Ashley Johnson as Annie in Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995)

Leaping Lizards, What Have They Done to Annie

There comes a time in most children's lives when all of a sudden old movies are a No-No, they suddenly become uncool, it is one of the reason why we get remakes. The irony of this is that the children who would watch "Annie: A Royal Adventure!" are those who are yet to feel this and whilst it may entertain them it is such an inferior movie to the original "Annie". In fact inferior is probably being kind because aside from a few casting choices this movie is bad even when you think of who the target audience is.

Daddy Warbucks (George Hearn) is being honoured by the King and Annie (Ashley Johnson - Nine Months), her dog Sandy, her friends Hannah (Emily Ann Lloyd) and Molly (Camilla Belle) as well as Professor Eon (Ian McDiarmid) have headed to England for the honour. But Annie and her friends stumble into a plot by the evil Lady Edwina Hogbottom (Joan Collins - These Old Broads) to kill the royal family and claim the throne for her own by having her henchmen steal Professor Eon's invention.

Joan Collins as Lady Edwina Hogbottom in Annie: A Royal Adventure! (1995)

Let me start with what is right about "Annie: A Royal Adventure!" and trust me it won't take long. George Hearn makes a good Daddy Warbucks, strict but friendly whilst Joan Collins is well cast as a classical kid's movie villain. And then there is Camilla Belle as Molly who is perfectly cute as Molly in a similar way to Toni Ann Gisondi from the original movie.

That is the good done with and that just leaves the bad and whilst I like Ashley Johnson as an actress she is wrong as Annie, then again pretty much anyone would be wrong after Aileen Quinn's performance. But from the red wig, the terribly cartoonish costumes and being unable to match the cute and feistiness of Quinn's original Annie it is poor. Ashley Johnson is not the only poor performance and whilst saddled with being typical inept henchmen Crispin Bonham-Carter and Perry Benson are dull.

Then there is the storyline and basically what we have here is "Annie" turned in to a cross between a Disney movie and the Famous Five with are kids and dog trying to prevent the pantomime evil Lady Edwina Hogbottom from her nefarious plans. I suppose considering the target audience it is a passable storyline but it is such an ordinary storyline that it borders on being hell for adults.

What this all boils down to is that "Annie: A Royal Adventure!" may work for children but it is excruciating for anyone else and is a poor sequel to the original.