Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1/2

MADELINE brings to the screen Ludwig Bemelmans' classic series of books about a tiny, mischievous schoolgirl and her adventures. Madeline (Hatty Jones) lives in Paris and is the youngest of the girls in her Catholic school. Because she is an orphan, Madeline finds favor with the head nun, Miss Clavell (Frances McDormand). However, when Lady Covington, the school's biggest financial backer dies, her husband Lord Covington (Nigel Hawthorne), also known to the girls as Lord "Coocoo Face", threatens to close the school. Madeline and the girls become terribly dismayed because they will all be separated and poor Madeline, being the only orphan, will be left with no place to go. Feeling sad, she decides to join the circus, but encounters evil clowns who have kidnapped her friend and neighbor, Pepito. Madeline comes to Pepito's rescue but soon finds herself in trouble. Eventually, the two find their way home and Madeline again tries to persuade Lord Covington to keep the school open. MADELINE remains fairly true to the story books and is a touching and sweet movie. Most children, particularly those who liked the books, will probably love this movie.

What makes this film so great is that the characters are so likable and lovely. Also, Miss Clavell prays at night and thanks the Lord for the girls and even tells them to thank the Lord that they are well. In addition, Madeline is a sweet child. She comforts Lord Covington and tells him she understands that he is sad over the loss of his wife. And even though she isn't fond of Pepito, she overcomes her differences with him to become his friend. As to violence, Madeline falls off a bridge into the river, but is rescued by a stray dog. And she does become ill and must have her appendix removed. But what might be most disturbing for children is the scene in which she and Pepito are kidnapped. They are tied up but escape on a motorcycle after Madeline kicks one of the kidnappers in the groin. There is also one scene in which the girls make fun of the cook by putting her underwear on over their clothes. However, it seems to just be girlish fun. What is most disappointing though, is that there are some crude words spoken and Madeline resorts to kicking a man in the groin.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Distributor: Tristar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA. 90232

Crude Language: Few (4) - Mild 2, Moderate 2
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few - Mild, moderate and once severe (girl kicks man in groin, clowns push each other around, two men slap each other, boy and girl kidnapped, girl falls off bridge into river, boy scares girls with devil mask and threatens to feed a mouse to a snake, clowns' car crashes into river, boy and girl push each other around)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few Times( girls try on cook's underwear over their clothes, cook says she loved a carnival man with a tattoo right 'there')
Drug Abuse: Once (cook appears to be drinking a shot of alcoholic beverage)
Other: None
Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 7 and older

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