Murray is a male fairy godmother, and he's trying to help 8-year-old Anabel to fulfill her "simple wish" - that her father Oliver, who is a cab driver, would win the leading role in a ...
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The adventurous, young Madeline is very good at getting into trouble, but she's also fantastic in solving problems as well, and her school-mistress Miss Clavel is not too approving of her. ... See full summary »
Daisy von Scherler Mayer
Murray is a male fairy godmother, and he's trying to help 8-year-old Anabel to fulfill her "simple wish" - that her father Oliver, who is a cab driver, would win the leading role in a Broadway musical. Unfortunately, Murray's magic wand is broken and the fairies convention is threatened by evil witches Claudia and Boots.Written by
In an interview with the Nostalgia Critic, Mara Wilson stated that production of the film was a very hard time for her because of the recent death of her mother. She claims to have some regrets over her behavior on the set, describing her mind set as "being in a bad place". To this day, she has little recollection of making this film due to the depression she faced following the loss of her mother. She even says that she should not have been making a film at that time. See more »
When Murray casts a wish in the school corridor, the red paper and pictures on the noticeboard behind him disappear and re-appear numerous times. See more »
How DARE you mock me?
[in a mocking voice]
How DARE you mock me?
Cut it Out!
[before he could finish Claudia grabs his throat]
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After "The Bubble Factory" at the start of the film, tricks are played for the next 4 frames: 1) "Feivbrsel Puctorus and Thn Beabla Uictsry Present" quickly rearranges itself to read "The Bubble Factory and Universal Pictures Present"; 2} "A Sheinberg Production" is first shown with "Sheinberg" rotated 180°; 3) "A Michael Ritchie Film" is first shown with the letters squashed to the right with the bottom of each letter unmoved - they each quickly right themselves; 4) The title is first shown as "A Simqle Wish" - the "q" then spins around its vertical axis, ending up as a "p". See more »
Anabel's father is a New York horse-drawn carriage driver but hopes to become a Broadway star. With his next audition he is ready to throw it all in and go work in his cousin's rendering plant on Nebraska. Anabel wishes for her fairy godmother to help them but, because the majority of them are tied up at the annual conference she has to make do with the failing trainee Murray. She quickly finds that Murray is not quite as good as he has told her and most of their time is spent trying to correct his mistakes. Things are more complicated when they are pursued by witch Claudia, who has trapped all the other godmothers and only needs Murray's wand to finalise her attempts at total power.
Although I taped this film in error thinking it was something else, I still ended up watching it as it was a bonus family film to act as distraction. Normally I wouldn't bother with such a thing but on this occasion I did and the end product was a basic but quite entertaining film that had enough to stop it being boring for me and enough silliness and energy to make it enjoyable for children. The narrative is a bit messy, for a while it is about Murray's weakness as a Fairy Godmother but then it becomes a big finish around a plot by Claudia to get all the power for herself. The two strands don't sit well together at all, and the latter just feels like it has been added to bulk the former out and give it more impact as a dramatic finish. However, it is quite amusing along the way and children will enjoy the mix of silliness, effects and magic.
The cast are OK and are a good part of this working. Short is a bit irritating but he does overplay the silliness well enough to provide distraction. Turner seems to enjoy herself even if her role is a bit smaller than I'm sure she expected; meanwhile Plummer does her usual "slightly unhinged" thing but this time as a dog. Pastorelli has little to do but Wilson and Capra are both engaging without being like the very sickly All-American kids that US family films can be dripping with.
Overall this is a family film and therefore not the sort of thing any adult would really chose to watch alone because there isn't much just for them, even if it isn't bad as such. The energy, silliness and pace of the film will make it a winner for children and it serves well as a distraction if hardly a great film for the ages.
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