[quote]Why "Annie" (1999) is so awful
1. Miss Hannigan being nice to Annie in the beginning made no sense at all. She even gives Annie a hug? She's not supposed to be bi-polar.
2. Annie got turned into a typically passive generic Disney girl in a way she was not in either the original movie, the play or the comic strip. I hated the fact that they removed the part where Annie is in the closet scheming as Grace Farrell watches.
3. Grace Farrell never sings "Tomorrow" in any other version.
4. What happened to Hooverville? They wanted a more faithful alternative to the movie, but they cut this?
5. FDR doesn't show up until the end, when he barely does anything. And frankly, "I wonder what Democrats eat" has never done anything for me. You'd hardly know there was a depression. It's like the 1930s on Prozac!
6. The play's ending was just as cheesy in its own way, and worse yet it made the orphans passive. The movie changed it with good reason: to make the orphans active in Annie's rescue and give Punjab and the Asp something to do besides making up Buddha quotes and taking a break from dancing to declare "we got Annie." I always hated the fact that they were just standing around waiting to sing, but in this case the song they were waiting to sing, "A New Deal For Christmas," still hasn't been put back.
7. Where's the title song and the Jerry Herman Staircase Moment that accompanied it? That could have been delightful had they chosen to include it.
8. They wore the radio show with Bert Healy down to a nub. Was this because ABC is a descendant of the Blue Network, and the Red Network is now NBC and Disney didn't want to promote the competition? Either way, not cool.
9. I get that they were trying to make Lily less stupid by having her babysit the other orphans and then catch on to getting frozen out of the kidnapping scheme, but it backfires because that leaves Miss Hannigan to impersonate Annie's mother. What. The. Fuck? Annie is not stupid. She has known Miss Hannigan practically her whole life. She should have been able to recognize Miss Hannigan in a disguise. Molly should have been able to recognize her!
10. Throwing Miss Hannigan in a mental institution instead of jail? With that, it crossed the line from being stupid and became just plain offensive. Why Rob Marshall, who is openly gay, would stigmatize mental health issues in such a fashion when he knows full well how being gay was viewed the same way by the mental health industry until he was 12. It became doubly offensive when Audra McDonald revealed that she was in an institution once because she tried to kill herself.
11. Victor Garber and Audra McDonald are not believable as lovers for a second. They have the least amount of sexual chemistry I've ever seen in a Disney couple, and that's saying something. It is also patronizing to the audience to suggest that race relations in 1933 were better than they really were (this invalidates their excuses for keeping [italic]Song of the South[/italic] out of circulation). Nor do I believe a single, solitary moment that any one of those girls had a hard knock life.
12. The lighting makes it look clean and shiny like a sitcom. Have Zadan and Meron ever heard of the phrase "motivated light source"?
13. I like Kathy Bates but not as a singer. And what was Rob Marshall thinking telling her to play it as a bitter, butch teetotaler who dresses like the love child of Rosie O'Donnell and Grady from [italic]Sanford and Son[/italic]?
14. The crucial scene from the play where Miss Hannigan tells Annie her parents are dead, shot for the movie but cut and surviving only as a publicity still that has been seen on lobby cards and video boxes, still has not been put back. The show needs that scene in order to establish why Annie wants out.