Eloise (Sofia Vassilieva) is a six-year-old who runs rampant through NYC’s Park PlazaHotel. Her only adult supervision is in the form of the eccentric Nanny (Julie Andrews). The plottakes the form of a series of incidents as Eloise races from one adventure to another, meddlingwith the best of intentions in the lives of all around her, with emphasis, as the title suggests, onthe Christmas spirit this time around. Specifically, she’s helping out with a Christmas wedding,and e…gaging in a bit of matchmaking.
Vassilieva delivers all her lines at the top of her lungs, and while this is true-to-life, as far asyoung children are concerned, the long-term effect can be a bit much. Julie Andrews, meanwhile,surely deserves better than being relegated to an exclusively Disney ghetto, playing eithercaricatures of herself (Princess Diaries, anyone?) or, as here, an off-key, croaky-voicedfrump. Jeffrey Tambor, meanwhile, phones in a performance and picks up a paycheck.
The 5.1 sound isn’t the most exciting track I’ve heard. Given all the scenes that take place inthe crowded lobby of the Plaza, there are plenty of opportunities for immersive surround effects.There are none to speak of. The music, which hardly ever stops, seems to have the rear speakersreserved for itself. At least it doesn’t drown out the dialogue, which is free of distortion.
The picture is fullscreen, which I’m assuming is the original format, given the DTV nature ofthe project. The colours are generally strong and warm, though the flesh tones are a bit pale. Theblacks are good, and there is no grain or edge enhancement. The image itself is quite soft,however.
Not too much here. The making-of featurette is the usual fare (i.e. promo), and there’s aclutch of Disney trailers. The 12-minute bio on Kay Thompson, however, reveals a fascinatingcharacter, and is made up of reminiscences by such notables as Rex Reed. The storybook menu isanimated and scored (though some of the secondary screens are merely scored).
Kids might enjoy this, but there is so much else that is much better out there. Read them thebook instead.
Special Features List
- “Absolutely Kay Thompson” Featurette
- “The Making of Eloise at Christmastime” Featurette