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"It's a Wakko Wakko Wakko Wakko Wish!"
— Prior movie title

Animaniacs: Wakko's Wish (known simply as Wakko's Wish) is a 1999 direct-to-video holiday movie based on the original Animaniacs series, which sees the Animaniacs cast placed in a fantasy setting.

In Wakko's Wish, the kingdom of Warnerstock is sent to misery by the selfish King Salazar and his greedy tax collector Baron Von Plotz. In the need of prosperity to return to the town of Acme Falls, Wakko manages to summon a wish-granting star, initiating the Warners' and townspeople's journey to the wishing star; hoping to reach it before King Salazar.

It was released on December 21, 1999 on VHS by Warner Home Video[1], re-released on January 25, 2000 as part of the Warner Bros. Century 2000 Collection, and made its television debut on Kids' WB! on February 21, 2000.[2] It has since been rerun on TV on occasion, and was released on DVD on October 7, 2014. [3]

It was intended to be the series finale and the final Animaniacs production (not counting print media or video games) until the Animaniacs reboot in 2020.

Synopsis

Press Release (Time Warner)

The cartoon mayhem begins in the little village of Acme Falls - where the once-cheerful and prosperous villagers, including Yakko, Wakko and Dot, are being taxed to the max by the greedy Baron von Plotz. Things start looking brighter when Wakko miraculously picks the one star in the sky that can make his wish for happiness come true. The catch is, in order for Wakko's wish to be granted, he must travel very, very far to where the star has fallen to Earth and touch it before anyone else does.

When Pinky and the Brain, Slappy and Skippy Squirrel, Mindy and Buttons and a menagerie of other well-known "Animaniacs" co-stars learn about the "wishing star," they too set out on a journey to reach the star in order to land their varied wishes. The quest for the enchanted star takes our animated adventurers across vast snowy country, through near-disasters, and ultimately, to a showdown with the Kingdom's evil ruler, King Salazar (A.K.A. "Salad Bar").[1]

Press Release (Amblin)

The outrageously zany Yakko, Wakko, and their sister Dot star in this feature-length animated adventure full of song-filled, joke-stuffed Animaniacs mayhem. Life is not the same in the little village of Acme Falls. The once-cheerful villagers are being taxed to the extreme by the greedy Baron Von Plotz. To make matters worse, Dot has fallen ill and needs medical attention. Out of options, Wakko wishes upon a star.

His wish is granted, but with a catch—he must find the fallen star and touch it for his wish to come true. Word gets out about the lucky star, and the race is on! Pinky and the Brain, Slappy and Skippy Squirrel, Mindy and Buttons and many more well-known Animaniacs co-stars hit the road to animated pandemonium as they sprint to reach the star first. Join the hilarious hustle and your wildest wish will come true—an abundance of Animaniacs mania! [4]

Press Release (Kids' WB!)

Kids’ WB! To Broadcast World Television Premiere Of “Steven Spielberg Presents Wakko’s Wish
(February 16, 2000 – Burbank, CA) - Kids’ WB! presents the outrageous Warner brothers – Yakko and Wakko – and their sister Dot in the world television premiere of the recently released home video “Steven Spielberg Presents Wakko’s Wish” on Monday, February 21 (3:00–5:00 p.m.). The magical musical mayhem begins in the little village of Acme Falls – where the once cheerful and prosperous villagers, including Yakko, Wakko and Dot, are being taxed to the max by the greedy Baron von Plotz. Things start looking brighter when Wakko picks the one star in the sky that can make his wish come true. However, in order for Wakko’s wish to be granted, he must travel very, very far to where the star has fallen to Earth and touch it before anyone else does. When Pinky and The Brain, Slappy and Skippy Squirrel, Mindy and Buttons and the rest of the “Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs” gang learn of this “wishing star,” they too set out on a journey to find it. This quest will take these adventurers across vast snowy country, through near-disasters, and ultimately, face-to-face with the Kingdom’s evil ruler, King Salazar (a.k.a. “Salad Bar”). Warner Bros. Family Entertainment’s feature-length animated direct-to-video “Steven Spielberg Presents Wakko’s Wish” is produced by Warner Bros. Television Animation. The home video is created by Tom Ruegger senior producer of the series and produced and directed by Liz Holzman, Rusty Mills and Tom Ruegger for Warner Home Video.[2]

Plot

Warners campfire

Yakko, Wakko and Dot with limited resources for care

In the town of Acme Falls within the country of Warnerstock, all the Animaniacs characters (and a mime) live happily together with peace and prosperity, which was ruled by Sir William the Good, a benevolent king. However, upon the death of the king, Warnerstock enters a state of civil war. Taking advantage of the situation, the neighboring nation of Ticktockia takes over Warnerstock, led by King Salazar the Pushy, a ruthless corporate raider. Salazar's regime, which was not supported by the international community, led to his treasury and fortune plummeting. To regain his losses, King Salazar sends an edict to tax all the cities and towns of Warnerstock, which included Acme Falls. King Salazar's tax collector, Baron von Plotz, taxes all of Acme Falls to the extreme and makes all its citizens poor and miserable.

A ha'penny

Wakko returns with a ha'penny

Three orphans, Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner, have been living on the street since the orphanage shut down. Despite the odds, the townspeople hope that things will get better soon. After a year of hoping, Dot falls ill and is in the need of an operation. Wakko decides to find work in another town to pay for it, while Yakko stays behind to look after Dot. He returns a year later with a solitary ha'penny, which is more than enough to buy him anything he wants. His joyous return is cut short by Baron Von Plotz and Constable Ralph, whom take Wakko's ha'penny right out of his hands for taxes. The townspeople mourn over Wakko losing his ha'penny.

Wishing Star

The wishing star falls down to the far lands

That night, in their broken down water tower shanty, Dot asks Yakko to tell her the story about Mom and Dad before going to bed. The story involves Dot's birth, her parents being king and queen who had two sons, but wanted a daughter as well. Dot was born from the prettiest flower in their garden, and while her full name was "Princess Angelina Contessa Louisa Francesca Banana Fanna Bo Besca The Third", it was okay to just call her "Dot", and anyone who called her "Dottie" would die, Yakko tells Dot that their parents laughed when she said it and they tickled her, then she fell asleep with a great big smile in her heart.

After Dot is put to sleep, and Yakko turns in for the night, Wakko looks up at the sky and makes a wish on the Wishing Star, hoping for a miracle. While pointing at stars in the sky, Wakko is visited by a Desire Fulfillment Facilitator, nicknamed "Pip" who explains that Wakko had just managed to choose the Wishing Star, and will be granted one wish. However, because wishes have to granted in person, Wakko needs to seek out and touch the star physically. The star itself (which Rita and Runt witness) falls miles away, outside of town. Pip leaves, reminding Wakko to never give up hope. After that, Dot and Yakko arrive to find out what happened. When Wakko tells them they'll never believe what just happened, Yakko responds "Try us. We're gullible."

The following morning, the siblings tell the whole town about the star in their excitement, which makes the townspeople excited, with all of them rushing towards the glow in the mountains, each wanting their own wish granted (except for the Mime); Yakko, Wakko, and Dot travel by sleigh, Scratchansniff, Hello Nurse, Rita and Runt travel by wagon with Phar Fignewton, Slappy and Skippy travel by trees and Pinky and The Brain using a wheel-powered airscrew. Plotz and Ralph head to the star as well, but are cornered by King Salazar's guards for speeding, and are brought back to the King. During the chase, Mindy's Mom assigns Mindy to deliver a pie to her grandma at the retirement town, with Buttons assigned to watch over Mindy. Mindy decides to instead offer the pie to Buttons to satisfy his hunger. Seeing Slappy and Skippy jump by over the trees to the wishing star, Mindy follows the squirrels, prompting Buttons to chase her.

Salazar's soldiers bring Plotz and Ralph to King Salazar, who finds out about the star. Salazar then orders Plotz and Ralph to stop the townspeople and prevent the Warners from reaching the star alive. Salazar then dispatches Squit, Pesto and Bobby to watch over Plotz, and orders his troops to secure the area with the star.

Ificouldhavemywish

The townsfolk racing to the wishing star.

The townsfolk continue to chase after the star, with each singing about their desired wish. Eventually, Phar Fignewton becomes depressed and stops moving. The Warners reach and cross a small, wooden bridge with several floor pieces collapsing, with Mindy, Buttons, Flavio and Marita also following the same path. Bobby, Pesto and Squit accidentally collide with Pinky and The Brain, causing their airscrew to fall down. Phar Fignewton notices Pinky on the airscrew and rushes at high speed to save him, also saving Buttons, Flavio and Flavia. Plotz and Ralph reach the Warners, and begin to fire cannonballs at the trio, reducing their sleigh to wooden snowboards. Plotz also attacks Scratchansniff's horsecar, which damages it in the process. Runt and Buttons throw a box of explosive elixir, destroying Plotz and Ralph's car. At a narrow edge, Phar saves Pinky, The Brain and the rest of the Goodfeathers. The mess created inside Scratchansniff's horsecar unintentionally creates a version of his elixir that tastes good. They offer the elixir to everyone, in which everyone enjoys. Wakko eventually lets out a loud burp that causes an avalanche, burying everyone in snow.

The townspeople manage to survive and reach the area of the wishing star, but their moment of joy is cut short when Salazar and his soldiers ambush the townspeople and imprisons all of them in a recently-built military base around the star's location. Discovering that Yakko, Wakko and Dot were still alive, Salazar expels Plotz, Ralph and the Goodfeathers from his crew and imprisons them with the other townspeople. King Salazar orders the Warners to be executed, however the Warners convince Salazar to have a dinner where they discuss the secrets of the wishing star.

Tumblr inline n08w7s3Aj31rjm3a5

The cave of the Warners' worst nightmares

During the dinner at King Salazar's ice palace, Salazar attempts to learn the secrets of the wishing star, but is instead pestered by the Warners. With the Warners refusing to talk, Salazar sends the trio to "The cave of your worst nightmares", which traumanitizes the Warners with their past horrific experiences featuring Mr. Director, a cockroach-infested restroom and Baloney the Dinosaur. After being traumatized, The Warners confess to the King, telling him that any wish he makes could have an ironic twist and demonstrate this to his annoyance. He orders the Warners executed, but Dot uses her cuteness to convince the Captain of the Guard to let them go.

As Salazar is about to make his wish, the Warners run towards the star. Upon seeing this, he tries shooting them himself with a cannon. Yakko and Wakko are knocked back by the explosion, but Dot appears to have been injured by the explosion. Wakko seizes his chance to head to the star, and Yakko falls behind, trying to convince Dot that she can make it. Yakko then tearfully tells Dot the story of how she was born one last time. Dot then seemingly dies, causing the people of Acme Falls to cry in sorrow, along with some of the royal army, who become furious at King Salazar for his cold-hearted nature.

Wakko wishes for...

Wakko wishes for...

As everyone turns on the King, who shows a little remorse, Wakko is spotted rushing to the wishing star. King Salazar fires a cannonball towards Wakko in a last-ditch effort to stop him from reaching the star, but just barely misses as Wakko touches the star. Dot reveals that she had been faking her death the whole time to buy time for Wakko. Wakko touches the wishing star and makes his wish, which is revealed to be two ha'pennies. Despite looking in silence for a few seconds, the townsfolk celebrate and sing their joy, no longer having to worry about overtaxing anymore (as Plotz has had a change of heart).

Wakko uses the first ha'penny to pay for Dot's operation, which is revealed to be a plastic surgery to give her a beauty mark, which she called a "Cutie mark". Scratchansniff then uses Wakko's ha'penny to buy all the ingredients for his elixir, while Hello Nurse creates a new bottle shape for Scratchansniff's elixir, alongside Rita and Runt becoming employees for Scratchy. While Scratchansniff heads out to market their new drink, Wakko uses the second ha'penny to buy food and "season tickets for the Lakers." Wakko's second ha'penny, however, returns prosperity to the town as the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker start spending the money they've earned, and the people from whom they make purchases in turn do the same. With prosperity and ha'pennies back in town, the wishes of others are granted as well:

  • Slappy's tree comes back to life during the spring, which grows fresh acorns again. Skippy's social life warms up as he finds kids his own age to play with, and falls in love with a female squirrel.
  • Mindy's Mom finally has Mindy call her "mom" instead of "lady", while Buttons is rewarded with stacks of steak for his loyalty.
  • Rita and Runt are adopted by Dr. Scratchansniff and reside in his home.
  • Dr. Scratchansniff's elixirs are renamed to Scratchy Cola and become a massive success.
  • Hello Nurse becomes the CEO of Scratchy Cola, and is finally appreciated for her brain and not just her looks.
  • Baron von Plotz becomes "King"; Plotz opens a chain of fast-food restaurants named Burger Meister King, which sells Scratchy Colas and Baron von Plotz Burgers.
  • Constable Ralph becomes a traffic guard and directs the traffic of Acme Falls.
  • The Goodfeathers are respected by the townspeople (despite being oblivious that the townsfolk are appreciating the statue of the Warners they are standing on top on).
Warner sibs with crowns

Yakko, Wakko and Dot as the new rulers of Warnerstock

The hospital finds Yakko, Wakko and Dot's birth certificates, which reveals that the Warners were of royal heritage; their parents (seen for the first and only time in a portrait) were the king and queen of Warnerstock, which makes the Warners the heirs to the throne. It is then revealed that Salazar had attempted to send the Warners to exile back when he first seized control of Warnerstock, never expecting to encounter them again. As the Warners become the new co-rulers of Warnerstock, the trio boot Salazar out of their palace (literally) where he is attacked by his own royal dogs as punishment.

Additionally, Pinky is appointed as Royal Stablemouse to stay close with Phar Fignewton thanks to The Brain, who achieves great political power as Prime Minister and most trusted advisor of the Warners, plotting to take over the kingdom and the world in the sequel.

CLIMAX

"Never, ever give up hope!"

With everyone's wish granted (except for The Mime's wish), everyone sings one last time. Before the ending, everyone spins the Wheel of Morality. The moral of the story is "Just cheer up and never ever give up hope." The people sing as the camera pans up to the skies, as a shooting star falls down in the night skies, ending the movie and the original series.

Songs

Cast

Voice Actors: Character(s):
Rob Paulsen Yakko Warner, Otto Scratchansniff, Pinky, Larry, Chorus Member #1
Jess Harnell Wakko Warner, Tristesse, Tom
Tress MacNeille Dot Warner, Hello Nurse, Marita Hippo, Mindy's Mom, Prunella Flundergust, Frau Hassenfeffer
Maurice LaMarche The Brain, Squit, Wakko's Burps
Sherri Stoner Slappy Squirrel
Nathan Ruegger Skippy Squirrel
Nancy Cartwright Mindy
Frank Welker Baron Thaddeus von Plotz III, Constable Ralph, Runt, Buttons, Flavio Hippo, Chicken Boo, Phar Fignewton
Chick Vennera Pesto
John Mariano Bobby, Gas Station Attendant
Bernadette Peters Rita
Paxton Whitehead King Salazar
Ben Stein Desire Fulfillment Facilitator ("Pip")
Jeff Bennett Captain of the Guard, Dick, Baloney, Bobby's Singing Voice
Paul Rugg Mr. Director
Julie Brown Minerva Mink
Tom Bodett Narrator

Chorus Members


Awards and Nominations

Year Association Award category Nominee Result
2000 28th Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Home Video Production Wakko's Wish Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production Richard Stone (composer)
Steve Bernstein (composer)
Tim Kelly (composer)
Julie Bernstein (composer)
Gordon Goodwin (composer)
Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production Tress MacNeille as the voice of Dot Warner Nominated
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production Maurice LaMarche as the voice of The Brain Nominated
Motion Picture Sound Editors Best Sound Editing - Direct to Video - Sound Editorial • Robert Hargreaves (supervising sound editor)
• Mark Keatts (supervising dialogue editor)
• Kelly Ann Foley (supervising adr editor)
• George Brooks (sound effects editor)
• Linda Di Franco (dialogue editor)
• John Hegedes (dialogue editor)
Nominated

Home Media Releases

See here.

Gallery

Animaniacs Wiki has a collection of further images related to Wakko's Wish

Syndication and Streaming

In the United States, the movie has been aired on Kids' WB!, Cartoon Network, HBO Family, and Hub Network. Streaming-wise, it has been available on Netflix and Hulu.

In Canada, the movie was briefly streaming on Netflix in 2015.

Internationally, the movie has aired on additional channels such as Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Nickelodeon.

Trivia

  • This is:
    • the second Animaniacs project to use digital ink and paint for it's animation, following Animaniacs Game Pack.
    • the final Animaniacs production to be animated at Tokyo Movie Shinsha, as the studio would stop producing outsourced animation beginning in the 2000s.
    • the final Animaniacs-related production to be released in the 20th century.
    • the final original series-related animation production.
    • the final Animaniacs project to have involvement from:
      • composer Richard Stone, who passed away from pancreatic cancer on March 9, 2001.
      • director Rusty Mills, who passed away from colon cancer on December 7, 2012.
      • co-director Liz Holzman, who passed away from breast cancer on August 20, 2014.
      • Pesto's voice actor Chick Vennera, who passed away from cancer on July 7, 2021.
    • the final Animaniacs project to have involvement from the original writers and directors, including show creator Tom Ruegger. The reboot would have a new showrunner and different writers, with the sole exception of Randy Rogel, who would contribute at least two songs. Although Tom Ruegger said in an interview he was offered to write for the reboot, but he rejected the offer.
    • the final time that the Wheel of Morality appears.
  • Production storyboards indicate the movie's codename as Animaniacs Home Video.[5]
  • Former titles for this movie prior to it's release include It's a Wakko, Wakko, Wakko, Wakko Wish[6], Wakko's Wacko Wish[7] and Wakko's Wakko Wish.[8]
    • The title It's a Wakko, Wakko, Wakko, Wakko Wish was made as a parody of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!, but, similar to how the Tiny Toon Adventures movie was shortened from How I Spent My Summer Vacation to just How I Spent My Vacation, this film's title was shortened in order to make it fit on the video cover.
Wakko's Wish storyboard avalanche
  • Wakko's Wish was originally intended to have a theatrical release; however Warner Bros. opted not to release the movie and chose to release it to VHS like they initially planned, despite being received well during test screenings.[7]
    • Storyboards for the movie indicate Wakko's Wish would've been originally cropped to widescreen (16:9) for theatrical screens; however, as the film went straight to video, the movie was presented in the fullscreen (4:3) format.[5]
  • This was originally supposed to be the first in a series of Animaniacs films, but after it undersold, all other films were scrapped.[6]
    • According to the Brain, the sequel was going to have as plot him attempting to betray the Warner Siblings and take over the world, but that was never officially confirmed, and it may be just the Brain breaking the forth wall.
  • According to the teaser, the movie was intended to release on November 1998.
  • Almost every major and many minor characters from the series appear. Notably absent is Mr. Skullhead; whose likeness only appears on a mountain in the film.
  • Some of the concepts from this film initially originated from a scrapped Animaniacs movie pitch, The Road to Bohemia.[9]
  • This movie special has 17 songs in total (including reprises).
  • Many fans consider this film to be the 100th episode of the original Animaniacs.
  • Broadcasts of the movie on the Hub Network included "Super Strong Warner Siblings" shown as a bonus short after the movie.
  • This is the only Animaniacs production to feature a dynamic Warner Bros. Family Entertainment logo variation. After Bugs Bunny eats his carrot, Wakko, also dressed in a suit, chomps a large part of the Warner Bros. shield.
  • The beginning of the movie shows the Warners burning a sled with the word "Rosebud" on it, a very clear parody of the ending of Citizen Kane.
  • In the finale, the entire cast is lined up the same way they are lined up in the theme song, even with Slappy holding up Pinky and the Brain.
  • Ticktokia is a parody of Time Inc., the company that merged with Warner Communications to form Time Warner.
  • Yakko's "Try us, we're gullible" is a paraphrase of a line from It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, when Lennie Pike offers to tell Otto Meyer the story about the money under "the Big W." Pike suggests that Meyer is never going to believe this tale, but when Meyer hears about the money, he smacks his lips, perks up and says: "Try me, I'm gullible."
  • The "Cave of Your Worst Nightmares" features several characters referencing segments from original Animaniacs episodes, including Mr. Director (from Hello Nice Warners (singing the same song he sang in "Macbeth")), the gas station attendant and his cockroach-infested restroom (from Potty Emergency) and Baloney the Dinosaur (from Baloney & Kids).
  • This movie marks the first time Mindy calls her mom "Mom" instead of "Lady."
  • Mindy's Mom is seen above the neck for the first time, although we only see the back of her hair, which is brown, the same color as her voice actress Tress MacNeille.
  • For the first time, Dot is revealed to be an actual princess, and her brothers being actual princes.
  • All three Warners have been hinted to have been of royal heritage, but this is one of the few instances this is proven correct (besides "King Yakko").
    Yakko, Wakko and Dot with their parents (Wakko's Wish)

    Yakko, Wakko and Dot's parents

  • The Warners' parents are seen for the first time.
  • It is unknown what The Mime's wish was.
  • Part of the end credit music is the first section of "The Animaniacs Suite."
  • The final shot of the camera panning up and turning to night may be a resemblance to the closing credits of the original show.
  • There is no stinger after the end credits, thus cutting straight to the closing logos. This practice would continue into the Animaniacs reboot.
  • This is the final Animaniacs-related production to feature the original "Warner Bros. Television Animation" logo.

Goofs

  • During the scene where King Salazar mourns over Wakko getting two ha'pennies, he is seen speaking despite no speech being heard.
  • When the Warners are shown sitting on their thrones for the first time, the noses of Yakko, Wakko and Dot (plus Wakko's cap) are colored dark brown/red instead of red.

Award Nominations

  • Wakko's Wish was nominated for four awards at the 28th Annie Awards.
    • Outstanding Animated Home Video Production.
    • Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting, Male: Maurice LaMarche as The Brain.
    • Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting, Female: Tress MacNeille as Dot.
    • Outstanding Achievement in Music: Richard Stone, Steve Bernstein, Julie Bernstein, Gordon L. Goodwin and Timothy Kelly.

Transcript

See here

See Also

References

External Links

Archive of the promotional website made for the film

Animaniacs
Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • Christmas Eve with Yakko, Wakko & Dot MarathonHooray for North HollywoodAnimaniac Attack! MarathonThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialSeries BibleSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsVideo GamesBooksDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky and the Brain (1995-1998)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (Compilation Episodes) • BrainwashedThe Ultimate Animaniacs Super SpecialWendy's CampaignSongsAlbumsCharactersVideo GamesDC Comic SeriesHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain (1998-1999)
Series OverviewEpisode GuideSongsCharactersHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Wakko's Wish (1999)
Movie OverviewSongsCharactersGalleryBrain's Plans
Animaniacs (2020-2023)
Series OverviewEpisode Guide (The Brain Teaches World Domination mini-series) • Twitter Watch PartiesFriends With AnimaniacsSongsAlbumsCharactersSegmentsHome Media ReleasesGalleryBrain's Plans
Other
Brain Snacks (1998) • The Big Cartoonie Show (1999-2000) (Episode Guide) • Animaniacs Live!MultiVersus (2024) • Fictitious MediaScrapped/Unreleased Projects and ConceptsDeleted ScenesCommercialsFourth wallHidden InnuendosRimshot punsOft-spoken phrases ("Hello Nurse" • "The Same Thing We Do Every Night" • "Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?") • MerchandiseVideo GamesEventsPromotional SongsMiscellaneous SongsList of references to Animaniacs in popular culture
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