Little Princess 1995
After living most of her young life with her father in India, little Sara Crewe (Liesel Matthews) is suddenly uprooted. It’s 1914, and her father (Liam Cunningham), a British captain, has been called to war. He takes his daughter to Miss Minchin’s School for Girls in New York. It is the boarding school that Sara’s now deceased mother attended as a girl. Sara’s relationship with her father, based on deep love, respect and trust, is admirable. Through it she has become a truly caring child. She befriends Becky (Vanessa Lee Chester), the school’s servant girl, and soon becomes the school favorite as she tells fanciful stories to the young girls. However, when Sara’s father is declared dead and his assets seized, Miss Minchin (Eleanor Bron) moves Sara into a leaky, wet, cold attic. She must then work side by side with Becky as a servant girl. Their tale of adventure, friendship and courage is remarkable and uplifting. Being a remake of a 1939 Shirley Temple film, A LITTLE PRINCESS provides enjoyable entertainment for the whole family
Unfortunately, there is a hint of Indian mysticism in A LITTLE PRINCESS. Sara and a mysterious man from India who lives next door to the boarding school become friends. In one scene it appears that he causes a warm ray of sunshine to fall on her when she is cold. Another time, it seems that he causes her shell-shocked father to remember his past. It’s not clear if he’s employing some form of eastern mystical power, but it does appear to be more than just fantasy. Further, these mystical elements were not present in the original movie. In one scene, Sara pretends to put a curse on another girl, but apparently it is not meant to be real. A mythical tale of an Indian prince and his wife run parallel to the story. But it doesn’t seem to have any religious significance except that a gazelle in the story gives up his life to restore the prince’s life. Also, very young children may be frightened by a ten-headed monster in the tale. Overall, A LITTLE PRINCESS portrays the power of goodness, concern and love for others, and a positive outlook on life. It contains no offensive language or violence, and no sexual content. However, the story seems to imply that eastern mystical powers are desirable.