Eloise at the Plaza [2003]

Director: Kevin Lima
Stars: Julie Andrews, Jeffrey Tambor, Kenneth Welsh, Debra Monk, Christine Baranski
Genre: Family, Comedy
Rating: G (General Audience)
Runtime: 88 minutes

Kay Thompson's literary classic comes to life in this TV movie starring a free-spirited 6-year-old living in New York's Plaza Hotel. Sofia Vassilieva lights up the screen as Eloise, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Hilary Knight's illustrated namesake, from her bright red ribbon to her dainty designer shoes. Equal parts irrepressible imp and cherubic charmer, Eloise has the run of the hotel under the (mostly) attentive eye of beloved Nanny, played "rawther" marvelously by the timeless Julie Andrews. As the Plaza prepares for its debutante ball, a young prince arrives incognito, who Eloise befriends in her usual dervish style. The cast's comic timing transforms otherwise seeming clich├ęs into a masterful romp through several stories-within-a-story, whether it's Eloise matchmaking a romantic liaison for Nanny, or orchestrating reconciliation between the prince and his estranged father. A making-of featurette and art lesson by Hilary Knight round out this heartwarming package, a fitting tribute to Eloise's creator. (Ages 5 and older) --Lynn Gibson

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