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105 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version because of the great cast
You cannot beat the cast in this movie. It has some of the greats, like Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry. That is part of the reason why the Disney version could never compare to this one. Also, Aileen Quinn makes such a great Annie. She really looks spunky. She can look really sweet, but also tomboyish. She can look threatening, like all the times she...
Published on September 26, 2004 by Kelli

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233 of 261 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leapin' lizards!
Well, I think this is a really swell movie. Albert Finney and Carol Burnett crack me up, Aileen Quinn is exactly what Annie should be, and Sandy is perfect.

But WHY OH WHY is this not being offered in a widescreen format? I have yet to see all of "It's a Hard Knock Life" and I know those girls are knocking themselves out offscreen. I've seen this movie on three...
Published on January 5, 2005 by M. Stoltenberg


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233 of 261 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leapin' lizards!, January 5, 2005
By 
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
Well, I think this is a really swell movie. Albert Finney and Carol Burnett crack me up, Aileen Quinn is exactly what Annie should be, and Sandy is perfect.

But WHY OH WHY is this not being offered in a widescreen format? I have yet to see all of "It's a Hard Knock Life" and I know those girls are knocking themselves out offscreen. I've seen this movie on three different media. All were pan and scan, and all three showed different parts of the picture! The worst was a VHS release. (...)

I don't know which is more frustrating about this anniversary dvd, the fact that it doesn't offer widescreen, or the fact that the dvd menu and the special features show the movie clips in widescreen, teasing me with those brief glimpses.

There is no reason that dvd manufacturers shouldn't at least OFFER a widescreen version. Let's get with the 21st century already!
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105 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version because of the great cast, September 26, 2004
By 
Kelli (Somewhere out west) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
You cannot beat the cast in this movie. It has some of the greats, like Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Tim Curry. That is part of the reason why the Disney version could never compare to this one. Also, Aileen Quinn makes such a great Annie. She really looks spunky. She can look really sweet, but also tomboyish. She can look threatening, like all the times she raises her fists. The girl in the Disney "Annie" looks too sweet. She isn't as convincing when she tries to fight. If you want to watch Annie, this is the version to get.
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108 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Still No Widescreen!, July 1, 2005
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
I can't help but wonder if ALL the widescreen prints of this movie were destroyed in a warehouse fire. Why would you bother to master another "Special Anniversary Edition" with a new DTS soundtrack and not include a Wide screen version? Especially with more and more widescreen TVs on the market. It is going to look pretty silly in a few years showing this pan and scanned musical on your widescreen TV. While not my favorite movie musical, I would still buy it if they ever have the sense to release it in it's original format! Until then...forget it!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best "Annie" version out there, and here's why...., April 29, 2006
By 
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
Some of my earliest childhood memories include watching this version of "Annie" with my older sisters and cousins. We could never get enough of it, and quite frankly I think this movie is what spawned our rather humorous attempt to act out the play ourselves in the basement.

In any case, this film has been brought back in a Special Edition DVD for whole new generations, as well as previous generations who remember it from their childhood. It seems a lot of people have given this version heat, mainly for deviating a bit from the original Broadway storyline, but I believe this is arguably the best "Annie" you could get your hands on, for a reason that another reviewe here, "Kelli," already indicated.

The acting is passionate. Purely, genuinely, and undeniably passionate. I don't know where they found that little Aileen Quinn, but she embodies absolutely everything that this character is supposed to symbolize. She is plucky, sweet, tough as nails, and underneath it all, she's just looking for a family to call her own. She probably fits her given role better than any other child actress in any movie I've ever seen, and I mean that sincerely. She is just amazing. For that matter, every single cast member appears to have poured their entire soul into their roles, with acting that contains remarkable depth and incredible spirit.

The song and dance numbers, too, are a phenomenol addition to this film. A few original new songs are added to this version, including "We've Got Annie" and "Dumb Dog" (which I personally didn't love and found to be a bit out of place, but it was still pretty cute). There are clearly professional dancers and talented voices galore to accompany every song, making it an ideal musical experience for the whole family.

It appears that many people prefer the recent TV version of "Annie" with Alicia Morton because the plot is faithful to the Broadway musical version. That may be true, but in my opinion that remake did not stand the slightest chance against the acting of this 80's version. Albert Finney and Aileen Quinn work beautifully alongside one another, with Finney giving a perfect portrayal of a workaholic man who is constantly seeking to push Annie away but eventually recognizes that she is the daughter he always needed. Ann Reinking (Grace Farrell) plays the nurturing motherly role to a "T," and of course, the classic and hysterical Carol Burnett helps Miss Hannigan steal every single scene she is in. The orphans are all well cast, each with their own distinct personalities and all notably expressive in front of the camera. (They really did get lucky with the kids in this movie; all of them were very genuine and a talented group of little actresses). A beautiful story indeed, brought to life impeccably on screen and a pure joy to watch. It's one of those movies that truly does just make you smile, and the approach these actors took with their roles is the main reason for that.

As for the Special Anniversary DVD Edition...it is not anything major, but it does include some good stuff. The popular teen group "Play" sings their own version of "Hard Knock Life" (which, if you know the 4 teens who make up this girl group, it is a perfect song for them), there are some "Sing and Act Along with Annie" sections, and most notably, you get a short featurette with an all-grown-up Aileen Quinn. Long-time fans of this movie will absolutely love to see her come on-screen and talk about her experiences with the film and how the newfound fame impacted her life afterward. (I personally love the flashback video segment where Carol Burnette hugs Aileen and says "Aileen, can I put you in my bag and take you home with me? I can't be mean to this kid!") Judging from this featurette, Quinn seems very personable and easygoing, and there's no doubt that playing Annie must have been a very special memory from her childhood.

The DVD is absolutely worth getting if you love this movie. It has some nice special features and, of course, the actual film will always remain a classic in itself.
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64 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful new telling of the musical legend!, November 2, 2000
By 
Byron Kolln (the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Annie [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Many people pass off ANNIE as a children's musical, when in actuality it has one of the most sophisticated scores and the book is of a higher standard than of many other shows. It still holds a record of something like the 8th or 9th longest running show on Broadway, and it is a delight among theatre-goers.
This new Disney version stays faithful to the stage score and script, not like John Huston's rambling version back in 1981 (refer to my review for this), and it is a delight to watch. It has that 'theatrical-style' feel to it.
The esteemed cast, the bulk of which are seasoned Broadway performers, include Kathy Bates as Miss Hannigan, Alan Cumming as Rooster, Audra McDonald as Grace Farrell, Kristin Chenoweth as Lily St Regis, Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks and the lovely Alicia Morton as Annie. Making a cameo in the 'NYC' number as ''Star To Be'' is (oh happy day) the original Broadway Annie - Andrea McArdle.
The cast is sensational, and while I will not bring down the 1981 performers of Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters and Ann Reinking, they are far more believable in their interpretations.
You must buy this new version of the Broadway smash ANNIE!
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74 of 99 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a "Hard Knock Life" for Musicals, June 19, 2000
This review is from: Annie (DVD)
This review will not win me "positive" votes, but I must speak my mind.
This current trend of filming musicals for television is wonderful for the genre. My complaint, seen here in ANNIE, is the "Readers Digest" versions they're tending to churn out.
I was very excited to see this new version of ANNIE (the John Huston film from the 80's was unmemorable and hilariously sent-up in John Waters' film SERIAL MOM). After viewing it, I realized the producers and director made several mistakes.
First, Mrs. Hannigan is the VILLAIN. In order for any basic story to work, there is a good guy and a villain. Annie is the good guy, Mrs. Hannigan is the villain. Kathy Bates plays her as a sympathetic lady just trying to run an orphanage! At least Carol Burnett mined some of that evilness in the Huston film. In this version, any badness has been "Disney-fied" out of the character.
Also, Daddy Warbucks is too nice. Why do we even care if Annie ends up with him? His character doesn't seem to need changing at all. His secretary seems to think he works a tad too much, but otherwise he's been "Disney-fied" as well.
And dare I suggest that the romance between Warbucks and the secretary (played by the incredible Audra McDonald) has been toned down because of race issues? Or would a romance have been too much of a character change for the screenwriter as well?
I'm just so disappointed with this production. A highlight is the NYC production number. Andrea McArdle shines in her cameo ("Just got here this morning...") It's a fine, workman production. But somehow, the heart seems to be gone. Does anyone really understand the significance of the song "Tomorrow"? It seems like it's just cued up like the show-stopper we all know it to be. They film it with a big sweeping camera move and end it on a special effects shot of New York city. So what, I say! Keep a close up on the little girl playing Annie and let us see what the song means to the character.
I hope I don't sound too severe, but I think they really did this show wrong. I don't believe the reviews that say ANNIE is a good production. I think it's mediocre at best -- it could have been so much better.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost as good as the original Broadway show..., June 19, 2000
This review is from: Annie (DVD)
This has been one of my favorite musicals ever since I saw the original Broadway show back in 1978. The Disney version of this classic show is much, much better than the overblown, overdone 1982 film because it is much more faithful to the stage production, even though there are a few minor plot changes.
I felt that the singing and acting was quite good. Alicia Morton was a great Annie, and Audra MacDonald played Grace Farrel, Oliver Warbucks secretary to a tee. Kathy Bates was as good of a Miss Hannigan as Carol Burnette was in the 1982 version of the film. The only person that I thought was miscast was Victor Garber as Daddy Warbucks. In all honesty, Albert Finney played the role so much better, and with more warmth and compassion than Garber. One of the big highlights in the film (for me, anyway) is Andrea McArdle's (the orignal Annie) cameo in the "N.Y.C." number. Most of the key songs from the stage show are there. However, "We'd like to thank you Herbert Hoover", "Annie", and " A New Deal for Christmas" are missing. And I admit, that I missed them in this production. Check out the CD from the original show to hear these tunes. All in all, this version from Disney is quite enjoyable, and I do recommend it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Special Edition....special enough?, January 13, 2004
By 
Chrissy1018 (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
Growing up, Annie was one of my all-time favorite movies. I sang all the songs, played runaway orphan with my friends, and watched the movie over and over on Betamax (for those of you born a bit later, that's like a VHS tape, only smaller).
I was tempted to buy Annie as soon as it came out on DVD, but chose to wait for a version with some decent special features. Lo, it is here, but there is one thing that I'm really surprised is missing.... where's the behind-the-scenes feature, "Lights, Camera, Annie!" which aired on TV back in 1982. It included auditions for the role of Annie, dance rehearsals, cast/crew interviews, choerography and blocking of "It's a Hard Knock Life", a screen test of Aileen Quinn and Albert Finney and vocal rehearsals of "Easy Street" with Peters, Curry and Burnett. That's the kind of thing that should be on a Special Edition DVD, so I'm surprised that since the footage exists (I still have my Beta tape, and surely it exists elsewhere), that they didn't use it.
As much as I appreciate that there is a new version, it seems to be primarily catering to kids. It would appear they neglected the adults who grew up with the movie and still think of it fondly, and would have appreciated more special features of the behind-the-scenes, as opposed to contemporary interpretations of songs and sing-alongs.
Incidentally, why is this being presented as an "Anniversary Edition"? Annie came out in 1982, so it's the...22nd Year Anniversary?
I still love the movie, but just can't give this version a full 5 stars given my disappointment in the special features.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schmaltzy but super, April 6, 2002
By 
This review is from: Annie (Widescreen Edition) (DVD)
Easily the best version of Annie out there (and yes, I saw the play with Martha Raye as Miss Hannigan). This 1982 gem is a classic big-budget movie musical, with all the exuberance that the genre implies. How can you help but smile at the thought of fifty orphans simultaneously breaking out into dance numbers?

Ten-year-old Aileen Quinn sings her heart out to the catchy tunes and will have you singing too, despite yourself. Albert Finney is a walking caricature as billionaire capitalist Daddy Warbucks, who learns that there is more to life than money. Anne Reinking puts in a good showing as his assistant, and you'll recognize others such as Bernadette Peters. But Carol Burnett steals the show as the drunken orphanage proprieter who hates little girls but goes ga-ga over any male, from the local cop to Mr. Bundles the Laundry Man. (This is rated PG rather than G for a reason!)

Very young kids may be frightened by a chase sequence in which the bad guys try to kidnap Annie, but there's plenty here to entertain both children and adults. As a child, I watched it a hundred times without catching allusions to the New Deal, the Bolsheviks, and bathtub gin.

Do not let your kids grow up acquainted only with Disney's dull 1999 remake of Annie! The 1982 movie is twice as exuberant, larger than life, and makes for much better entertainment.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, bad dvd, April 24, 2006
By 
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
So much for special edition. Enough complaints have been made about the lack of widescreen format - unforgiveable in any musical since the dance numbers nearly always take up the whole screen.

My biggest complaint is that there are actually lines REMOVED from songs - in "The Hard Knock Life", Molly's orders to "Strip those beds! Scrub that floor!" have been erased, although there is still a camera close-up that clearly shows her mouthing the words. In "We've Got Annie," a whole series of servants' exclamations are similarly gone. There are several other omissions that slip my mind currently. Why on earth would the editing team take out these lines? If they were going to remove anything, it might at least have been the two exclamations of "g-dd-mn" at the end, which are the only occasions of this movie turning un-kid-friendly and were entirely unnecessary. What were you thinking, Columbia?

Get this movie by all means, but get the widescreen version. I don't know whether it shares the problem of ommitted lines, however, and until I do, I'll stick with my old much-loved VHS.
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Annie (Special Anniversary Edition)
Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) by John Huston (DVD - 2004)
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