A Little Princess is a luminous and buoyant screen interpretation of a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden). Liesel Matthews plays Sara Crewe, a ten year old who leaves India in 1914 to register in the New York school for girls her late mother attended. Just before going off to the front in World War I, her father reinforces Sara's faith in the redemptive power of imagination and in her special place in his heart.
At the restrictive school, Sara regales classmates with her phantasmagorical tales about an Indian princess. When her father is reported killed in action, Sara's charmed life is turned upside down. She relies upon her beliefs in magic and in her inner royalty as a stay against the tyrannical efforts of the school's headmistress to shame her and to stamp out her creative spirit.
Director Alfonso Cuaron taps all of the enchanting elements in this heart-affecting tale and comes up with one of the best children's films in many a moon.
Anyone who professes to want good "family values" in today's movies should buy this video and tell all their friends about it. The film bombed during two theatrical releases this summer, causing industry insiders to openly wonder why there is such a fuss over sex and violence in movies when the public then ignores a beautifully constructed, marvelously acted, positive portrait of family life like A Little Princess.