Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Wiki
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (1990 film)
Film information
Directed by: Allen Foster
Produced by: Bee Beckman

Tim Bloch

Written by: Judith Viorst
Music by: Charles Strouse
Release Date(s): September 15, 1990

On Saturday, September 15, 1990, the book was adapted into a 30-minute animated musical television special that aired on HBO and Klasky Csupo in the United States.

While the special is mostly true to the book, the following differences are:[]

  • Aside from the running gag of Alexander making references to Australia, the producers added another running gag in the special: he searches everywhere for his favorite yo-yo, a purple glow-in-the-dark one.
  • Dad has no mustache and has brown hair instead of blonde.
  • Nick has blonde hair instead of brown and wears glasses.
  • Anthony has brown hair instead of blonde.
  • The cat, unnamed in the book, is named Timothy.
  • Phillip Parker is white instead of black and does not wear glasses.
  • Albert Moyo is black instead of white.
  • The Mickey Mouse night light is removed due to trademark issues with Disney, and instead the lamp that sits on his dresser is what burns out.

This special features 11 more bad things for Alexander:[]

  • He opens a drawer too far, making it land on his right foot.
  • He spills cereal on the floor while searching for a free prize.
  • He falls off of the seat when the carpool stops by his school.
  • His friends will not let him play Monkey in the Middle.
  • He sings "roll" and "Mary Lee" while his class sings "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".
  • His friends tease him multiple times when he draws a picture of an invisible castle, sings his song loudly and incorrectly, skips the number 16, gets no dessert, and explains why he refuses to play ball with them after school.
  • His friends close the doors on him after school.
  • He was forced by the dentist, Dr. Fields, to sit still for 30 seconds for messing around with the toothpaste, dental chair, and tray.
  • His brothers pretend to be in pain when Alexander hops due to the elevator door closing on his foot.
  • The shoe salesman turns down his alternate choice of sneakers (green ones).
  • He is forced by his father to sit out on the couch as a punishment for a time-out for playing with the copying machine and knocking the books off his father's desk.

The special also includes 3 good things to show the audience that even a bad day can have something good in it:[]

  • Anthony and Nick make up for what they did to Alexander while waiting for their mom to pick up the car.
  • Mom finds Alexander's favorite yo-yo in the closet while turning off the bedroom light.
  • Before the end credits, Timothy (the cat) changes his mind and sleeps with Alexander while talking about how Mom says everybody has bad days, even in Australia.

Although mentioned, the three following bad things are not shown in the special:[]

  • The family has lima beans for dinner.
  • Alexander watching kissing on TV.
  • Alexander's bath making the evening worse.

The special also included three original songs:[]

  • "So Much To Do, So Little Time In The Morning"
  • "If I Could Be The Only Child"
  • "I've Had A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"



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