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Wakko's Wish
Wakko's Wish VHS cover.jpg
VHS cover
Directed by Liz Holzman
Rusty Mills
Tom Ruegger
Produced by Liz Holzman
Rusty Mills
Tom Ruegger
Screenplay by Charles M. Howell IV
Earl Kress
Tom Ruegger
Randy Rogel
Kevin Hopps
Nick DuBois
Story by Tom Ruegger
Narrated by Tom Bodett
Starring
Music by Richard Stone
Steven Bernstein
Julie Bernstein
Gordon Goodwin
Tim Kelly
Editing by John Carnochan
Tim Hill
Studio Warner Bros. Animation
Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release date(s) December 21, 1999 (1999-12-21)
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Wakko's Wish is a 1999 direct-to-video animated musical comedy film based on the 1993–98 animated series Animaniacs, serving as the series finale until the announcement of the 2020 revival of the series. It relocates all of the Animaniacs characters to a quasi-19th century fairy tale world and portrays their race to find the wishing star that will grant them a wish.

The film was first released on VHS on December 21, 1999, by Warner Home Video under the Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label. It contained 10 original songs and features a majority of the voice cast reprising their respective roles from the TV show.

Plot

In the town of Acme Falls within the kingdom of Warnerstock, all the people (including the mime) live happily together. However, upon the death of their beloved king, Sir William the Good, Warnerstock enters a state of civil war. Taking advantage of the situation, the neighboring kingdom of Ticktockia (a parody of Time Inc. at the time of its merger with Warner Communications) , led by King Salazar the Pushy (drawn as a caricature of classic film actor Basil Rathbone and wearing a cloak with a clasp that resembles rapper Flavor Flav's clock necklace), takes over Warnerstock, and makes all its people poor and miserable due to overtaxing (also a parody of the formation of Time Warner, now WarnerMedia, owned by telecom conglomerate AT&T, which acquired Time Warner in 2018). Three siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner, are particularly broke, as Dot needs an operation. Wakko finds work in another town to pay for it, but Plotz takes his pay – a ha'penny – from him for "taxes".

Wakko, saddened about Dot's illness and finding no other choice, wishes upon a star. A fairy (who calls himself a "Desire Fulfillment Facilitator" or "Pip") falls from the star and explains that Wakko had just chosen the only wishing star in the sky. The star itself [which Rita and Runt witness] falls shortly after in the mountains and the fairy tells Wakko that whoever touches the star first gets one wish. The following morning, the siblings tell the whole town in singing form about the star in their excitement, and all rush towards the glow in the mountains. King Salazar finds out about the star, orders Taxman Plotz to stop the Warners from reaching the star alive, and orders his troops, led by the Captain of the Guard (a caricature of Dennis Hopper), to secure it.

Plotz does not stop the Warners from reaching the star at the same time as all the other townsfolk. However, the King's army has already built a military base around the star, and a small ice palace to the side of it, and the townspeople (including Plotz) are all captured and locked up so that the King may have his wish. The Warners hint that the wishing process is not as simple as the king thinks in a desperate bluff. The King captures the Warners and tortures them in outlandish ways, from Mr. Director's terrible singing (Mr. Director being a caricature of Jerry Lewis), then a filthy gas station restroom, and lastly Baloney the Dinosaur (who is a parody of Barney the Dinosaur). After being traumatized, the Warners tell the King that any wish, which he makes, may have an ironic twist and demonstrate this to his annoyance. He orders the Warners executed, but Dot uses her "cuteness" to save them. The Warners escape.

As the King is about to make his wish (for the Warners to leave him alone), the Warners show up, and he tries shooting them himself with a cannon. The cannonball explodes after landing just short of hitting the Warners, injuring Dot from the shock wave of the blast. Yakko tries to convince Dot that she can make it, tearfully telling Dot the story of how she was born one last time. Dot appears to die, causing Yakko and the people of Acme Falls to cry in sorrow, along with some of the royal army, who become furious with King Salazar for his cruel nature. As everyone turns on the King (who seemingly appears a little remorseful), Wakko seizes his chance to head to the star, reaching it in time. Dot reveals that she had been acting and was not actually dead; the two were buying time for Wakko. Wakko wishes for two half pennies.

Wakko uses the second of these to buy food and "season tickets for the Lakers". The first one pays for Dot's operation, which is revealed to be a plastic surgery to give her a beauty mark. Wakko's first ha'penny, however, returns prosperity to the town as the butcher, the baker, and the grocer spend the money that they earned, and the people from whom they make purchases in turn do the same.

The hospital finds Yakko, Wakko, and Dot's birth certificates, and reveals they are the heirs to the throne. Their parents, seen for the first (and only) time in a portrait, were the king and queen of Warnerstock. They (literally) boot Salazar out of their palace, and he is attacked by his own dogs. The Warners use their newfound royal authorities to grant the citizens of Acme Falls their wishes - except for the mime (who is promptly crushed by a safe and Yakko stating, "I don't know about him, but that sure was my wish!"). Yakko then spins the Wheel of Morality, which specifies the moral of the story is "Just cheer up and never ever give up hope."

Voice cast

Songs

Wakko's Wish features 10 original songs, with lyrics written by Tom Ruegger and Randy Rogel, and songs composed by Animaniacs composers Richard Stone and Julie Bernstein. The compositions Stone wrote for the film were some of the last he wrote for Warner Bros. Animation prior to his death on March 9, 2001. The cast of the film also doubles as a chorus for many of the musical numbers.

All lyrics written by Tom Ruegger and Randy Rogel, all music composed by Richard Stone and Julie Bernstein.

No. Title Performer(s) Length
1. "Never Give Up Hope"   Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille & Cast  
2. "Train Bringing Wakko"   Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille & Cast  
3. "I've Got a Ha'Penny"   Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille & Cast  
4. "So Much for Wakko's Ha'Penny"   Bernadette Peters, Sherri Stoner, Nathan Ruegger, Rob Paulsen & Cast  
5. "Twinkle, Twinkle"   Jess Harnell  
6. "The Wishing Star"   Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen & Tress MacNeille  
7. "Never Give Up Hope (Reprise)"   Jess Harnell & Ben Stein  
8. "Hungarian Rhapsody"   Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille & Cast  
9. "The Wishing Star (Reprise)"   Paxton Whitehead, Frank Welker, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen & Tress MacNeille  
10. "If I Could Have My Wish Then I'd Be Happy"   Jess Harnell, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille & Cast  
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