|Based on||Annie |
by Charles Strouse
Little Orphan Annie
by Harold Gray
|Written by||Irene Mecchi|
|Directed by||Rob Marshall|
Charles Strouse (music)
Martin Charnin (lyrics)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||90 minutes|
|Production companies||Walt Disney Television|
Columbia TriStar Television
Chris Montan Productions
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original release||November 7, 1999|
Annie is a 1999 American made-for-television musical-comedy-drama film from The Wonderful World of Disney, adapted from the 1977 Broadway musical of the same name by Charles Strouse, Martin Charnin, and Thomas Meehan, which in turn is based on the 1924 Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray. It is the first remake and the second film adaptation of the musical following the 1982 theatrical film starring Aileen Quinn, Carol Burnett, and Albert Finney.
It was directed by Rob Marshall, written by Irene Mecchi, and produced by Walt Disney Television, Columbia TriStar Television, Storyline Entertainment, and Chris Montan Productions. Annie marks the first film collaboration between The Walt Disney Company and Columbia Pictures since Columbia distributed Disney's Silly Symphony film series as well as the Mickey Mouse cartoon series from 1929 to 1932. It stars Kathy Bates, Alan Cumming, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Andrea McArdle, and introduces Alicia Morton as the titular character, Lalaine as Kate, Danielle Wilson as Duffy, Sarah Hyland as Molly, Erin Adams as Tessie, Nanea Miyata as July, and Marissa Rago as Pepper.
Annie premiered on ABC on November 7, 1999. The program, which was a rare partnership between Columbia TriStar Television and Walt Disney Television, proved to be popular during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most-watched Disney film ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella (1997). This version earned two Emmy Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. It would be followed by a third film adaptation of the musical in 2014 and a fourth adaptation that was a live NBC production of the musical.
In 1933, during the Great Depression, 11-year-old orphan Annie Bennett was left on her own at the Hudson Street Home For Girls when she was an infant. The only two things that she received from her family was half a heart-shaped locket with a key hole, and a note from her parents saying that they would come back for her. The orphanage is run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, who starves the orphans, and forces them to do slave labor. In the middle of the night, after getting tired of waiting for her parents, Annie tries to escape to find them, but is caught by Miss Hannigan in the process. When Miss Hannigan gets distracted, Annie hides in the dirty laundry bin and she finally succeeds in running away.
While out on her own, Annie befriends a dog, whom she names Sandy. But police officer Lt. Ward catches her and returns her back to the orphanage. When billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks decides to take in an orphan for Christmas, his secretary Grace Farrell chooses Annie. Annie and Sandy are brought to his wealthy estate and bathe in a grand life.
Although at first uncomfortable with Annie, Daddy Warbucks is soon charmed by her. He desperately wants to adopt Annie, but Annie still wants to find her real parents, so he announces on the radio a $50,000 reward for anybody who can prove they are her biological parents. The orphans accidentally tell Miss Hannigan, and her younger con artist brother Rooster, and his dimwitted girlfriend Lily St. Regis cook up a scheme to get the reward by posing as Ralph and Shirley Mudge (Annie's "so called" parents).
Lily is left with the orphans after Miss Hannigan and Rooster leave, but Lily accidentally tells the secret. The orphans make her tell them what is going on, and she realizes that Rooster could leave her hanging as he has done before in the past. She and the orphans come to Warbucks' mansion where Lily demands her part in the cut while the orphans reveal the scheme. While fleeing from the orphans, Miss Hannigan and Rooster are intercepted upon the arrival of President Franklin D. Roosevelt along with his Secret Service. President Roosevelt reads the papers that identifies Miss Hannigan, Rooster, and Lily leading to Rooster and Lily getting arrested by the Secret Service. This enrages Miss Hannigan, who rants about all she did and the thanks she got for it. She is then carted off to a psychiatric hospital as she foresaw what would happen to her.
President Roosevelt then presents the evidence to Annie that her real parents are actually David and Margaret Bennett, but sadly they both had died several years earlier which explains why they never returned for her. Although Annie is saddened that her real parents are dead, she is cheered up when Daddy Warbucks officially adopts her. President Roosevelt ensures a happy ending for all as he promises that each of the orphans will be adopted by a stable and happy family. Daddy Warbucks and Grace become engaged, and Annie lives happily with her new parents and Sandy.
Main article: Annie (1999 film soundtrack)
The film's soundtrack was released on November 2, 1999, by Walt Disney Records.
The songs in this version reflect those of the original 1977 production, but does not include "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover", "Tomorrow (Cabinet Reprise)", "Annie", or "New Deal for Christmas". However, it does include a reprise of "N.Y.C." and of "Little Girls" that takes place at the end of the film, rather than after the song itself.
ABC began work on the film following the success of Cinderella. Although the stage musical Annie had already been adapted as a film in 1982, the film was considered to be a critical and commercial failure. Zadan and Meron saw remaking the musical as an opportunity to rectify the previous adaptation's errors. They enlisted Cinderella's choreographer Rob Marshall to direct and making the orphans ethnically diverse. Zadan and Meron were both so impressed by Rob's work throughout Cinderella (saying he acted like a director), that when The Wonderful World of Disney came to them about doing a TV version of Annie, they both went to Rob to direct and choreograph. At first, he turned it down, saying “I’m not a director, I’m a choreographer. I don’t know why you’re even offering me this movie. I don’t know anything about film.” When Rob Marshall finally agreed to direct it, Disney executives didn’t want him to do the film. They said “Annie is too valuable a property. We’re not gonna give it to a guy who’s never directed a movie.” Yet, because Zadan and Meron both really believed in him, they told the executives in response “Then we won’t produce it.” They knew at the time that since Cinderella was so huge, the last thing Disney wanted to do was another musical not produced by them. So they kept calling saying “Let’s go over a list of directors”, but Zadan & Meron said no because they really wanted Rob Marshall to do it. So Disney eventually conceded and allowed him to direct and choreograph.
McDonald recalled in a 2017 interview that there was a reshoot of the final scene that showed her character, a black woman, not engaging with Daddy Warbucks; she suggested the reason for the reshoots was Disney and ABC were "a little uncomfortable" having a black woman engage with the white man. However, the other members of the cast and crew were not happy about having to do the reshoot, and Garber intentionally performed the scene badly so that it couldn't make it into the final cut.
The dancers' costumes and the stage set of the Broadway section of "N.Y.C." are taken directly from the "Broadway Melody" ballet in Singin' in the Rain.
This was the second time Kathy Bates and Victor Garber starred alongside each other in a film. They had previously appeared in James Cameron's 1997 disaster epic film Titanic.
Annie premiered during The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC November 7, 1999. After its premiere on ABC, Annie has aired on cable channels such as ABC Family, Starz, and the Hallmark Channel.
Annie was released on VHS December 14, 1999, and DVD January 24, 2000, by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. The film has not been released on Blu-ray, but can be viewed on Disney's streaming video platform, Disney+
The program proved to be popular during its initial airing, with an estimated 26.3 million viewers, making it the second-most-watched Disney movie ever to air on ABC behind Cinderella (1997). This film was praised for its casting and for being closer to the stage production than the 1982 film.
|American Choreography Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Television – Variety or Special||Rob Marshall||Won|
|American Comedy Awards||Funniest Female Performer in a TV Special – Network, Cable or Syndication||Kathy Bates||Won|
|Art Directors Guild Awards||Variety or Awards Show, Music Special or Documentary||Stephen Hendrickson and Edward L. Rubin||Nominated|
|Artios Awards||Best Casting for TV Movie of the Week||Valorie Massalas and Rosalie Joseph||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television – Non-Fiction, Variety or Music Series or Specials||Terry O'Bright, Keith Rogers and Edward L. Moskowitz||Nominated|
|Costume Designers Guild Awards||Excellence in Period/Fantasy for Television||Shay Cunliffe||Won|
|Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Musical/Variety||Rob Marshall||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film||Kathy Bates||Nominated|
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards||Best Period Hair Styling – Television (for a Mini-Series or Movie of the Week)||Matthew Kasten, Natasha Ladek and Mishell Chandler||Nominated|
|Online Film & Television Association Awards||Best Motion Picture Made for Television||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture or Miniseries||Kathy Bates||Won|
|Best Makeup/Hairstyling in a Non-Series||Nominated|
|Peabody Awards||ABC, Storyline Entertainment, Columbia TriStar Television Inc., and
Chris Montan Productions in association with Walt Disney Television
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Made For Television Movie||Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Chris Montan, Marykay Powell and John Whitman||Nominated|
|Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie||Kathy Bates||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Rob Marshall||Nominated|
|Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Stephen Hendrickson, Edward L. Rubin and Archie D'Amico||Nominated|
|Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Marcia Turner, Rosalie Joseph and Valorie Massalas||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Rob Marshall||Won|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Ralf D. Bode||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Shay Cunliffe and Patricia McLaughlin||Nominated|
|Outstanding Hairstyling for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Matthew Kasten, Mishell Chandler and Natasha Ladek||Nominated|
|Outstanding Music Direction||Paul Bogaev||Won|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Scott Vickrey||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special||Edward L. Moskowitz, Terry O'Bright and Keith Rogers||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film||Kathy Bates||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials||Nominated|
|TV Guide Awards||Favorite TV Movie or Miniseries||Won|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Family TV Movie or Pilot: Network||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a TV Movie or Pilot: Leading Young Actress||Alicia Morton||Nominated|
|Best Performance in a Feature Film or TV Movie: Young Ensemble||Erin Adams, Sarah Hyland, Lalaine, Alicia Morton, Nanea Miyata, Marissa Rago and Danelle Wilson||Nominated|
|YoungStar Awards||Best Young Actress/Performance in a Miniseries/Made for TV Film||Alicia Morton||Won|
...the conniving Hannigan and her unscrupulous brother pose as Annie's parents...