‘Annie’ movie changes plenty, but remains true to the original

Martika Theis, Reporter

In a singing, dancing, and acting extravaganza, the beloved tale of little orphan Annie has come to the big screen with a modern twist.

The new “Annie” is beautiful in its preservation of original themes while modifying the story for a new modern feel. There is always a loss inherent in bringing a period piece into modern day, but classic “Annie” lovers will still feel the emotions portrayed in the original in this new version. Most complaints thus far tend to deal with the lack of period references in the movie but they are missing the point. This movie is meant to be “Annie” but it is not a retelling of the same story. If that was the only reason the movie was made, it would have been set in its corresponding time period. The purpose of the movie was not only to introduce a version with African American actors but also to set the story in modern times. Change was necessary and to be expected.

Another amusing complaint given often dealt with the choppiness of the video editing. While there is indeed less of a musical feel to the movie because of such quick scene changes, I believe these actually benefit the songs. For example, the song “Tomorrow”  is sung while Annie walks down a long street, much longer than a stage. The length of the street encourages the journeying theme of the song and hope that the sun will indeed come out tomorrow. “Hard Knock Life” is the only song with video editing that was truly frustrating. The orphanage, or in this case foster care center, is much too large to be logical and the scene changes only emphasize this.

Overall, the music is excellent. Seemingly weak near the start, the songs flow majestically.’I  Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” almost made me cry with its open, unbridled joy. The actors themselves seemed to be in an adventure of pure fun. “Tomorrow” utilizes reflections on objects to show Annie’s feelings about not having parents in an absolutely stunning move. Her mind is clearly represented in the imagery. “Easy Street” has an evil seductiveness to it, sending chills down viewers’ spines. The setting was lit just low enough, the voices are mixed properly, and the dancing is superb.

The changes made range from strange to annoying to fun. An entire fake movie was created within the movie just for the sake of a party. Annie has aspects to her personality never seen before. The only real frustrating changes are those in the words of the songs. In Hard Knock Life the word “orphanage” is changed to “foster kid” unnecessarily and hurts the fun of it with overly complex language. Several other songs were added just for kicks.

The movie does an excellent job of preserving the feelings of the original. Annie is still alone and looking for someone to love who eventually comes to love her in return. The new special effects and modifications help reveal these emotions clearer than just on an actor’s face. It is also timed properly. When the emotions only need to be portrayed on an actor’s face, the scene does not have extra distractions.

This movie is for everyone of every age. The hope imbued in the storyline, beautiful new edits, and quality of music makes it worth seeing even for die hard fans and those just looking for a pick-me-up.