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A Little Princess

Where to Watch A Little Princess


A Little Princess, released in 1995, is a poignant and enchantingly crafted film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, based on the classic children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This tale captures the timeless essence of unbreakable spirit and the exploration of vivid imagination that transcends the bleakest realities.

The protagonist of the movie is Sara Crewe, profoundly portrayed by Liesel Matthews. Sara is a young, ebullient girl with a wildly creative imagination. Her father, Captain Crewe, played by Liam Cunningham, is a British army officer and a tender, devoted single parent. When World War I calls him to the front lines, he places Sara in the care of Miss Minchin's Seminary for Girls in New York. The movie's initial settings beautifully capture the loving bond between Sara and her father, as they inhabit a world full of exotic tales and fanciful legends inspired by their shared time in India.

The Seminary, under the stern eye of the strict headmistress Miss Minchin, portrayed by Eleanor Bron, drastically contrasts their vibrant world. Eleanor Bron delivers her character convincingly, with her icy demeanor, magisterial voice, and contrasting character trait to Sara's indefatigable spirit. Eventually, Sara's wealth and exotic stories from India make her very popular among her peers, but they also earn her the envy of the hard-hearted Miss Minchin.

In this film, director Alfonso Cuarón evocatively uses visual storytelling to portray the transition in Sara's life. The seminary’s cold, grey walls, austere ambience, and regulated routines sharply contrast with her previous lively world. Moreover, Cuarón is renowned for creating aesthetically rich movies, and in A Little Princess, he had meticulously used vivid contrast between the stifling world of the boarding school and the magical universe of Sara's imaginations. Yet, Sara stands resilient in the face of these gloomy surroundings as she turns to the power of her imagination, turning every instance into an exciting adventure or a beguiling story.

Despite the adversities and the bleak reality, Sara firmly continues to believe that all girls are princesses; a belief that her father had inculcated in her. This enduring belief becomes her sanctuary, especially when she faces a heart-wrenching personal tragedy. Sara's faith, geniality, and determination take the viewer on an emotional journey, from exhilarating highs to heartrending lows.

Her friendship with a young black servant girl, Becky, played by Vanessa Lee Chester, forms another emotional core of the film. Chester does a fabulous job, giving a very grounded performance as the solemn, indomitable Becky. The girls' friendship, their shared flights of fantasy, and their mutual support system paint a heartwarming picture of camaraderie and resilience against adversity.

The film also touches on race and class issues subtly but effectively. The segregation and the significant cultural bias in societal norms are rendered convincingly. These themes not only align with the realistic portrayal of the concept of privilege, ingrained class system, and racism prevalent in society during that era but also add another layer to the narrative's compelling storytelling.

Every character in the movie is multi-dimensional with a backstory to feed the animated narrative. The film also boasts of an impressive supporting cast who effectively bring life to their respective roles within the limited scope they have. They splendidly blend within the larger storyline, further enhancing the overall cinematic experience.

Visually stunning, A Little Princess glimmers with warmth and creativity, captivating the audience with its dreamlike sequences and poignant tale of courage and hope. Emmanuel Lubezki's remarkable cinematography creates a magical ambiance, capturing the transition in Sara's life, her uplifting imagination, and the atmosphere around her beautifully. Patrick Doyle's enchanting score complements the narrative and the visuals beautifully.

All in all, A Little Princess is a heartfelt ode to the power of faith and imagination. It is a beautifully crafted movie that will undoubtedly touch the hearts of viewers across all age groups. Its message, philosophical probe, and captivating narrative make it an unmissable cinematic gem.

A Little Princess is a Drama, Kids & Family, Fantasy movie released in 1995. It has a runtime of 97 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.6. It also holds a MetaScore of 83.

How to Watch A Little Princess

Where can I stream A Little Princess movie online? A Little Princess is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent A Little Princess for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Alfonso Cuarn
Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Camilla Belle
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