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Madeline (1998)

Frances McDormand , Nigel Hawthorne , Daisy von Scherler Mayer  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Frances McDormand, Nigel Hawthorne, Christopher Plummer, Tracey Lee Smythe, Stevie Vallance
  • Directors: Daisy von Scherler Mayer
  • Writers: Jennifer Flackett, Ludwig Bemelmans, Malia Scotch Marmo, Mark Levin
  • Producers: Allyn Stewart, Pancho Kohner, Saul Cooper
  • Format: Anamorphic, Full Screen, Color, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 15, 1998
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0767819659
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,669 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Madeline" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Photo Gallery
  • Includes Madeline Cartoon (nominated for Best Short Subject-Cartoon Oscar in 1952)
  • Weblinks

Editorial Reviews

The schoolgirl adventures of Madeline, a flame-haired orphan, are lovingly adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans's classic children's books. His sly and witty writing is transferred to this first-rate film, one that should not be thought of merely as childhood entertainment. Spunky Madeline is most adept at finding trouble. She is also a quick-witted and likable child who can solve almost any problem. Her latest scheme is to keep her school, which is also her home, from being sold by its owner, the recently widowed Lord Covington (Nigel Hawthorne). Unlike most youthful movie fare, this adventure boasts high production values that wisely include colorful Parisian locations. Hatty Jones is all spunky self-sufficiency and sweet innocence in the title role, and Frances McDormand is quite humorous as the stern school-mistress, Miss Clavel. --Rochelle O'Gorman

Product Description

In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, twelve little girls lived in two straight lines. The smallest one in rain or shine was the fearless Madeline (Hatty Jones), and she is the heroine of this family comedy based on Ludwig Bemelmans' classic book series about a Parisian schoolgirl andher classmates.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A charming, entertaining masterpiece December 30, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Parents, you will love this movie. My four year old (and I) have seen it about 20 times already, and we limit TV to 30-60 minutes a day.
There are only 2 scary parts: Pepito wears a red devil mask and says "boo" to the girls who have sneaked into the kitchen; Pepito and Madeline are kidnapped by Pepito's tutor. I know the latter sounds terrible, but for some reason, it was not terrifying to my daughter. (We almost always watch with her.) This beats Disney the frightening animated movies in many ways. (Mary Poppins is a terrific exception.) There was one "damn" that I counted.
This was beautifully written, directed and acted.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and Charming Children's Movie March 28, 2002
Madeline is a slight but utterly charming film taken from the children's books by Ludwig Bemelmas. It does not possess the dramatic content of The Secret Garden or A Little Princess, but it's free of the cynicism of the modern five-year old, as in The Rugrats Movie. It has an innocence which is downright old-fashioned. I liked it, and I am cynical and somewhat over the age of five.
Aren't the best stories about little girls often about orphans? That's what bright, adorable eight-year old Madeline is, as are her eleven schoolmates in a small private school in Paris. Usually the students dress alike, but they have several outfits. There are some wonderfully colorful scenes of the young ladies exploring the City of Lights. All have distinct personalities, which causes them to disagree on many subjects. This makes for some charming bits of dialog.
In charge of this group is the wise and tolerant nun, Miss Clavell, and the cold, lonely Lord Covington, whom the girls refer to by such names as Lord Coo Coo Face. These two characters are played by an American treasure, Francis McDormand, and a British one, Nigel Hawthorne. McDormand won an Oscar for Best Actress in Fargo, while Hawthorne was nominated for Best Actor in The Madness of King George. This picture is more of a holiday than an acting job for these major talents, but it's always nice to see them.
Madeline is spirited and exuberant. She gets into one mess after another. She winds up in the hospital, falls into the River Seine, nearly destroys the Spanish Embassy, smuggles a dog into the school and finds herself accidentally kidnapped by circus clowns. As directed by Daisy Von Scherler Mayer and portrayed by the delightful Hatty Jones, Madeline is never seen as a bad girl. She's simply a very bright and curious one.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all young at heart aged 2 to 122 years of age November 8, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
A really exquisite movie that will make you laugh, cry, and keep putting it on again for more

The movie is about a girls school in Paris and the adventures of 12 adorable little girls, with the cutest and most interesting of all being the plucky flame haired little tyke, with a heart of gold Madeline (Hatty Jones).

With adventures taken from the timeless books, including little Madeleine's appendicitis, and her rescue from the water by the golden retriever Genevieve, the centerpiece of the story is the battle of the girls and their loving guardian Miss Clavel (Frances McDormand) to keep their school and their dog, against the cruel plans of Lord Covington (Nigel Hawthorne) and also foiling a thuggish tutor cum kidnapper Leopold (Ben Daniels)

This is really beautiful, not only for kids, but for all young at heart aged 2 to 122 years of age.

There are just so many wonderful memorable heart-stealing scenes, funny cute and poignant.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My Child's First Major Obsession May 22, 2001
We are currently going through a major addiction to all things Madeline and especially this movie. It represents my daughter's first venture into a fantasy world (she's 4.5 yrs) that she has created for herself and she now spends her days repeating bits of the film, pretending to be Madeline or Miss Clavel and generally being happy playing. I'm not sure how much I really like this movie as I've now watched it upwards of 20 to 30 times. I doubt even the filmmakers thought anyone would study any film so closely. I'm now looking for contunity errors or obscure turns of phrases to keep me interested! As other reviews have said, the movie really departs from the books and creates its own world. The art direction of the film is very good but the movie seems to lack some final layering that would make it a truly memorable film. Frances McDormand seems to sleep walk through the film or wasn't given enough to do. The kids roles are good, however. But the proof is in my child: she's obsessed. For that, I don't mind. It could be something like Eminem or Pokeman.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Template for good movie fun May 16, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I don't watch many movies, and have recently lost my taste for kids' movies in particular--which are also the few movies which don't have gratuitous sex, violence, and cursing. This movie manages to transcend genres, a witty film that those who have outgrown the "Madeleine" cartoons will enjoy.
Madeleine, played by the excellent Hatty Jones, is a little French girl at a boarding school in France, along with eleven other girls (also flawlessly acted) and their teacher Miss Clavel (Frances McDormand). The movie follows her clashes with the Spanish ambassador's son, Pepito, and with Lord "Cuckooface" Covington, the man who owns the school upon the death of their sponsor--and who wants to close it down; also with such problems as a ransom plot, and the loyal dog Genevieve.
Madeleine purists should be warned: this movie is not just a live-action version of the book stories. The movie exists as a series of vignettes loosely based on the books, such as Madeleine's appendectomy and her rescue by Genevieve. Two of the central plots are not in the books, however: Lord Covington's wish to sell the school, and the kidnapping plot concerning Pepito. Occasionally dialogue will be lifted (a difficulty, given the almost complete lack of REAL dialogue) such as Miss Clavel's midnight "Something is not right" or Madeleine's defiant "pooh pooh!"
The actors and script contain the necessary amount of innocent cuteness and comedy (the visits of the various ambassadors to the school) while also having poignancy. One thing that will irritate Madeleine purists is Madeleine's family situation in this movie, but it does give her the ability to interact with Lord Covington.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The movie would not play
The movie we received never played. We tried this movie on multiple dvd/tv in our home.
We never could get to see any of it. We are very disappointed with this experience. Read more
Published 2 months ago by NCBelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
My 7 year old loves this movie! So cute. It is a lot like the great books. So much fun!
Published 3 months ago by Andrea
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, loved the chicken clucking episode!!
Delightful "madeline" will watch it again with grandchildren. Gave instead of Jelly Beans, I ate them! More for Easter

Donavans Reef..... Read more
Published 4 months ago by jacqueline Wojciechowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Kids love it to death!
This movie has struck a chord with my kids like no other to our surprise. They want to watch it over and over. It is very cute and charming. I think everyone will like it.
Published 4 months ago by Go Time
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
This was not a is a DVD, and in excellent condition. The box was worn, as one would expect from being in a library. The DVD worked skips.... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Caroida
5.0 out of 5 stars Had to upgrade from VHS to DVD!!!``
The grandkids love this movie and watch it when they come to visit. They imitate the chicken "clucking" and the phrase" Something is Wrong!!
Published 7 months ago by herbs and garden
4.0 out of 5 stars The Madeline Movie
We really enjoyed the movie! I would recommend it to all who like the animated "Madeline" shows and books! Entertaining!
Published 7 months ago by Ingrid Shilts-Gudlin
1.0 out of 5 stars Read the fine print
Unfortunately, I did not see that this video will NOT play on most DVD players in the U.S. Wasted my money.
Published 7 months ago by Susan Thompson Underdahl
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Make a Better Movie from the Madeline Series
I give this movie a five star rating because the actors and actresses are delightful and a good fit to the storybook characters, especially Pepito! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gael Linn
5.0 out of 5 stars MADELINE: Home Run.
Loved it even though it is for kids... you can't go wrong... you don't have to worry that something inappropriate is going to pop up when you are out of the room... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Raven
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