I originally saw Annie when I was barely out of diapers, and frankly, all that I remember from the film was a bald guy and a redhead singing Tomorrow on a staircase. When the I caught the movie on cable just now, I couldn’t resist but see the movie that shaped some of my earliest childhood memories.
Originally released in 1982, Annie features Aileen Quinn in the title role, an orphaned little girl who calls the Hudson Street Orphanage in New York City her home. A cheerful and optimistic girl, her positive attitude wins her many friends at the orphanage and despite the abuse of their caretaker Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett), they find a way to make the most of their situation. For Annie, its the belief that her parents are alive and will return for her one day. One day, billionaire Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney) sends his secretary Grace (Ann Reinking) to the orphanage to pick an orphan in an attempt to improve his ruthless image, and she picks Annie. The grumpy tycoon finds himself putty in the little scrapper’s charms and he proposes to adopt her. But because she is still wanting to find her real parents, Annie refuses and Mr. Warbucks pledges to help her so that she can be happy. But the task is not simple as many unscrupulous characters try to make a quick buck of the search.
Actually, the film was pretty formulaic, the characters seeming to fall under predictable stereotypes. I quite enjoyed the movie despite its general cheesiness because a. I love musicals and b. kids are awfully cute, so its really hard to go wrong with that. Plus, seeing a young Tim Curry as a villain was great too.
My favorite element of the film is actually the character of Daddy Warbucks. I love how he appeared to be stiff in the beginning and he gradually softened because of the little munchkin who entered his home. I also like that they sing their dialogues and stage elaborate production numbers for the major scenes.
All in all, I loved Annie, and I’ve watched it like I would watch a movie that I haven’t seen before. Despite the datedness of the film, its story inspires good feelings even 30 years after it was originally shown in the theaters and its still fun and endearing.