart to it which doesn't repulse adults. For that reason, I'm glad they finally decided to release this movie on DVD.

    Based on my understanding of the "Bloom County" universe, Opus the penguin doesn't get dumbed down in this cartoon. The basic plot of the movie is his insecurity with himself in being that his beak is too big, and he can't fly. That predicament appears to match his comic persona to a T, and it gave the story heart while not being too mushy. Added to Bill the Cat (who needs no dumbing down, since he's as dumb as one can get anyway) and his slapstick antics, the two characters just made this movie work.

    If I had one complaint about this special, it's that it wasn't long enough. I'm sure since it was made-for-TV, they had to cut it down significantly for air time. It showed too, since the ending was a bit flatter than it should have been, perhaps as if the makers of this special were in a hurry to get it out before the next Christmas.

    Other than that, the movie was fine. Breathed's contempt for the finished product is very similar to Stephen King's dissatisfaction with Stanley Kubrick's take on "The Shining". Breathed mentioned that he did want to bring Opus to the big screen and present him the way he should be. Until then, though, "A Wish For Wings That Work" is a better starting point than Breathed thinks. Thanks to the recent DVD release, this film just may get the cult attention it deserves. So Mr. Breathed, if you're reading this, don't be ashamed of this movie. It's very good, and I highly recommend it for the holiday season, or anytime for that matter.
  • I have not seen this Christmas special since it was new (did they ever show it as a rerun ?). Nevertheless, I still remember how underneath all the irreverent humor, "A Wish for Wings that Work" had a truly beautiful story. Opus the penguin is caught in the awkward position of being a bird without having qualities normally associated with birds and also of being completely anthropomorphic even though he is obviously not human in the physical sense. To make him feel even more like an outsider, he does not have much contact with other penguins. In the special (as well as in the "Bloom County" / "Outland" comic strips), this is a source of much angst for him. However, by the end of the show, he manages to recognize his true worth by realizing that his differences can be assetts too. While it´s true that this message is nothing new, it is one which is worth reinforcing. Otherwise, the special is really funny too, owing to Berke Breathed´s unique writing style. He is also probably the only person to have the proper handle on the characters. After all, he created them ! Nevertheless, "Wish" would have been even better if it had cartoon versions of great "Bloom County" characters like Steve Dallas, Michael Binkley, and Oliver Wendell Jones but it was made during the "Outland" era so their absence is understandable.
  • CPol30 September 1999
    Based on Berke Breathed's popular cartoon Bloom County, A Wish for Wings that Work is sure to amuse and enthrall every audience, from youngest to oldest. Wings is the story of Opus the penguin, whose greatest wish is to fly. But alas, penguins are not meant to fly no matter how hard some of them try. Throughout the movie Opus' misadventures entice the watcher to both laugh and cry, before, as befalls a good fairytale, it ends happily albeit with a twist.

    Although I am no great fan of cartoons I really enjoyed Wings. It has a charming quality to it, an ability to make people feel like children again. Making it even better is the fact that it has a number of rather adult jokes (such as Elvis turning up or the Toy and Gun store being named after Norman Schwarzkopf).

    In all I strongly recommend A Wish for Wings that Work, whether you are a Bloom County fan or not.
  • I remembered when I was seven, I picked out a video at the rental store that was different and funny...When I was halfway through the tape, I was rolling on the floor laughing my butt off...It was funny because it featured a hero with a dream (Opus), which was ironic that he wishes to fly because he is a penguin.

    Anyway...This movie is one of the greatest of off-beat holiday specials...You'll have to see for yourself...
  • You'd have to be a real stick in the mud to not enjoy this! My mom taped it off television when I was a kid, so I've been able to enjoy this movie every (well, multiple times) a year since then. It's good for all ages. I find the physical comedy to be hilarious, and the lines are well thought out, funny, and fit perfectly with show. It's like watching good stand-up comedy - it's doofy, simple, right from someone's brain, and just so right.

    Watch something off the beaten path, and enjoy!
  • luvbuzz5558 November 2012
    I first saw this when I was 8-9 years old. I'm 28 now and this film has stuck with me over the years! It is one of the most funny cartoons I've personally ever seen. The story line is hilarious, but warmhearted. :) Bill the cat is an epic character! Probably the coolest animated feline ever! Garfield ain't got nothing on Bill the Cat. Opus and the other characters are great too. Highly recommend this title to children and adults alike. My only complaint for this movie is.... its too short. ((approx 24 minutes)) This little cartoon is so entertaining... you want more of it!

    Storyline: 8/10 Humor Value: High Ending: 10/10 - heartwarming, funny!!! Music: very good! Animation Quality: very good! Lasting Appeal: 10/10 ~ you never forget this title!!

    *Highly recommend*
  • jackbonello1 January 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I agree with Berkely Breathed. This cartoon stinks! It is nothing more than a child's cartoon version of "It's A Wonderful Life."

    In this cartoon, Opus bemoans the lack of wings that work, conveniently right around Christmas, just to make a nice little fairy tale for children, rather than show Breathed's humor. On his way to deliver presents, Santa loses his reindeer and ends up in a lake - not frozen over although it is surrounded by snow, and the Bloom County characters. Opus swims (like a human and not a penguin) to rescue Santa and save Christmas. Thus Opus learns a valuable lesson about accepting what he is, rather than aspiring to something he can't be. For his reward, all the ducks lift up Opus and take him for a flight. Yay!

    Children will get it. So will adults but it is a sanitized version of the comic strip Bloom County.

    The clip from the original Lost Horizon movie is a sacrilege! The producer could have chosen some other plane crash movie for Opus's dream. The cartoon lacks the biting satire and sarcasm of Bloom County. This movie proves the rule that comics rarely translate well in theater. I hated it so much I no longer like Berkely Breathed or his inane comic strip.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "A Wish for Wings That Work" is a 23-minute animated short film from 1991, which means this is soon going to have its 25th anniversary. The director is Skip Jones, who is mostly known for "A Land Before Time". The writer of the the book is Berkeley Breathed, who also wrote "Mars Needs Moms". The only voice actor I am familiar with here is the late Robin Williams. The story is basically about a penguin who wants to fly. And he tries it all, even ends up in an airplane that is part of a scene from an old black-and-white live action movie. Unfortunately, I cannot agree with the general consensus on this film, which is pretty positive. I found it especially flat in terms of emotional impact. It may be a fun watch for young audiences, but the comedy wasn't that great either in my opinion. Judging from the rating, I sure expected something better here. Also the penguin character wasn't cute or anything, which may have helped. Thumbs down.