A Wish for Wings that Work (1991)

wish for wings that work dvd cover
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Nice animation and story

Not necessarily for kids

TV Show Info

TV Show Name: A Wish for Wings that Work

Studio: Amblin Television

Genre(s): Cartoon/Seasonal

Release Date(s): December 18, 1991

MPAA Rating: Not Rated


I just want to fly!

Opus the Penguin has a problem.  He feels he was born to soar above the clouds but was given small wings at birth.  Now his only wish for Christmas is that Santa Claus would bring him the right wings.  With the help of his friend Bill the Cat, Opus hopes to turn this holiday season around, but a disaster could show him that his wings are meant for something.

A Wish for Wings that Work premiered on December 18, 1991.  Opus and Bill spun off the popular (but not for kids) comic strips Bloom County and Outland by Berkeley Breathed and the special featured animation from Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation.  The show was critically liked, but received ho-hum ratings which did upset Breathed.  It didn’t not become a regular Christmas special but has been made available on DVD.


A bloody Albatross!

A Wish for Wings that Work is quite enjoyable.  It isn’t really for kids…they might enjoy it, but there are a few risqué jokes that parents would cause parents to raise an eyebrow and possibly send them reaching for a remote.  There is a great scene in the special in which Opus goes to a therapy meeting with other flightless birds and a Kiwi bird voice by Robin Williams screeching over how his wife ran off with an albatross…funny but kids probably won’t get it, nor will they understand Milquetoast the cross dressing cockroach voiced by Dustin Hoffman (both were shooting Hook at the time for Steven Spielberg).  Although it isn’t really for kids, it has a kids’ message that is good (your gifts were given to you for a reason…and everyone is different).


This is not going to work!

The animation for A Wish for Wings that Work is also fantastic.  Spielberg’s Amblimation gives real feel to the characters and a depth that isn’t common in standard cartoons even today.  Combined with the nice voice acting, Opus, the seagulls, the recovery group, and Bill all felt very real.

Look for A Wish for Wings that Work.  It was a nice special and is still enjoyable today.  It is fun, short and often can be found on Youtube if you can’t find a DVD of it anywhere.  It has a good message and heart…something that not every Christmas special has.  And if you don’t watch it your wife might run off with an Albatross!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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