Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DVD review- Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (Deluxe Edition)

I have been a huge fan of the American Girl dolls and books since I was a child. Every time a new book was released, I would snap it up and read it immediately.  One of my favorite of the American Girl characters was Samantha. Something about the elegance and formality of her life in 1904 really appealed to me. And I loved the fancy dresses and hats!

Fast forward a few (let's not say how many, exactly) years, and I'm still a fan of American Girl.  I can't wait to share these books and characters with my little girl when she gets a little older! So I'm happy to have received one of the American Girl movies on DVD, the deluxe edition of Samantha: An American Girl Holiday. Here's a bit about the movie, from a press release that I received:
Based on the books about Samantha Parkington, the deluxe edition of Samantha: An American Girl Holiday stars Anna Sophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bridge to Terabithia) in the title role as a nine-year-old orphan being raised by her wealthy and proper grandmother, Grandmary (portrayed by Golden Globe-winning actress Mia Farrow, Rosemary’s Baby) in 1904 New York. While she is well loved and cared for, Samantha is a little lonely living in Grandmary’s big house.

Things are livelier whenever Uncle Gard (Jordan Bridges, Mona Lisa Smile) comes to visit, but Samantha feels that doesn’t happen often enough.  Samantha’s world begins to change, however, when a young girl named Nellie comes to work at the house next door. She and Samantha become fast friends, in spite of the class differences between them. The movie explores the girls’ different worlds and the changes and challenges they face together—including Nellie’s dramatic escape from a New York City orphanage. In the end, Samantha and Nellie both find a home and a family they can call their own.

This movie is fun and entertaining, and true to the Samantha books. And at the same time as being fun to watch, it manages to teach important lessons at the same time about standing up for what you believe in.  That's actually the thing I like the most about this movie (even more than the fabulous hats!)- it shows Samantha taking action to solve a problem- even though she's young and female. Girl power, wrapped up in a nice story with beautiful costumes and scenery!

I also really enjoyed the new special features that are contained on this deluxe edition. There are three specials- the first is a discussion of American Suffragists and women's rights, led by descendants of some of the US's most famous Suffragists.  Next is a nice introduction to Samantha: An American Girl, with pictures from some of the books and a summary of her story.  And finally there's a really interesting piece called Mount Bedford News: A Victorian Wedding. This extra includes not only scenes from the wedding from this movie, but history on courting and weddings at the turn of the century. I thought all three of these special features were really interesting and were a nice addition to the movie.

For more information about this DVD, check out the official site. And if you'd like to own it on DVD for yourself or the little girl in your life, the DVD is available now. just visit the Warner Brothers shop.  

Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.