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93 of 103 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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209 of 231 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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209 of 231 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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93 of 103 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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97 of 117 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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60 of 75 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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8 of 8 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic That Touched Us All, June 28, 2004
By 
Liz "LoftyKitten" (Colorado Springs, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This movie is one that you can truly say has everything.
The dialogue is fabulous. It defines the era well, makes the characters believable, and will keep you rolling with laughter. The songs are pleasant and fun and have become standards and the choreography is wonderful. The story is as exciting as it is heart warming. There's a pleasant mix of suspense, adventure, humor, and sentiment.
Even with so much already going for it, the highlight of the movie is the characters, and the actors who portray them. Carol Burnett is hilarious as Miss Hannigan. She delivers a very memorable performance, and makes one of the most loveable movie villains ever. Albert Finney does a perfect job with Daddy Warbucks, and its great fun to watch him tranform from a stern business man to a father with a heart of gold. There's also a strong supporting cast that all add to the flavor of the movie.
This movie is good fun for all ages, and no matter how many times I've watched it, I've never gotten sick of it... in fact I've only found more things to appreciate about it over the years.
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72 of 94 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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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not letterboxed? You've got to be kidding., January 12, 2004
By 
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
I was all set to purchase this disc Tuesday. I'm glad I checked this site because there is no way I'm buying a pan & scan-only version in the year 2004. I thought the reviewers must by mistaken, there is no way that this would be released full screen--one reason is that it's a musical with dancing! But every site I check lists this as full screen.
I wouldn't have bought it full screen when I only had a 4x3 TV and I certainly won't buy it now that I have a 16x9. I'm sure the great majority of TV owners still have 4x3's and I bet this won't really turnaround until the end of the decade, but this is no excuse for the format of this release.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WIDESCREEN!!! GET WITH THE PROGRAM COLUMBIA!!!, January 13, 2004
By 
Richard Mahone (Baltimore, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
Fantastic film, but the existing version is much better even w/o
the lovely DTS. It's all about the widescreen factor- In this day
and age the average film airhead obviously will still settle for Pan & scan for Columbia to release this 2MPH edition. Clueless mothers probably still complaining about "THOSE DARNED BLACK BARS THAT CUT OFF THE TOP AND BOTTOM." Not even so much as digging around the vaults to find an outtake or gag reel? Could've used the original poster for the sleeve! Better
bring a book for this release...
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32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FULL SCREEN ONLY DVD MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE!, December 21, 2003
By 
Nix Pix (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) (DVD)
"Annie" is the original movie based on the highly successful Broadway musical, based on the highly popular comic strip character - little orphan Annie. I'm going to refrain from reiterating the story herein, because I have already reviewed the previously issued DVD. Herein, I am taking the opportunity to lambast Columbia Home Video.
TRANSFER: IT'S NOT WIDESCREEN. Enough said! You can't squeeze a 2:35:1 aspect ratio image into a 1:33:1 t.v. screen so you get what film buffs, such as myself, have been screaming about for years - a chopped up version of the movie (affectionately known as pan and scan)that in no way captures either the scope of the image or the director's original intent. This short coming alone leads me to fail this DVD on all accounts. That the cropped image is quite often blurry, at times hopelessly out of focus, and truly a weak transfer for its color balancing, contrast and black levels, is inexcusable. I'd really like to know why Columbia decided to re-release this movie on DVD. Certainly, no updates to the image quality have been made and worse still - the film is missing 50% of its picture. Misguided doesn't even begin to sum up Columbia's blunders on this disc. Also, the audio remains the same strident mix as before. No audio clean up or noise reduction leads to dialogue sounding way too forward and unnatural, while the songs screech, rather than sing, across your speakers.
EXTRAS: Some, but not enough to make you forget that "Annie" is just about the most miserable looking DVD experience you've seen in a long while.
BOTTOM LINE: To Columbia executives: get a clue! Get a 'really big' clue. To the consumer - save your money!
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Annie (Special Anniversary Edition)
Annie (Special Anniversary Edition) by John Huston (DVD - 2004)
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