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on September 1, 2016
This was Alfonso Cuarons debut, if memory serves. And the studio just didn't know what to do with it. Sorta like other wonderful stories that don't fit (The Wonder Boys, Brooklyn, etc.), it didn't get anything like a wide release, but they tried. It was simply beautiful at the theatre, though I admit to bringing a niece along, not being the "target audience".
The tale is common enough. The daughter of a rich English gentleman is left at a boarding school in New York while he goes off to war. In the place of the wicked stepmother we have a wicked schoolmarm. The beloved father is lost track of, the estate is taken and things are looking pretty dark. The little princess never loses what she learned. That every one is valuable.
It's not only a lovely story, it's simply beautiful. Every shot was carefully planned. The colours of India transposed against the grays of New York during WWII almost tell us their own tale.
It was a masterful debut. Of course, I tend to imagine it speaks more to a female audience, but the father goes to quite incredible lengths trying to get back to his daughter and is eventually saved by hearing her voice, so who can say?
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on January 25, 2018
I loved this movie as a child and knew I wanted a copy for my little girl to watch when she was older. Beautifully filmed and a great classic story, parents can easily watch this with their kids and appreciate it. A wonderful adaptation of the novel and great value for a kid's DVD.
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on May 31, 2014
We watched this movie with our 10 year old and we all liked it. None of us read the book so I'm not sure what is driven by the book and what is the movie's merit or fault. The child actors are well chosen. The cinematographic rendering of descriptive segments (I assume they come from the book) is outstanding. At times the story jumps from point A to point B like it's an executive summary (I hope the book does a better job). At times the story feels superficial but it makes sense for a young audience, this may be just the as much tragedy they can handle. The silly Disney-esque ending does not take away from an overall good movie.
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on March 7, 2017
I loved this movie when I was younger. I figured my little sister would love it as well, and she does!!!
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on January 1, 2006
A Little Princess is a timeless classic for children of all ages. The tagline is "Every girl is a princess." The movie shows that is true, and will bring many lumps to your throat.

The story is about young Sarah, who has been brought up in British India. She and her widowed father are each other's world. Sarah thrives in the mystical tropical environment, learning tales of Rama and his consort from her Indian governess. When WWI breaks out, her father is sent to the front lines. Before he ships out, he enrolls Sarah in an exclusive American girls' finishing school, run by Mrs. Minch.

When Sarah's father is killed in action, and the cheques stop coming, Mrs. Minch makes the independent girl a servant. Sarah survives only with the help of a mysterious Indian manservant who takes care of the elderly man across the street.

The score in the movie is beautiful, as are the costumes, sets, acting, and story. Highly recommended. A few scary scenes for younger children.
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on January 28, 2003
Or: Griffith goes Girl Power. In the history of film, a handful of pictures stand out for the jaw-dropping, revolutionary power of the vision that their directors brought to the screen. Think of "Napoleon", "The Scarlet Empress", "Citizen Kane", "Breathless", "2001". Alfonso Cuaron brings the same intensity to bear in his production of "A Little Princess", creating a masterpiece whose stampeding procession of set pieces knocks the viewer to the floor . Awash in blazing light, burnished golds, and vernal greens, the film's mystical India and menacingly enchanted New York create an intoxicating atmosphere for the Blakean story of a little girl horribly lost in an unforgiving world once she is bereft of her beloved father. Young Sara's gifts for imagination and compassion war against Miss Minchon's brutish system of materialism and grinding practicality in a story that is accessible to children but offers higher truths for the adult. The screenplay, awash in references to the "Ramayana" and with hints of pantheistic intuition, compliments the Shelleyan Romanticism of the visuals. Cuaron and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki achieve a kind of pictorial radiance matched only by the Bertolucci of "Little Buddha" and "Beseiged". The incisive editing, the soaring cranes, create an exhilarating sense of wonder: the unbelievable audacity of the scene in which Sara consoles a little girl hurls us over any objection to the sentimentality by sheer creative authority-- the swooning poetry of the images and words forces our belief. Long before the famous Snow Scene, the viewer is wheeling over with intoxication at the beauty of this film. Shot by shot, this is the most perfectly realized example of sheer rapture in the cinematic canon. Simply the greatest film of the '90s.
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on October 24, 2000
A client of mine turned me onto this film, and I think it's one of the most beautifully photographed films I've ever seen. The DVD package is simple, no booklet, no disc graphic, but I wasn't expecting to be blown away with a bunch of extras, although a couple of extras would have been nice. The disc comes in widescreen and full screen versions, as well as 3 trailers. So, I put the disc into my machine and enjoyed this beautiful film. The sound was remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and although this is not your shoot-em-up, explosive film that really takes advantage of 5.1, this film uses its surround elements quite nicely. Sometimes the vocals sound a little too tinny (too much treble), but overal the stereo separation and ambiance is soothing and pleasant. Picture quality is beautiful, with very rich color saturation and fine detail throughout the disc. This really is a beautiful looking film, and the DVD format unlocks the beautiful colors quite impressively. I recommend this film for those who appreciate beautiful cinematography, and for those in the mood for a non-violent family picture. If any Dads are reading this, and you have a young daughter (probably 8-12 years of age), she'll thank you for treating her to such a pleasant movie experience. Enjoy!
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on April 8, 2013
I have always loved the Original Little Princess with Shirley Temple, so i was interested to see this new take on it. I have to say, I love it almost as much as, if not even more than the original! They are able to breathe so much life and heart into this story that you cannot help but be drawn in. This little girl's poor misfortune tears your heart out, but can still show you that no matter what anything could happen. You just have to close your eyes and believe!
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One of the few movies that I like better than the original.
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on December 30, 2015
Worked great and is a classic. I got this for my 6 year old because I remember this movie from when I was little and it teaches a lot of good lessons within a great movie and story. My daughter loved it and now has watched it 5 times since Christmas and its only the dec. 30th!
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