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The Princess Diaries
DVD disk
Oct 7, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
The Princess Diaries order
Director:
Garry Marshall

Actors:
Julie Andrews
Anne Hathaway
Hector Elizondo

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A geeky, ugly duckling San Francisco teenager (Hathaway) gets a visit from an estranged grandmother (Andrews) who announces to her that she is indeed the heir to the throne of a small European country. Following a crash-course in royalty, the youngster must decide whether or not being a Princess is what she really wants.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie will definitely strike all the right chords with the pre-teen crowd. In typical Disney fashion, cuteness and niceties abound. This modern Cinderella story will keep any kid entertained and will catch more than one adult eye on the way. With its pretty people, music and simple emotional story, it’s quite easy to follow for pretty much anyone. Granted you won’t be watching an Oscar contender, this little flick has a target audience it caters to perfectly.

Julie Andrews once again demonstrates her great poise and elegance and proves that a woman in her sixties can still make your jaw hit the floor. Accompanied by charming newcomer Anne Hathaway, the lady we’ll always remember as Mary Poppins lights up the screen with her dashing smile and radiant eyes. Hats off, Ms. Andrews, you are the cream of the crop! Hector Elizondo mails in another “straight guy” performance and an appearance by slinky pop singer Mandy Moore is merely a part of a relatively strong supporting cast. As a warning, please don’t watch this if you’re a bunch of 20-something guys drinking beer and screwdrivers, this movie sets out to entertain 10-year old kids, and does it to a tee. It is not GLADIATOR.
THE EXTRAS
Nice set of extras for a kid’s movie. As a matter of fact, better than many DVD’s I’ve seen. Disney is really on the ball with this stuff and they keep up the good work on this. A feature-length commentary track by director Garry Marshall is included. I’ve always personally found him to be a very annoying and abrasive person. He does not disappoint as he goes from inanity to inanity, but I doubt the kids will be interested in this anyway, so it's really a moot point.

A 25-minute behind-the-scenes documentary entitled “A New Princess” is hosted by the very charismatic Hathaway and mostly discusses casting decisions. With some audition footage and brief interviews with pretty much every cast member, you can catch a glimpse of whomever you’ve liked in the movie. The younger kids might like this since they get to see all the characters in a different light. For more disturbed kids, you can also watch an interview with producer, singer and noted crackhead Whitney Houston. Presented by Marshall, you can also access 8 deleted scenes totaling almost 20 minutes of footage. The scenes are cute and you can get an explanation from the director as to why they were edited out of the movie. Once again, an opportunity for kids to see more of the stars. There are also two music videos from the soundtrack of the film: “Miracles Happen” by Myra, and “Supergirl”, by the very cute Krystal. Nice.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Let me put it this way: I had some relatives over when I screened this and watched it with five kids, the eldest of which was nine-years old: boys and girls. It kept them engrossed for 2 straight hours. They woke me up at 8 AM the following morning to watch it again. That’s when I thought this movie had accomplished what it set out to do. If you have kids, I suggest you may want to buy it, as they’ll want to watch it over and over. If you don’t, then you may want to take a look at some Disney cuteness by way of a rental.
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