Annie (1999 film)

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Annie
AnnieDVD.jpg
DVD cover
Based onAnnie
by Charles Strouse
Martin Charnin
Thomas Meehan
and
Little Orphan Annie
by Harold Gray
Written byIrene Mecchi
Musical:
Charles Strouse
Martin Charnin
Thomas Meehan
Directed byRob Marshall
StarringKathy Bates
Alan Cumming
Audra McDonald
Kristin Chenoweth
Victor Garber
Andrea McArdle
Alicia Morton
Lalaine
Theme music composerDanny Troob
Songs:
Charles Strouse (music)
Martin Charnin (lyrics)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Production
Producer(s)John Whitman
Craig Zadan
Neil Meron
Chris Montan
CinematographyRalf Bode
Editor(s)Scott Vickrey
Running time90 minutes
Production company(s)Walt Disney Television
Columbia TriStar Television
Storyline Entertainment
Chris Montan Productions
DistributorDisney-ABC Domestic Television
Sony Pictures Television
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseNovember 7, 1999 (1999-11-07)

Annie is a 1999 American made-for-television musical-comedy-drama film from The Wonderful World of Disney, adapted from the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on the 1924 Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray. This was the first remake of Annie.

It was directed by Rob Marshall, written by Irene Mecchi, and produced by Walt Disney Television, Columbia TriStar Television, Storyline Entertainment, and Chris Montan Productions. Annie marks the first film collaboration between The Walt Disney Company and Columbia Pictures since Columbia distributed some of Disney's short animated Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony films from 1930 to 1932. It stars Kathy Bates, Alan Cumming, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Andrea McArdle (who originated the role of Annie in the musical), and introduces Alicia Morton as Annie and Lalaine as Kate.

Annie premiered on ABC November 7, 1999. The program proved to be popular during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most watched Disney movie ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella (1997). This version earned two Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Plot[edit]

In 1933, during the Great Depression, 11-year-old orphan Annie Bennett was left on her own at an all girls orphanage when she was an infant. The only two things that she received from her family was half a heart-shaped locket with a key hole, and a note from her parents saying that they would come back for her. The orphanage is run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, who starves the orphans, forces them to do slave labor, and even makes them suffer. In the middle of the night, after getting tired of waiting for her parents, Annie tries to escape to find them, but is caught by Miss Hannigan in the process. When Miss Hannigan gets distracted, Annie hides in the dirty laundry bin and she finally succeeds in running away. While out on her own, Annie befriends a dog, whom she names Sandy. But a policeman catches her and returns her back to the orphanage. When billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks decides to take in an orphan for Christmas, his secretary Grace Farrell chooses Annie. Annie and Sandy are brought to his wealthy estate and bathe in a grand life.

Although at first uncomfortable with Annie, Daddy Warbucks is soon charmed by her. He desperately wants to adopt Annie, but Annie still wants to find her real parents, so he announces on the radio a $50,000 reward for anybody who can prove they are her biological parents. The orphans accidentally tell Miss Hannigan, and her younger con artist brother Rooster, and his dimwitted girlfriend Lily St. Regis cook up a scheme to get the reward by posing as Ralph and Shirley Mudge (Annie's "so called" parents).[1]

Lily is left with the orphans after Miss Hannigan and Rooster leave, but Lily accidentally tells the secret. The orphans make her tell them what is going on, and she realizes that Rooster could leave her hanging as he has done before in the past. She and the orphans come to Warbucks' mansion where Lily demands her part in the cut while the orphans reveal the scheme. While fleeing from the orphans, Miss Hannigan and Rooster are intercepted upon the arrival of President Franklin D. Roosevelt along with his Secret Service. The President reads the papers that identifies Miss Hannigan, Rooster, and Lily. This enrages Miss Hannigan, who soon curses Annie for ruining her minions' chance to bring her back to her so she can punish her for escaping, only to be carted off to a psychiatric hospital for child abuse, followed by Rooster and Lily who are arrested and taken to jail.

President Roosevelt then presents the evidence to Annie that her real parents are actually David and Margaret Bennett, but sadly they both had died several years earlier which explains why they never returned for her. Although Annie is saddened that her real parents are dead, she is cheered up when Daddy Warbucks officially adopts her. The President ensures a happy ending for all as he promises that each of the orphans will be adopted by a stable and happy family. Daddy Warbucks and Grace become engaged, and Annie lives happily with her new parents and Sandy.

Cast[edit]

  • Victor Garber as Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, a lonely billionaire businessman who opens his heart to Annie and becomes her adoptive father.
  • Alicia Morton as Annie Bennett-Warbucks, an optimistic 11-year-old orphan searching for her biological parents.
  • Audra McDonald as Grace Farrell, Personal Secretary to Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks. Grace is African American. She eventually falls in love with Daddy Warbucks and becomes Annie's adoptive mother.
  • Kathy Bates as Miss Agatha Hannigan, the cruel owner of the orphanage where Annie lives.
  • Alan Cumming as Daniel Francis "Rooster" Hannigan/Danny the Dip, Agatha's dastardly younger brother and con-artist.
  • Kristin Chenoweth as Lily St. Regis/Sadie Algonquin/Phyllis the Filcher, Rooster's girlfriend.
  • Erin Adams as Tessie, the orphan with mood swings. Tessie goes from being happy one minute and worrysome the next. She is known for saying, "Oh my goodness."
  • Sarah Hyland as Molly, the youngest of the orphans. Molly has a habit of wetting the bed and is prone to crying. She is a victim of Pepper's bullying.
  • Lalaine as Katherine "Kate", the tomboyish Mexican American orphan who is friends with Annie. Kate is shy.
  • Nanea Miyata as July, the motherly orphan. July is the second oldest orphan. July is 13 years old.
  • Marissa Rago as Pepper, the oldest orphan. Pepper is bossy and thinks that she's too old to be adopted. Pepper is 14 years old.
  • Danelle Wilson as Duffy, the African American orphan with a talent for singing. Duffy dreams of being famous. Duffy is loud and confident.
  • Andrea McArdle as Star-To-Be (McArdle originated the role of Annie in the musical)
  • Dennis Howard as Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States.
  • Douglas Fisher as Drake
  • Kurt Knudson as Justice Brandeis
  • Ernie Sabella as Mr. Bundles
  • Chester, as Sandy, a stray dog who Annie adopts.
  • Vic Polizos as Lt. Ward

Musical numbers[edit]

The film's soundtrack was released on November 2, 1999, by Sony.

The songs in this version reflect those of the original 1977 production, but does not include "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover", "Tomorrow (Cabinet Reprise)", "Annie", or "New Deal for Christmas". However, it does include a reprise of "N.Y.C." and of "Little Girls" that takes place at the end of the film, rather than after the song itself.

  1. "Overture"
  2. "Maybe" - Annie
  3. "It's the Hard Knock Life" - Annie and Orphans
  4. "It's the Hard Knock Life" (Reprise) - Orphans
  5. "Tomorrow" - Annie
  6. "Little Girls" - Miss Hannigan
  7. "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here" - Grace, Annie, and Warbucks' Staff
  8. "N.Y.C." - Warbucks, Grace, Annie, and Star-to-Be
  9. "N.Y.C." (Reprise) - Warbucks
  10. "Lullaby" - Warbucks
  11. "Easy Street" - Rooster, Miss Hannigan, and Lily
  12. "Maybe" (Reprise 1) - Annie
  13. "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" - Bert Healy and the Boylan Sisters
  14. "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" (Reprise) - Orphans
  15. "Something Was Missing" - Warbucks
  16. "I Don't Need Anything But You" - Warbucks and Annie
  17. "Maybe" (Reprise 2) - Grace
  18. "Tomorrow" (Reprise) - Grace
  19. "Little Girls" (Reprise) - Miss Hannigan
  20. "Finale: I Don't Need Anything But You" (Reprise) - Warbucks, Grace, and Annie

Production[edit]

ABC began work on the film following the success of Cinderella.[2] Although the stage musical Annie had already been adapted as a film in 1982, the film was considered to be a critical and commercial failure.[3] Zadan and Meron saw remaking the musical as an opportunity to rectify the previous adaptation's errors.[3] They enlisted Cinderella's choreographer Rob Marshall to direct and making the orphans ethnically diverse.[3]

McDonald recalled in a 2017 interview that there was a reshoot of the final scene that showed her character, a black woman, not engaging with Daddy Warbucks; she suggested the reason for the reshoots was Disney and ABC were "a little uncomfortable" having a black woman engage with the white man.[4] However, the other members of the cast and crew were not happy about having to do the reshoot, and Garber intentionally performed the scene badly so that it couldn't make it into the final cut.[4]

The dancers' costumes and the stage set of the Broadway section of "N.Y.C." are taken directly from the "Broadway Melody" ballet in Singin' in the Rain.

Release[edit]

Annie premiered during The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC November 7, 1999. After its premiere on ABC, Annie has aired on cable channels such as ABC Family, Starz, and the Hallmark Channel.

Home media[edit]

Annie was released on VHS December 14, 1999, and DVD January 24, 2000, by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

This film is not yet been released on Blu-ray via Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Reception[edit]

The program proved to be popular during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most watched Disney movie ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella (1997).[5][6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Wins
Nominations

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael Scheinfeld. ""Annie" (1999) review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved November 2, 2007. ...the conniving Hannigan and her unscrupulous brother pose as Annie's parents...
  2. ^ Jones, Kenneth; Gans, Andrew; Lefkowitz, David (February 12, 1999). "Impossible? 'Cinderella' Producers Hope Valentine's Day Rebroadcast Hits Big". Playbill. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Rodosthenous, George, ed. (2017). Twenty-First Century Musicals: From Stage to Screen. United Kingdom: Routledge. ISBN 9781317234050 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b Bitette, Nicole (July 26, 2017). "'Annie' star Audra McDonald says studio was 'uncomfortable' with a black woman marrying Daddy Warbucks". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  5. ^ 'ANNIE' HELPS SEAL TOTAL VICTORY FOR ABC FAMILY VIEWERS PROVIDE NET WITH NIELSEN EDGE New York Daily News, Retrieved May 17, 2015
  6. ^ NEW 'ANNIE' SWEEPS UP ABC GETS NO HARD KNOCKS: 'MILLIONAIRE' IS ALSO TOPS Retrieved, May 17, 2015
  7. ^ 59th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2000.

External links[edit]