Annie (1999)

Movie review by
Michael Scheinfeld, Common Sense Media
Annie (1999) Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Joyous '90s version of classic musical.
  • NR
  • 1999
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Feel-good musical, but no real positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Annie always stands up to the bullies of the orphanage. She maintains hope and a positive attitude amidst the squalor she lives in before she meets Daddy Warbucks. Grace is sensitive and empathetic to Annie. 

Violence & Scariness

Although tongue-in-cheek, Hannigan's cruel treatment of the orphans may disturb younger children. Hannigan's brother alludes to killing Annie with a knife. 

Sexy Stuff

Some verbal bullying from some of the orphan girls toward the smallest girl in the group; Annie always stands up to them. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Antagonists drink shots of whiskey. In a song about Miss Hannigan, the orphan girls sing of how they want to "make her drink a Mickey Finn," aka an alcoholic beverage spiked with drugs to render the victim incapacitated.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this version of Annie is a 1999 made-for-TV adaptation of the classic musical. There's some verbal bullying from the other orphans, especially toward the youngest and smallest girl, and taunting toward orphans such as Annie, who believe their parents are still alive. In their song about Miss Hannigan, the girls sing of how they want to "make her drink a Mickey Finn," which is a drugged alcoholic drink intended to make the drinker incapacitated. Miss Hannigan drinks shots of whiskey with her brother and her brother's girlfriend. This same brother threatens to "make Annie disappear" using a switchblade. For adoptive families and adopted children, Annie's firm belief that her parents are still alive, and her eventual discovery of the truth, could be difficult for some. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydiscipleDeChrist January 22, 2019

OK if skip/block some parts

Can prompt discussions about the plight of orphans, what we will do to help, etc. The con-man's girlfriend dresses (and dances) lasciviously, which I woul... Continue reading
Parent Written byJon B. July 7, 2017

Not a movie for young kids

I was disappointed with this movie, especially the scenes that included shouting, violence and drunkenness. I did not find this to be a good movie overall, and... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 30, 2009

good movie

This was really good. It was heartwarming and funny. You really develop a sense of feeling for each character ( sympathetic for annie, hatred for rooster, etc... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byBeaufort21 February 10, 2018

Best version ever

Its more like the broadway musical. I love it!

What's the story?

In 1933 Manhattan, feisty 11-year-old Annie (Alicia Morton) lives in an orphanage run by the dastardly Miss Hannigan (Kathy Bates), and dreams of someday finding her real parents. When Annie is invited to the home of billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks (Victor Garber), the plucky orphan wins the tycoon's heart and he offers to adopt her. She resists, however, still determined to be reunited with her real parents. Spurred by the $50,000 reward that Warbucks offers, the conniving Hannigan and her unscrupulous brother pose as Annie's parents. But just in the nick of time, help comes from a surprising source -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt. When she finally learns that her parents are dead, Annie thankfully agrees to let loving Warbucks adopt her.

Is it any good?

This Wonderful World of Disney version is abundantly satisfying. It's short, sweet, and faithful to the stage play. Director Alan Marshall does a fine job of integrating the music into the story; the musical numbers are done in high style, but still feel spontaneous and unaffected. In her movie debut, Alicia Morton is spirited and natural as Annie, performing her songs with sensitivity and skill. Kathy Bates is perfectly cast as the greedy Miss Hannigan, while stage veteran Victor Garber is expert as the big-hearted "Daddy" Warbucks. And, there's a great cameo by Andrea McArdle, Broadway's original Annie.

Annie involves the misadventures of a girl, but the story holds equal appeal for boys, who will probably be charmed by the spunky redhead and intrigued by the imposter parents adoption plot -- and even begin singing along to the songs! This is an Annie that the whole family can enjoy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why orphan stories are so popular. What other titles can they think of? What is powerful about these stories?

  • How does this movie convey the difficult realities for millions during the Great Depression? What are some other examples of rags-to-riches stories? 

  • What are some other examples of musicals that have stood the test of time? Why are they classics?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love musicals

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