As you’re probably aware, Annie was remade last year. Updated. I wanted to hate the film and the idea they’d changed a musical I’d grown up loving; the fact it was different; but actually, on seeing the trailers I had already been won over.
We went to watch Annie before Christmas at the cinema, and came out smiling – H was ridiculously happy – her favourite songs in a film on the big screen, and a story she could relate to. She prefers the remake to the 1982 film – we’re going to see the stage version this November.
So what have they changed about Annie?
She is now a foster kid – not an orphan in an orphanage. Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) takes in foster kids to get money from NY State – though she’s still not the most motherly of mothers. Annie knows she was left outside a restaurant by her parents, and a certain food they ordered, so she waits outside the same restaurant every Friday in the hope they might go back. She shares an apartment with other foster kids, and ‘Maybe’ and ‘The Hard Knock Life’ both live on.
While she’s making her way home, she’s saved from a road incident by Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) who pulls her out of the way in time from a van, saving his reputation (as someone happened to YouTube the incident, what with him wanting to be the Mayor of NY, and people recording everything on their phones all the time) – so Grace, his assistant makes a deal with Miss Hannigan to have Annie stay with him to help improve his public image. ‘I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here’ gains an update – and it fits well with a story which has a New York background to show off.
So what happens next? Well, it follows the same Annie path, they grow fond of each other, he wants to adopt her, and she wants to find her real parents.
Fans of Annie will almost certainly spot the references to the original musical which pop up throughout the film – see the picture below for one within the first five minutes! Songs from the musical are referenced throughout the film, ‘NYC’ and ‘Something Was Missing’ feature in an instrumental break, the full ‘Something Was Missing’ song comes as an extra on the Blu Ray (not the DVD though) – it was never used in the final film.
Annie has moved with the times – when everyone becomes aware that Annie’s parents aren’t her real one and they need to track her down, it’s Instagram which helps them find her (I’m not sure how well that will date in thirty years, mind!) Plus mentions by pop stars like Katy Perry on Twitter – it’s a very ‘now’ film which recognises its past.
So Annie, remade. The verdict? It has a PG certificate due to some mild bad language – which went completely over H’s head. It’s fun, it’s bright, it’s a showcase for New York where lonely people find each other with a spectacular backdrop.
I’d say a big green traffic light thumbs up, though it may be worth covering stranger danger with your child beforehand if they’re sensitive to it – but let them know there’s a happy ending (and let’s face it, she isn’t hanging off a bridge waiting to be saved which was always a little bit weird).
Annie is out on DVD tomorrow (did you see what I did there? Although that would be April 27th to the rest of us) – available from Amazon and all good retailers.
There’s a Twitter Party going on RIGHT NOW, Sunday 26th April between 2-4pm – make sure you’re following the hashtag #anniemovieparty – come join in the fun!
We were sent a copy of the DVD and some Annie goodies (including a lovely Sandy plush toy) – everything above is our own opinion. All images were found via the internet, used without permission but to illustrate this blog post. This post contains an affiliate link.