Opus the Penguin struggles to achieve his seemingly impossible dream to be able to fly.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Opus (voice)
...
Truffles / The Ducks (voice)
...
Bill the Cat (voice)
...
The Chicken (voice)
...
Santa (voice)
...
The Kiwi (voice) (as Sudy Nim)
Alexaundria Simmons ...
Ronald-Ann (voice)
...
Santa Claus (voice)
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Storyline

Opus the Penguin, amoung his other problems, always felt inadequate by his being "aerodynamicly impaired". Together, with Bill the Cat he tries doggedly to overcome that weakness, all without success. It is only on Christmas Eve that Opus learns what worth his natural abilities are. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Details

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Release Date:

18 December 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Berkeley Breathed was exceptionally displeased with the quality of the final product. In an exchange published in the Washington Post he said to a person trying to find the VHS or DVD version, "Hopefully [you will find it] in the rubbish pail. We can do better than that and we will with an eventual Opus film...but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I presume your family was on speed when they watched it. I would imagine it helps." See more »

Goofs

The cockpit window in the Lost Horizon dream doesn't match the cockpit window that's inside Opus's cockpit. See more »

Quotes

Opus: Why don't penguins have wings that work?
[holding out his hand]
Opus: This, you call this a wing? This is a bad joke, this is built in obsolescence, I'm an insult, I might as well be a dung beetle or a fly infested, worm infused, molded mildewed scrap of rotten banana!... or a network executive.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, we see Truffles yelling up at Opus "Don't get cocky up there!" before Opus' prothstetic buttocks falls on him. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Critic: Frankie and Ellie Get Lost (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sorry Berkeley, But I Liked This Film A Lot
13 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.


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