This film received mixed reviews upon release; it now has 64% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 28 reviews. On their TV show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert awarded the film with "Two Thumbs Up" (see photo of film). Nell Minow of Common Sense Media said that the movie was "great for young kids and fans of the books." AOL movie critic Brandon Judell said of it, "No horribly arch double entendres to draw in audiences who can't spend two hours in a theater without having their libido massaged." Jeffery Huston called it "a disarming, charming fable so artfully crafted that adults will fall under its spell." Conversely, John R. McEwen gave a negative review, stating that the movie was: "...Adequately simple for children, though perhaps a bit pedestrian for adults." A similarly negative review was given by Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post, stating that "their 8-year-old daughters will less likely be impressed by the meandering story, dull visuals and flat characterizations
Pepito didn't actually rode a Vespa in the film, but a French "Terrot" scooter model VMS.
Filmed in Paris in 1997, the story is set in 1956, rather than 1939.Many of the landmarks from the books appear in the film, although some were too crowded with modern traffic to be used. A relative newcomer, Hatty Jones was picked among thousands of applicants in a casting search, which was looking for the girl with "the right height and charm for the role".
The film's costume department went for some artistic licence in developing the costumes for Madeline. Aside from moving the time period to 1950s Paris, the producers elected for saturated blues and reds in the students' uniforms while keeping them as believable as possible; greys were immediately ruled out as "being depressing". Similar considerations were made for Frances McDormand's character, a novice nun who, according to research, would've worn a short black habit; a softer blue habit similar to the one worn by Miss Clavel in the books was used instead.
While largely based on the original series, with storylines from three of the picture books weaved into the plot, several liberties were taken with the characters' backstories, most notably Madeline who is depicted as an orphan in the film; the 1939 book explicitly states the dollhouse as coming from her Papa, and she is seen with her parents and two siblings in Madeline's Christmas
I think that this is such an enjoyable childrens movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie......
a sweet and exhuberant film based on the series of best-selling books
basically it's a collection of all the stories about the Parisian schoolgirl from the new boy next door to the rescuing-dog to Lord Covington selling the school to having her appendix removed
amazingly enjoyable, warm, loving, and speedy
Madeline is an orphan but she will always have a home with Miss Clavel and her classmates
the popular character still stands the test of time and this film now brings it to life
(Full review coming soon)
This extremely watchable movie for children is a wonderful addition to the repertoire of good children's films. Hatty Jones is a delight as Madeline and the other little girls are fun and expressive. The leap from book to movie is smooth and successful; the film includes many of the books' key elements and will thus be appreciated by Bemelmans' fans. There is more than enough action and humor to keep children interested from start to finish. Adults will be charmed by the film as well. Recommended for families who are looking for quality alternatives to Disney, Beethoven the dog, Charlotte's Web, etc.