I just don't understand why more people don't know about it!
Annabelle's Wish (1997 TV Movie)
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I just don't understand why more people don't know about it!
I recommend this for children who would like to watch a quick, pleasurable film, not JUST about Christmas, it's also for people who like animals, especially farm animals, people who still don't prefer computer to cartoon animation and a film with unforgettable characters, one or two lovely songs and a good storyline! PANT PANT. BOY was that a long sentence to explain why you should watch this film! :)
So, what are you waiting for? If you haven't had the chance, buy it or rent it from Amazon or the nearest shop and watch it! If you don't like it, you could lend it to a friend! ENJOY!! :)
P.S This is a very emotional film and for people who feel emotional, I suggest a few hankies provided, especially at the end.
It's the tale of true friendship and unselfishness that I believe EVERYONE should watch. It touches the heart, body, and soul with stunning visuals, a great score, and wonderful art and voices. Buy it if you have kids. Buy it if you are a kid. Buy it... if ... if you still believe there is some good and worth in this world left.
A classic straight out of the middle of my childhood, Annabelle's Wish is a kid's Christmas film about a talking calf who wants to become one of Santa's reindeer, and a mute boy who struggles to live with his disability.
When I was young, this was my favorite Christmas film, surprisingly blowing A Charlie Brown Christmas out of the water (I didn't understand much of the humor in the Peanuts cartoons, or the comics). The bond between Annabelle and Billy was my first taste of bittersweet endings (Although it was mostly sweet rather than bitter, otherwise it wouldn't be much of a kid's movie), and sort of set the standard for these sort of altruistic stories. I didn't understand much of the main conflict involving Aunt Agnes and how she was going to take Billy away, so unfortunately, that wasn't really a part I could get involved in. But the impact it left with the ending was something I was able to walk away with, permanently changing the way I thought about how unimportant my wants were compared to others' needs.
A decade later, I stumbled upon the full movie on YouTube, so I thought I'd give it a look. Surprisingly, it hasn't changed much. The bit with Aunt Agnes was something I could understand (Custody of kids and whatnot), but it wasn't something I was particularly interested in. It was still the bond between Annabelle and Billy that I could stay involved in. Although many of the potentially real moments in the movie were made cliché and corny, I can understand, seeing that it was made mostly for kids.
Overall, it's great for kids who are looking for something to do on Christmas, as well as give a lesson in selflessness. Helped steer me into thinking about putting myself in others' shoes, rather than always thinking for myself. Adults can watch too, if they're willing to bear the overused lines, as well as awkward kid gags that really aren't that funny.
Not that I care. Still gonna be one of my favorite movies I've ever watched.
- The relationships in this movie are very genuine, especially between the main characters Billy and Annabelle. They are well build up, sweet and have meaning behind them, especially in the decisions they make and how they care for each other.
- A cheap gimmick often used in other children movies (I'm looking at you, Care Shits- I mean, Bears) is that a child has ''suffered'' from something just to make it all dramatic, but in the end it is all contrived, doesn't make sense and means nothing. In this movie however, there is actually build up to events that happened to Billy and they are shown to the audience. - The struggles the grandfather of Billy is going through are very well understood and have a lot of meaning. - The dramatic moments are very sweet,genuine and can cause tears, and are not forced in.
- the trick behind characters in stories for young children is to make archetypes so they are more easily understood. This often gets confused for making stereotypes, and this movie sometimes falls into that trap, especially with Slim the pig and with the chickens. Fortunately though those character do not matter a whole lot except of being filler to fill up the animals needed on a farm.
- With 53 minutes I still find it a tad short. I wouldn't have mind learning more from our main characters. - The designs are rather bland and the animation is not the best ever. This does really impact the experience, however.
- Some emotional scenes drag on too long while others are, in my opinion, too short.
In conclusion, despite a couple of flaws, it is a very sweet and genuine tale that actually can move a person, and I believe children can enjoy it. For adults it may seem a bit bland, however.
Although the character designs looked pretty generic, particularly the humans, I soon got used to them and although I initially thought Emily (also the name of the girl at uni who recommended this to me) was a boy, she was an endearing side-character and I found Annabelle absolutely adorable. When I first saw her, she reminded me of the ponies in the original 1980s 'My Little Pony' cartoon. Billy is a character who anyone watching this special would deeply sympathise with, his grandfather is supportive while Aunt Agnes is self-indulgent and the father of the boys who torment Billy and Emily is strict. The rest of the animal characters are more than worthy if Slim the pig is somewhat clichéd and stereotypical despite his name being the complete opposite of how he looks. The animation is fluid with rich shading and great uses of principles, most notably squash and stretch and follow-through and overlapping action. Both the background designs, especially those in the snowy exterior scenes and the springtime sequence, and music are beautiful. I particularly liked the songs accompanying Annabelle's dream of herself jumping in the sky like a reindeer and the springtime sequence. The story and the dialogue are both heartbreaking (Billy becoming mute when being traumatised by the barn fire) and heartwarming (Billy and Annabelle eventually getting their wishes) and I liked the ending of Billy and Emily as a married couple and Annabelle becoming a real reindeer. The voice acting has some great variety to it and Santa's voice here is more convincing and realistic than that in the mediocre 'The Christmas Tree, where it sounded creepy and robotic. There are more well-known voices in the cast of this special than first thought including Randy Travis, Cloris Leachman (Hydia in 'My Little Pony: The Movie'), Kath Soucie and Frank Welker.
Despite its generic character designs and one clichéd, stereotypical character, 'Annabelle's Wish' is a charming, heartbreaking and heartwarming Christmas special that I would happily watch every festive season. 8/10.