I'm really excited to be a new member of the Tots100 film club. We watch a lot of films together both as a couple and as a family, and we are slowly introducing Harry and Mia to some of our favourite films as well as keeping up with new releases.
The first film that I have been sent to review is A Little Princess. A Little Princess is based upon the classic book of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I absolutely loved this book as a child. I remember reading it for the first time on a camping holiday to France, finding it in the box of 'new' books which my Mum collected for us from charity shops in the months leading up to a holiday. It is the first book which I remember affecting me emotionally - I remember having a good cry over it! Over the years I've re-read it over and over, so I'm pretty familiar with the story.
I'd never seen a film adaptation, so I was very keen to watch it. I was a little worried at the beginning, when it quickly became apparent that the film had not only changed centuries (from Victorian era to World War 1) but also crossed continents (from London to New York). In the end though I found that it didn't matter at all. It wasn't a direct adaptation of the book, but enough of the original story was there for me to enjoy it.
The story follows Sara Crewe, sent from her home in India to a New York boarding school while her beloved father enlists to fight in World War 1. Her father makes sure that no expense is spared in her upbringing, and her vivid imagination and stories from India quickly make her a favourite among the pupils. However when news reaches the school of her father's death and the subsequent seizure of his assets, Sara is forced to work in the school as a servant. Despite her suddenly reduced circumstances, she still holds on to her belief that all girls can be princesses.
I really liked how the story of Sara and her father was mirrored in the film by the tales that Sara tells her friends from the Indian poem, the "Ramayana" and the exotic feel that this brings to the story. The film does deal with some very grown up themes, and is therefore more suitable for older children. It is very sad in places, but of course there is a happy ending. It's a perfect family film because the heartwarming story appeals to adults too, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with my little ones when they are a bit older!
I was sent the film to review through the Tots100 film club.