Annabelle's Wish

  • Review Date: April 14, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 54 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A holiday story of love and hope.
  • Review Date: April 14, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 54 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The emphasis here is on codes of conduct: how to show love, share friendship, and stand up and be counted.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this heart-gladdening holiday story tells of a calf and a troubled young boy who exchange their most impassioned Christmas wishes. Despite unimpressive animation, Annabelle's Wish, which is soothingly narrated by Randy Travis, sports fine twangy country music and carries a Christmas message of grace, goodness, and hope. The assortment of characters will appeal to preschoolers, but the message of decency and friendship is ideal for grade-schoolers.

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What's the story?

In the animated ANNABELLE'S WISH, Billy, a young boy who has lost his ability to speak after a tragic barn fire, lives with his grandfather in humble but loving circumstances on a farm. Some neighborhood bullies torment Billy, but he also has a very good friend in his neighbor Emily. Billy's relationship with the bullies and their father worsens, and Billy's cruel Aunt Agnes plots to get Billy away from his grandfather. But Annabelle, a cow calf born on Christmas Eve, who wishes to fly in Santa's reindeer team, has true affection for Billy. When Santa asks Annabelle what she wants for Christmas, she whispers that she would like Billy to regain his speech, thus foiling the dastardly plans of Aunt Agnes, who suddenly finds herself attracted to the bullies' father, softening his rough edges.

Is it any good?


One of the strengths of Annabelle's Wish is its naturalness. The different elements of the story have a comfortable fit, and all of the characters get their just desserts in the end. The soulful country music soundtrack perks along in the background for most of the video, but steps up to center stage for a few ear-pleasing, touching tunes.

Although the animation is nothing to write home about, the writing is excellent. The characters let their actions speak for them, never obviously peddling their themes of goodness, sacrifice, generosity, and kindness. Randy Travis' mellow narrative ills in the storyline and sets the stage for the coming scenes. The one underdeveloped story thread is Aunt Agnes's reasons for wanting Billy to live with her. She is way too self-serving to act out of concern for Billy or his grandfather, and yet why she would simply want to spread unhappiness is unclear.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their greatest wishes. How did Annabelle's sharing of her love with Billy improve Billy's life? What can you do every day to show the people you love how much you care about them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 11, 1997
DVD release date:September 25, 1998
Cast:Jerry Van Dyke, Jim Varney, Randy Travis
Director:Roy Wilson
Studio:Ralph Edwards Productions
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:54 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Annabelle's Wish was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bybig_sister April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

a beautiful christmas movie for all ages

this was oe of my favorites when i was a little girl...its still very cute. i would recomend it to anyone 3 and over...just because anyone younger probably wouldnt understand it.


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