A Little Princess is a children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published as a book in 1905. It is an expanded version of the short story “Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s”, which was serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine from December 1887, and published in book form in 1888.
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I read the book years after I watched the movie and it was not what I was expecting. I found myself so engrossed in the story even though it was so different from the one I grew up knowing. I decided to pick up the book one random night and I ended up crying partway through. My heart is still broken and honestly, I’m glad I watched the movie before I read the book.
A Little Princess is a 1995 American family drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham (in a dual role), and introducing Liesel Matthews as Sara Crewe with supporting roles done by Vanessa Lee Chester, Rusty Schwimmer, Arthur Malet, and Errol Sitahal.
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I watched this movie time and time again when I was a kid and it became my favourite…until I watched The Secret Garden. Funny story, I was watching The Secret Garden once (this was long before I started paying attention to the credits) and I told my mom that it seems that the same person who thought up that movie, thought up A Little Princess. I wasn’t wrong, even though I didn’t know at the time that those movies were based off books. The movie brings all the magic of the book to life and you can visualise Sarah’s struggle at the school…going from a princess to a servant girl. Then again, all girls are princesses.
The movie is more ‘Disney-fied’ if I can say that. It’s not as heartbreaking as the book and has a happy ending that doesn’t give you a bitter-sweet feeling. It’s easy to see now why I loved this movie so much growing up. What girl doesn’t want to be reminded that she is in fact a princess no matter her age or looks. I’m going with the movie on this one purely for childhood sentimentality.