Annie (Musical VS Movie)

The musical “Annie” is an interesting musical with a movie remake in 2014. The Broadway musical was based on a comic strip (made by Harold Gray) during the 1920s, known as “Little Orphan Annie.” Since the creation of the comic strip, Annie has been popular as both a musical and a movie. Even other movies based on Annie have been created (even a very poorly done sequel). So, this article will be reviewing the 1982 movie with Aileen Queen and Albert Finney and comparing it with the Broadway production. However, the question still remains: is the musical better than the movie or is the movie better than the musical?

DISCLAIMER: This story contains spoilers for both the movie and the musical. So, if you do not want spoilers then you probably should not read this article. However, if you do not mind spoilers, then by all means, please enjoy this article!

In the movie, the audience is immediately introduced to Annie, an orphan girl who believes her parents are alive because of the locket she wears around her neck given to her by her parents. Sadly, her parents have died in a fire. Annie, though, does not know about their tragedy and longs to see her parents while wondering what they are like. Next, the audience is introduced to Mrs. Hannigan (a lady who abuses alcohol and who runs the orphanage where Annie lives). The orphanage makes all the young orphans do the chores while Mrs. Hannigan does nothing except verbally chastising them. Annie manages to escape the orphanage by sneaking out in Mr. Bundles’ laundry bin. When she arrived in a dangerous part of town, Annie came across a dog (that she named Sandy) and became good friends with him. Later, Annie is invited by Mr. Warbucks to spend a week with him. The movie continues to help Annie to find her parents despite two evil villains (Rooster and Lily).

In general, the movie has amazing actors, creative music, and great cinematography. One problem with the movie was the character, “Punjab.” This insignificant character barely had any lines until the very end when he saved Annie from Rooster. Equally non-essential was another scene when Annie, Mr. Warbucks, and Grace (Mr. Warbucks’ secretary) went to a movie that had good music but bad dancing and a boring plot. Other than that, the rest of the movie was enjoyable. Mrs. Hannigan has a change of heart. The orphans are fun especially during the “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without Smile” scene. The main character, Annie, was the best actress; she was the kind of child that any child would like to become. Annie’s personality and charm make her stand out which makes the scene so heartbreaking when no one is able to find Annie’s parents and Annie is heartbroken. This movie really makes Annie’s legacy live on.

The musical, however, takes a somewhat different approach. It keeps a lot of the main story with Annie being an orphan, who wishes to see her parents again. But there are some changes to the story. For example, Mrs. Hannigan does not have a change of heart at the end; she is more like a villain with Rooster and Lily. There was also a difference in the story where Mr. Warbucks starts to warm up to Annie earlier during the song, “N.Y.C.” In addition, some songs were added while others were removed and the orphans were not really given a main role in the musical. Unfortunately, the musical does not hold the audience’s attention in the ending scene like the movie does with the kidnapping of Annie. Instead, the villains are stopped when they go to receive Annie and the money on Christmas Day. Overall, the musical was not as entertaining.

The musical has a lot of flaws which are really noticeable. The ending scene (mainly the villains’ defeat) is rather boring and it is disappointing that Mrs. Hannigan did not have a change of heart. The villains are unlikable, Mr. Warbucks’ character is weak, and there is no romance. The character of “Annie,” however, is greatly detailed as she was given more of a backstory and was more likable. Fortunately, the musical version had some good moments.

The movie was much better than the musical, especially Annie’s character, the plot, Mr. Warbucks’ character, and Mrs. Hannigan’s change of heart. Though the movie creators did make a sequel to the movie, the movie was still better than the musical in so many ways. Unfortunately, Annie, as a musical, falls short of the expectations that other musicals have provided for their audiences.