Although there had been animated adaptations and indeed a big screen live-action interpretation crafted before -- originally developed in 1999 -- The Madeline Movie: Lost in Paris employed painstaking attention to detail in reproducing the vintage illustrations found in Ludwig Bemelmans beloved 1939 Caldecott Honor bestowed original Madeline and its five sequels.
Featuring a first rate talent roster including Lauren Bacall as the TV film's own version of Cruella de Vil and Jason Alexander as the manipulating double crosser who ensnares Madeline into a nefarious plot, the work, which begins as an adorable love letter to the classic series grows more sinister as it continues in a way that's edgy enough to possibly alarm its youngest viewers under the grade school age.
Despite this, our heroic, fast on her feet, quick thinking “favorite friend” Madeline and loyal dog Genevieve along with her devoted eleven friends and teacher Miss Clavel always triumph over whatever comes their way, thanks to Madeline's never-say-die spirit, ingenious clue-seeking brain, and of course the power of their love for one another.
In fact, it's this last topic that serves as the theme for this lovingly animated offering releasing on DVD from Shout! Factory on April 13. Soon Madeline comes to realize that even though she may technically be an orphan, she isn't short of family as you can create one that's just as vital among friends like her schoolmates, dog, teacher and neighbor Pepito who help track down our red headed charmer when she goes from lost to held hostage.
Additionally, the main movie boasts five new songs that heighten the affection for the piece even when its main plot threatens to grow a bit too intense for some viewers as Madeline suffers in a white slavery Dickensian style sweatshop along with the gently musical tones of Christopher Plummer's voice reciting the rhyme filled narration. And despite its somewhat episodic nature, it's nonetheless sure to attract fans who've always longed to join Madeline's Parisian family of young ladies walking in two straight lines in this colorful, girl-power adventure.
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