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A Little Princess Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    There are moments in A Little Princess--particularly Cuaron's Indian play-within-the-play, which is nearly avant-garde in its conception--when you may just want to clap from pleasure. My advice to you is: Go ahead, you're a grown-up. [26 May 26 1995]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    This is a picture that may sound sappy but probably will enrapture audiences lucky enough to catch it. [19 May 1995, p.L]

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    For all its rich trappings, A Little Princess is impoverished at the core. [18 May 1995, p.A14]

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    A Little Princess is the first of its progeny to blend brains with entertainment. This stylish sleeper easily outpaces the studio's starchy updates of "Black Beauty" and "The Secret Garden", and even betters Shirley Temple's 1939 take on Frances Hodgson Burnett's Princess perennial. [18 May 1995, 12D.]

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Cuaron's version of magic realism consists of seeing incredibly fanciful sets and situations in precise detail, and Johnson has provided him with the freedom and logistical support to create such places as the street where Miss Minchin's school looms so impressively.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Wonderful adaptation of classic book; some scary moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes images of war with dead men strewn about trenches and explosions in the background. Sara loses her father in one of the battles and mourns him for much of the movie. Her mother also is dead. One scary scene shows Sara almost falling to her death. Sara is a remarkable character, however. She sticks up for herself and others at all times and captivates all the school girls with her imaginative stories.

  • Families can talk about Sara's empathy and compassion for others. Why are stories so important to her? How do they help her deal with her sadness? How do the stories she tells relate to what's going on in her life?
  • What challenges do you see in adapting a book like this into a movie?
  • What parts of life in the boarding school seem like they could be part any other school at any other time, and what parts of life there seem like they were very much part of the early twentieth century?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Tolerance of individual differences. Sara is accepting of everyone, including the "nerdy" girl at school, and befriends the young African-American maid before she begins working with her. Sara also believes that "all girls are princesses" and repeats this phrase throughout the movie.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Sara is a kind and imaginative little girl. She tries to befriend everyone in her school, including the "nerdy" girl and the African-American servant who is shunned by everyone else. She uses her imagination to cope with tremendous difficulties, including the perceived death of her father on a World War I battlefield and her subsequent descent into poverty.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Difficult loss of Sara's father. Battle scenes with explosions in the background and dead bodies strewn over trenches. Neighbor finds out his son has died in the war. Mention of early death of Sara's mother. Scary escape scene where Sara almost falls from a great height.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not applicable

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: School girls find a bottle of alcohol in the headmistress' office.