Review: Little Princess Sara
Yet another instalment of anime based on classic western literature produced by the World Masterpiece Theatre. Based off the story 'A Little Princess' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a hundred years after its first publication. The anime portrays the story of Sara Crewe in one of its most spectacular representations today.
Differing from the story slightly, World Masterpiece Theatre added more events and characters to the story than were original book, however these additions did not change the stories feel but instead served well in enhancing the story for broadcasting in a long series anime which could debateably be seen as more entertaining than some parts of the original work.
The story of A Little Princess revolves around a young child named 'Sara Crewe'. The protagonist of this story is the daughter of Captain Ralph Crewe who has just travelled from India where he had raised his daughter single handedly since the early death of his wife.
When we first meet the duo, they are searching for a doll which will keep Sara company while her father goes back to India and she trains to be a real lady at Miss Minchin's seminar for girls.
The doll, which was to be called Emily, serves as her friend and comfort as she begins to be picked on by the cruel Miss Minchin, who is jealous of Sara's intelligence, and her eventual fall into poverty.
Often described as a reverse-Cinderella story. A Little Princess starts with a rich girl who finds herself in rags and forced to work late into the night under the cruelty of her evil step moth...I mean headmistress of the school. Though Sara has fallen onto the bottom rung of society, she maintains her self-respect and class which serves to annoy some whilst making others in awe.
The Story of Sara Crewe is a great story for children of all ages and will keep you entertained for hours on end.
For those who have not heard of 'A Little Princess.' you may also have heard of other famous works by Frances Hodgson Burnett, such as 'The Secret Garden' or 'Lord Fauntleroy'. As an author of classic children's literature, it is not surprising that 'A Little Princess' became a popular children's story in the UK, and is one of many stories which has spread across the world in the form of classic literature.
As mentioned in a previous review, there is evidence of this stories popularity in Japan. If you are ever to watch the anime 'Soukou no Strain' you will find that almost all the characters are named for characters in this story.
A Little Princess is a wonderful story, and their introduction of characters such as Peter the cart driver, it helps to add a more relate-able feel to children of the current age, with it usually being his job to explain the differences in society from the present day.
As with many anime, there are many historical inaccuracies in this anime, one chiefly being the lack of motorcars. In the story by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the streets were lit with oil lamps and the roads were filled with motorcars, much the same as what she would probably have seen outside her own window due to the story's setting being the same time it was written. However such things are forgiveable as they help to better portray the difficulties of the times to the audience.
I would advise this anime for anyone who has young children or is a fan of modern literature. This anime does come in a range of languages, though it has unfortunately never been dubbed into English.