The durable little orphan from the funny papers makes her TV movie debut in this M.O.W. Daddy Warbucks is called to London to be knighted, so he takes Annie and her pal Hannah with him, along with Dr. Eli Eon and faithful companions, the Asp and Punjab. Little Molly from the orphanage is the girl'sstowaway.
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The plucky, Great Depression-era orphan won the heart of new pop Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks in John Huston's 1982 Annie, and Annie: A Royal Adventure is a spirited, 1995 follow-up that finds father and daughter targeted by British scoundrels. When ultra-wealthy industrialist Warbucks (George Hearn) takes Annie (Ashley Johnson) and a couple of her friends to receive his knighthood in London, a pretender to the throne (Joan Collins) finds an opportunity to seize Buckingham Palace by kidnapping Warbucks's entourage. Clever Annie, however, keeps the villainess and her incompetent goons off their game with her old, street-smart skills. Young Johnson is never quite convincing as the resourceful, red-haired moppet, but Hearn and Collins are reliable and witty old hands who bring most of the fun to this project. The London settings look great, and there's an added bonus for Monty Python fans: Longtime Python foil Carol Cleveland plays mean Mrs. Hannigan, headmistress of Annie's former orphanage. --Tom Keogh
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