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A TV Movie Quality Movie About a Twilight Zone Version of the Shirley Temple movie and the Book Combined
on March 23, 2014
In the last few days, I have read the book, saw the Shirley Temple movie and saw this movie.
Taken on its own with no reference to the book or ST movie, this movie is a good sappy movie, but perhaps only worthy of Lifetime. The characters are incompletely developed and not believable and the sets and costumes are also unbelievable as well. I find Sara the least believable. For example, even as a servant in the school, her hair always looks beautiful and even and her clothes, although ripped they are not ragged.
Now when compared to the book and the ST movie, it's as if this movie took a bit of the book, a bit of the movie and its own artistic license and made a Twilight Zone version of them all combined. It kept a lot of the ST movie's book unfaithfulness such as Sara's father really being alive, a love interest of the teacher, Sara's father being at war, etc. It added its own things from left field, like Becky being black and well spoken, taking place in New York, having the many of the pupils sneak to the attic, having the house not being rowhouses and not adjoining, the locket, etc. It was more faithful to the book than the ST movie in that there was Miss Amelia and no Mr. Bertie or Miss Rose, the next door neighbor had a connection to Sara's father, that Lottie and Ermergarde were actual recognizable characters who would sneak to the attic, etc.
I found the moral climate of the movie less than the book or the ST movie. The book and even the ST movie to a lesser degree, make a very good point of showing how Sara's spirit was never broken. In spite of her change in fortune, she is a true princess. She is kind and generous to all, she does not lie, show her anger or speak ill of anyone. A major moral lesson of the book is that in spite of this all, Sara still remained true to her values. I just didn't see that here. She resorted to mock sorcery to stop Lavina from harassing her. Her friends stole her locket and were sneaky about it. Becky lied to Miss Minchin about seeing a mouse, etc.
My advice is that
1. If you want a TV movie quality flick that taken on its own is alright and nothing more, go for this movie.
2. If you want a good movie that is actually a good classic movie, although perhaps not true to the book, go for the Shirley Temple movie.
3. If you want an actual good story, with good character development and good moral lessons, just read the book. As of this writing, you can get the original book free on Kindle here http://www.amazon.com/Little-Princess-being-whole-story-ebook/dp/B0083Z3WKY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1395598545&sr=8-2&keywords=a+little+princess+book