Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Illogical at points.
I recently watched the remake of Annie without having any real knowledge of the original source. I never watched the original film or even the Broadway musical because I somehow knew it wouldn’t be for me. Sure, there are a couple of memorable and catchy songs in the feature, but other than that, I never had any real interest in seeing it. I was actually surprised after seeing the original at how much the remake actually changed to fit in more with a modern audience. There were so many changes that I wouldn’t be surprised if the newer one really ended up upsetting people, because it was surely a bold change. So how does the older film fare? Its okay, but I actually do prefer the newer film – and I’ll tell you why.
Again, we have a near-exact plot. Annie is a little orphan who one day dreams of meeting her biological parents, who promised they would return later in life. However, a rich man by the name of Mr. Warbucks drops by and adopts her for a week for publicity reasons. Throughout her temporary adoption experiment, Warbucks falls for Annie and wants her to be a part of the family.
At its most simplest, Annie and its remake have the same basic plot. However, one thing you’ll notice with the 2014 film is that they do a lot to make the film actually logical. 2014’s Annie has a lot more character development for all of the characters, there is no random guy with magical powers, and the songs weren’t only limited, but they were altered to meet with the standards of a modern audience. 1982’s Annie was basically the opposite of all of that. What it seemed like was they took the Broadway Musical and just wanted to adapt it to a movie. So the character development was sparse, not a lot of things made sense, and there was a lot of songs; way more than the remake.
The songs themselves, I’ll say were fine. The two main songs are still really memorable and catchy, while the rest of the film had easily forgettable tunes. The two versions of the film clearly changed things up as to how they wanted the songs to be portrayed; most notably for me with the song Little Girls. See, I didn’t like Cameron Diaz’s performance, but I loved the arrangement of the song. The opposite can be said about the original with Carol Burnett. I liked her performance a lot, but the song’s arrangement itself was really slow and boring. Take that as you will.
As for Annie…oh man. I don’t even know where to start. My idea of Annie, based off of watching the remake first, was that she was a beacon of light and hope. She lifted her chin and grinned at anything bad that ever happened to her. She was so inspirational in the things that she did. This 1982 version of Annie was sometimes a bully and a downright jerk. Some of the song lyrics had her telling the other kids that Santa doesn’t exist and no one cares for us…which they gave another girl to sing in the remake. Then this Annie just flat out punches a kid in the face later on. Followed by devoting a song to calling the dog she just rescued “dumb”. She’s really mean in this movie…I don’t like her at all!
The songs in Annie, for the most part, are still pretty toe-tapping and memorable. The story itself is also mostly filled with love and inspiration.
It may just be me, but I didn’t like the character of this Annie. She was rude, abusive, and just downright mean at times. There was also a random guy that had magical powers for absolutely no reason whatsoever. There is also a lack of character development because of the over-populated song usage. I mean seriously, Mr. Warbucks is rich – but they don’t even explain why or what he does. At least the remake explained his relevancy and wasn’t just a 2D character that’s just in there “just because story reasons”