Also in 1991, Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television arm (together with Universal Cartoon Studios, the guys who brought you Exosquad a couple of years later) adapted A Wish for Wings that Work into an animated special that first aired on CBS on December 18, 1991. Although the special was fairly well-received by critics, Berke considers it an Old Shame. It is the only Animated Adaptation of the Breathedverse to date.
This book and special provides examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The ducks, bursting into Opus's house with the news that Santa has crashed into the lake.Duck 1: Calamity!
Duck 2: Catastrophe!
Duck 3: Cataclysm!
- Alliterative Title
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- Art Shift / Roger Rabbit Effect: A variant. In one scene, Opus has a dream sequence that lifts footage from the 1937 film Lost Horizon.
- Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: Opus really wants to fly - that's his Christmas wish - and dreams about it; albeit in his dream he's a pilot aboard the crashing airplane from Lost Horizon.
- Christmas Carolers: In the animated version, a group of carolers appear frequently, one of which looks suspiciously like a certain rock and roll singer.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: "So what if they're small? Some women prefer small wings!"
- Eye Pop: Lampshaded; this happens to Opus twice, and after it does, he rubs his eyes and says "ow!"
- Jaw Drop: All three of the ducks and Bill after Santa gives Opus a Santa hat.
- Large Ham: The kiwi bird voiced by Robin Williams.
- Oh, Crap!: In the animated version, when Santa's sleigh unhooks, Santa lets out a "Ho, ho, ho-oh, nooooooo!" as he falls.
- Rhymes on a Dime: How Santa Claus talks.
- Running Gag: Opus's removable hindquarters.Duck: It's replaceable! Like a tire!
- Shout-Out: Quite a few, after all, this is Bloom County.
- Pen Name: Robin Williams is credited by the name Sudy Nim.
- The Pig-Pen: Bill the Cat, seen rifling through a garbage can early on.Opus: (sniffs) Phew! You smell like last week's Brussels sprouts. I suggested that you move into the recyclables can, didn't I?
- The Stinger: After the Amblin Television and Universal Animation logos, there is one more scene of the pig pretending to be a rhino, who says "DON'T GET COCKY!" Then Opus's buttocks fall out of the sky and plop in the snow.
- Santa Claus: Of course.
- Title Drop: " some penguin wings that work."
- Tropaholics Anonymous: The Earthbound Birds Anonymous support group Opus visits, also attended by a delusional chicken and a jilted kiwi.
Milquetoast (in drag): "Excuse me, is this Cockroach Cross-Dressers in Crisis?"
- Ronald-Ann appears to run several of these: