This title is from the song by Randy Travis. He narrates the story and plays the older version of Billy in the end. You will hear the voice of Rue McClanahan as the horse. Jim Varney plays the neighbor. Jerry Van Dyke is the Grandfather and Cloris Leachman is Aunt Agnes.
Let me first give some information about the video. Based on a short story by Dan Henderson, it is a Ralph Edwards Film produced by Hallmark Home Entertainment.
Novus cards sponsored the video and the first 100 wishes of children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. At the beginning of the video you will see a boy named Caleb who is riding in a helicopter as his wish granted by the Foundation. Contact the foundation at 1-800-722-wish and tell them you heard about them from Annabelles Wish. The animation of the movie is by the Baer Foundation.
The story starts off on Christmas Eve where the legend began. Santa Claus gives the animals of the barn voices for twenty four hours. Annabelle arrives this first night as shown on the video. Santa leaves a note for Billy that the calf is his Christmas present.
Billy has been unable to talk since the fire in the barn that left him in the care of his grandfather. His Aunt is the sister to his father, from what I can tell. It is love at first sight for Annabelle and Billy and off they go to play in the snow. Agnes brings Charles, the grandfather imported bon bons from Paris for his present. Agnes and Charles go into the barn to see what Billy got from Santa Claus.
The funniest part of the movie is when Agnes steps in kaka and the way she says it is hysterical. They proceed back to the house and Billy is left alone in the barn. Well this is the first time Billy has wanted to stay in the barn since the tragic fire. His Aunt Agnes prefers to call him William and the clothes she wears are bright orange and go with her hair.
Annabelle makes the mistake of talking in front of Billy and the animals decide it is okay for only Billy to know about the secret that comes once a year from Santa Claus. Annabelle decides she wants to be a reindeer and be with Santa Claus. She tells Billy her dream.
Agnes wants to get custody of William for no apparent reason than to have him in the city and out of the country. She proceeds to see her lawyer a few times to find loopholes for her.
Emily is Billys best friend and she knows more often what he is thinking and they go all over the country side on the sled being pulled by Annabelle. The neighbor Gus has two mean spirited sons who make life difficult for the two kids, dog and calf. They get Billy in trouble when they plow into a fence on their property.
The Grandfather ends up having to sell his daughters antique music box that is his cherished possession of hers to pay for the damage done by the calf and kids. Another year goes by and Aunt Agnes is back again saying she has papers now giving her custody of William until said time he talks. The animals overhear this and pull her pink cadillac into the woods.
Annabelle has a change of her wish for Santa Claus and whispers to him that she would rather give her Christmas voice to Billy. The next morning, Billy opens up a envelope and he can talk. Billy will continue to live with his Grandpa and at this moment Gus and his two boys come over and return the music box from the antique store. Aunt Agnes decides to invite the Holder family for Christmas dinner.
There is a song by Randy Travis about changing seasons and making friends. Tears come to my eyes everytime I see the scenes with the song that show Billy, Annabelle and Emily, while Randy sings about seasons come and seasons go.
Emily and Billy get married and the ending shows Annabelle getting her final wish. Emily never did know about the animals talking to Billy, although she jokes about him going into the barn years later to see the animals on Christmas morning.
There are many lessons in this fine movie. The two neighbor boys apologize for making up stories. Gus meets Agnes and they seem made for each other. Grandpa gets his music box back, the animals get their yearly treat.
The animation and music are such added bonuses as well as the voices that I do not get to hear on sitcoms anymore. The most important thing to remember is to keep this movie in an active collection and not to be utilized only for the holiday season.
Annabelles Wish is played at least once a week in my house and is a compassionate tale of friendship and wishes. I hardly think of the comparison of Billy and my son, who also does not talk due to his disability. There are so many other qualities of the movie, I feel that the character of Billy needs no words to share his feelings of love for Annabelle.
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About the reviewer
Bonnie Sayers (autismfamily)
single parenting two teens on autism spectrum. Working out daily, Zumba & Bodybugg enthusiast.
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On Christmas, Annabelle the calf looks up at the sky and yearns to join the merry, jingling sleigh which passes overhead. If she could just, one day, join the elite ranks of Santa's reindeer! Recipient of the Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence and the National Parenting Seal of Approval.