on 24 September 2003
For anyone who's been in or seen the stage version of this show you'll really appreciate this production. Directed by Rob Marshall (also responsible for Chicago) it is a much better representation of the original show than the 1981 film. Songs like "Something was missing" and "NYC" have been included plus the song "Tomorrow" has been put back in the right place which makes much more sense. There is also a special guest appearance from Andrea McArdle who played the original Annie on Broadway. Speaking of the lead, the girl who plays it is very impressive as is alot of the choreography. Yeah, it gets a bit Disney at times and has a rather strange ending, but after all it is a kids film and my 6 year old cousin was gripped, amused and walking around for a week saying "i love you miss hannigan".
Overall i prefer it to the original as it captures the sense of the show much better and cuts out alot of the Hollywood rubbish.
on 1 November 2012
As my title suggests this is a review of the US Import Blu-ray release.
First, and most importantly, for UK buyers....this disc is REGION FREE!!! The back of the box states this and my region-locked player plays it fine.
There are lots of review for the actual film, so in this review I'm only going to focus on the blu-ray release.
The biggest question: Is this worth replacing on Blu-ray. Answer: A resounding YES!!
The picture on the DVD is pretty bad, and, while the image on the blu-ray isn't perfect it's a dramatic leap up from the DVD.
Overall, if you're a fan this is a must-own and I'm very please I bought it.
You're probably wondering why I'm reviewing an American release on the UK profile...well, it's because they're the same. This disc has been out in the States for a while and it worked out £3 cheaper than buying the UK release later this month. The ONLY benefit to buying the UK version is the Digital Copy and, as I didn't care about that, I bought the US version.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 4.0, Japanese DD 5.1, and the following in Dolby Digital Stereo German, Spanish, French
Subtitles: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedith, Turkish.
Extras: Sing Along, Featurette with Aileen Quinn, Digital Copy (only availble to US), Music Video, Trailers.
NB: As is their wont, Amazon have unhelpfully lumped all the reviews for different versions of this film together. This review refers to the John Huston-Aileen Quinn version.
Annie is watchable enough, but despite the lavish budget - not always apparent onscreen - it never hits the highs. More solid than inspired, and typically anonymous for a later John Huston film, Arlene Sellers characteristically derivative and unimaginative choreography is a problem: all too often at cross-purposes with the plot, the dancers manage to make it look better than it is, but that's not really the idea. Much of the cast are wasted and a couple of the songs thrown away, but at least it's not a disaster of Chorus Line proportions.
The original Region 2 PAL DVD only offered an isolated score (music only), still gallery; filmographies and theatrical trailer as extras, while the subsequent anniversary edition includes a 12-minute interview with Aileen Quinn, music video for Play's version of It's a Hard Knock Life and the trailer. Both have a decent but not outstanding 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. Sony's region-free Blu-ray offers a less than stellar transfer that doesn't look much of an improvement over an upscaled DVD with the same extras as the anniversary edition as well as three TV spots, the full trailer and a teaser trailer that includes much behind the scenes footage, though not the original TV making of documentary from the film's release that included, among other things, footage of an alternate version of Easy Street to the one used in the film.
on 11 November 2005
With songs such as Hard Knock Life, You're Never Fully Dressed (without a smile) and Let's Go to the Movies, 'Annie' is sure to put a smile on your face. The story is well known... little orphan Annie is living in a 1920's orphanage in New York, run by the drunken tyrant Miss Hannigan. Local millionaire Oliver Warbucks invites an orphan to stay at his mansion for a week as a humanitarian gesture (in other words to get good publicity) and yes, our friend Annie is the lucky thing that stays there and proceeds to win his heart. However Annie's heart lies with finding her real parents, which prompts Miss Hannigan and her brother Rooster into forming a dastardly plan which is set to tear Annie and Daddy Warbucks apart...
This is an uplifting and heart-warming film which should delight children and adults alike. A worthy addition to any DVD collection, should this kind of film be your cup of tea.
on 9 July 2010
This seems a more pedestrian version of the earlier film, but it is still full of charm and optimism. Warbucks seems to melt from hard hearted businessman rather too quickly.
One thing though, is that the producers seem to be either ignorant or want to rewrite history is in making Warbuck's secretary black. This is in the 1930s when segregation was rife and black people in the USA tended to be servants not highly confidential secretaries to billionaires and potential marriage partners!
That gripe apart, this is a good film and pleasant to watch, especially for young children.
It’s been over a decade since I last watched the original movie version of Annie. I have never been that impressed with it, preferring the 1999 TV remake since it sticks closer to the play. However, I recently sat down and watched it again. It’s still not great, but it’s not horrible.
The plot follows the familiar story of Annie (Aileen Quinn), an orphan in 1930’s New York. Certain her parents are out there, she has a habit of breaking out of the orphanage and running away from Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett), the woman who is supposed to be watching her and the other orphans.
Annie’s world turns around when she is invited to spend a week with Oliver Warbucks, the billionaire (Albert Finney). Soon, Warbucks wants to adopt Annie. But are her parents still out there somewhere?
One problem I’ve always had with the play and the remake, as much as I love them both, is the idea that the orphanage is so small. Oh, I get cast constraints and what not. Here, there are plenty more orphans, which make the time spent there seem more real. And it also means that “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” gets a better dance sequence. I like it.
I also like the song and dance number “We Got Annie” that the staff sings when they learn Warbucks intends to adopt Annie. (In an interesting bit of trivia, this is a re-working of a song originally intended for an early version of the play.)
The Asp and Punjab both make appearances. As a fan of the comic strip in my childhood days, I enjoyed seeing them.
One of my favorite scenes from the play has always been the scene with Annie and Warbucks at the radio station during “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.” I loved getting to see it here.
And for the most part the movie is fun. But when it goes wrong, does it ever go wrong.
First of all, there’s Carol Burnett’s Miss Hannigan. Here, she’s a drunk and a mean one. Not only do I not find her funny (which I’m sure was part of the goal), I just find her cringe worthy. What a waste of talent. And don’t get me started on the song she sings with Warbucks when Warbucks arrives to get the adoption papers signed.
Then there’s the song “Let’s Go to the Movies.” It replaces “NYC” from the play, and I find the original a better song story wise. Then there’s the part where they show up clips of the movie. Sorry, but that does nothing but slow down the story. Just move on already.
Annie’s dog Sandy gets a larger part in the movie, something I love since again it’s a nod to the comic strip. However, there are two songs sung about him, and I don’t particularly like either of them.
Then there’s the climax. It’s so over the top it’s stupid. I know it was designed to build suspense, but the climax of the play where the villains are out smarted is so much better.
Plus there’s the way they treat the show’s signature song. We get Annie singing “Tomorrow” during the opening credits. Then she leads the reprise in the second act. Um, hello. There’s a reason that song is so well known. It is the heart and soul of the character at the beginning, and the movie really does lose something for leaving it out. And when it shows up later, it doesn’t have the same amount of fun.
The acting is fine. Rounding out the cast are the likes of Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters as Rooster Hannigan and Lily St. Regis. They are a blast. Many of the adults are slightly broad in their performances, but it’s not so over the top as to be annoying and it actually does work.
But really, the flaws will always keep this movie from being a favorite. If this is the only version of Annie you’ve seen, you’ll probably enjoy it. But those who love the play will be disappointed with the changes made.
on 29 December 2013
I was pleased to find this available and bought with the CD as part of Christmas present. Granddaughter was thrilled as she had been singing some of the songs from the show. Using the Amazon locker system in our local Co-op store worked brilliantly, the DVD and CD came together in one package. I didn't have to wait in for delivery - emails tell you when it arrives and the code to enter to retrieve from the locker.
on 6 September 2002
Annie was a film that I had enjoyed right throughout my young years, to the extent that I had worn out three VHS tapes of the show. I love this film to to this day and always felt it emanated a feeling of warmth and security into a childs heart, with the unknowing contrast of a child who is comfortable in a well off society to that of the lives of little Annie, Molly and Duffy. This production allowed me as a child to see the poorer side of life, not in a frightened manner but one which could be filled with ones own happiness.
A truly delightful film for all to watch, it touched my heart then and continues to. The songs are great too, my favorite being Maybe, the thoughts of an orphans dream of meeting her parents. I love it!!!
on 19 January 2010
As Annie is a huge widescreen spectacle and that the Anniversary Edition of the movie sold in Region 1 in the US is pan and scanned, this is the way to actually watch the movie the way it was made, and all of the special features on the R1 DVD are intact. For the widescreen on a Region 1 DVD, you have to get the DVD that was issued in 2000 with the widescreen on one side and the pan and scan on the other side. Not only is the movie itself well remastered, the special features are actually worth watching, the documentary with Aileen reminiscing on what it was like to star in Annie being the best of the special features and one will actually learn that there were 2 dogs that starred as Sandy in the movie by watching the documentary, one that walks alongside Annie and one for the stunts, and for the fact that although most people's favorite song from the movie is "Tomorrow," her actual favorite is "Maybe." The cast was assembled perfectly, including Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan and Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks.
on 15 November 2008
After reading other reviews slating this film for a less exciting ending and having missing songs.... please read up on the history of this musical. It is a stage production and this Disney version stays very true to the stage musical and score. There are still omissions, in particular the Herbert Hoover song by the homeless people and also the Tomorrow song in the White House. But in the main it is a much more realistic adaptation than the Aileen Quinn 1981 film which just changed huge chunks and added songs (like the hideous Let's Go to the Movies sequence instead of the much more captivating NYC). How anyone can prefer the 1981 version is beyond me, the characters of Annie, Grace and Warbucks are so much more likeable in this one and Kathy Bates is believable as Miss Hannigan (although I do feel that Carol Burnett's MH was the saving grace of the 1981 film). Where Grace sings Tomorrow to Annie to comfort her after her "parents" have turned up for her is extremely touching and it is easy to engage with the characters. Definitely give this movie a try, it is lovely.