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Napoleon and Samantha

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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(Jul 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. Two young children (Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster) suddenly find themselves in charge of a gentle, aging circus lion. However, when they are threatened with being split up by stern authorities, the trio embarks on a perilous journey across the wilds of the American Northwest. During their adventure-filled odyssey, they seek help in their plight from a sympathetic, free-spirited mountain man (ROMANCING THE STONE'S Michael Douglas). Ferocious forest predators, a dangerous drifter, and the pursuing police make for a head-over-heels race to breathtaking conclusions in this captivating saga.|The film stars 16-year-old Major, a 500-pound lion and film veteran who had appeared in several 1960s Tarzan movies.|The movie stars a young Michael Douglas -- and an even younger Jodie Foster.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Douglas, Will Geer, Johnny Whitaker, Jodie Foster, Arch Johnson
  • Directors: Bernard McEveety
  • Writers: Stewart Raffill
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55PQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,797 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Napoleon and Samantha" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I can still recall when I first saw "Napoleon and Samantha" theatrically years ago. When the film was over, I felt like a different person. I wondered how anything like this can come from Walt Disney Productions. The plot is truly poignant and quite non-Disneyesque; the musical score is brilliant and won an Oscar nomination; and the photography is simply gorgeous. This is Jodie Foster's movie debut; and one of the last appearances of Will Geer. "De gustibus non est disputandum," but I consider this the best live action film the Disney Company ever has released. I would recommend that the youngest viewers watch this masterpiece together with a grownup.
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Format: DVD
Disney's little-known Napoleon and Samantha does not receive half the credit it deserves. Even as an adult, is is bar none, hands down, my favorite movie of all time. It is simply exceptional in every way.

I first became familiar with Napoleon and Samantha when renting movies from a local video (gasp! what's VHS?) rental store in Alabama back in the 90's. I was one, if not my top rented movie because we couldn't find it anyplace else back in the day, including Suncoast or even at Disneyworld on trip to Disney when we inquired about it.

I was very happy to get a copy of my own about 3 years ago on Christmas when it came out on DVD.

Now, what do i like about Napoleon and Samantha so much? Everything. It's hard to explain, but it has an incredible depth and charm so hard to find in other movies. The musical score is beautiful (and apparently equally rare, i haven't been able to find a copy of the soundtrack anywhere) and the scenery is equally beautiful and breathtaking. The acting of Johnny Whitaker (Sigmund and The Sea Monsters, Tom Sawyer movie), is great, and it is interesting to Jodi Foster and Michael Douglas so young, one of the first movie appearances for both of them. And, if you are a fan of The Waltons as i am, it is an added treat to see both Grandma and Grandpa Walton (Will Geer, Ellen Corby) in their respective roles as Napoleon's Grandpa and Samantha's housekeeper. As stated, the plot is slightly weightier than most Disney fare, with the death of Napoleon's Grandpa and a hinted-at child pervert named Mark (whom is only referred to as a "psycho")

The story starts with a lovable but slightly mischievous boy named Napoleon growing up in a small, unnamed rural town with his sidekick, best friend and next door neighbor, Samantha.
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6 Comments 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
this is pretty typical Disney live action. Remember watching when it first came out. Johnny Whitaker and Jodie Foster are both good child actors.Napoleon lives with his grandfather played by Will Geer, Samantha is staying with her aunt played by Ellen Corby { this was before Waltons. and they do not have a scene together} Napoleon and his grandfather end up with an old lion.the grandfather dies and Napoleon is afraid of being put in an orphanage. so he runs away to find a man who befriended him.Samantha and the lion come along. a young Michael Douglas plays the drifter young man. not a great plot. predictable. of course there are the "good guys" and bad guys. not great but fun and decent.
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Format: DVD
Whilst many critics do not rate this Disney offering as highly as some of the studio's other live action adventures (such as Davy Crockett, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Swiss Family Robinson), it is hard to imagine anyone coming away from seeing this film feeling dissatisfied. The great majority of viewers, from seven to seventy, will enjoy the fine performances of Michael Douglas, Johnny Whittaker and a very young Jody Foster (as Samantha) in what is at times both a heart-warming tale and fast-moving adventure.
In spite of the age of the film, the DVD picture is of fine quality and will please Disney collectors. The disc itself is rather bare-bones with no extras (unfortunately). A recent cast interview with those mentioned would have been great.
All in all, well worth the small investment.
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By A Customer on October 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I was priveledged to see this movie made in 1971. It was filmed in the community I grew up in (John Day Oregon). It's a joy to watch it so many years later and be able to see the town I new when I was 11. I'm biased, but I think it's a wonderful family film and it's fun seeing Michael Douglas and Jodi Foster so early in their careers.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Delightful story about a little boy and a little girl who are practically orphans and who go cross-country in search for a place to live. They are accompanied by a lion which protects them from a cougar and a bear.. Jodie Foster plays the little girl and captures hearts. It's a Tom Sawyer type movie with the exploits of youth. Michael Douglas is very young in this movie. He plays the young man who helps and tries to protect the children. It's a touching story about the exploits of youth and the bonding between these two friends.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Absolutely magnificent little movie... heartfelt acting, moving and meaningful script, exciting and gorgeous cinematography... a real gem! Johnny Whitaker and Jody Foster are excellent as the title characters. Napoleon is the epitome of a brave and heroic boy, and Samantha is his trusting and admiring friend.

Note: the scene about death and loss, between young Napoleon and his grandfather, is something that every child should watch, especially if they have experienced loss of a loved one, or are about to experience loss. Beautifully done piece by Walt Disney Studios, this movie truly holds up after all these years. Enjoy!
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