Rated: PG Reviewed by: Chris Release date: May 10, 1995 Released by: Warner Brothers
A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett's lovely Victorian novel, gets a second go-around starring 10-year-old Liesel Matthews as Sara Crewe.
The 1939 film starring Shirley Temple was one of my favorites, but this version is every bit as enjoyable.
Living happily in India with her widower father (Liam Cunningham, Sara is uprooted at the start of WorldWar I when Her father is called to battle, and Captain Crewe leaves her at a New York boarding school run by Miss Minchen (Eleanor Bron),a harsh disciplinarian,
Sara's storytelling and optimistic, cherry attitude make her well-liked by the rest of the girls. Everything is fine for little Sara until Miss Minchen finds out Sara's father is reported killed and she's left without money for her upkeep. She moves Sara to a dark attic room and has her working as a servant, while continually screaming at her. (These scenes may be a bit frightening for small children.)
The period and setting were changed from the book's original 1800s London to 1914 New York, but the film has a lovely, old-fashioned look. It's a beautiful movie and has a mystical, magical quality, especially when Sara's tales come to life.
The Little Princess is an enchanting story with a terrifically evil adversary and a heroine you can root for-the ingredients that makeup the best childhood stories.
The movie is rated PG as the mistreating of Sara is somewhat intense.
|The Little Princess||B+||B+|