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She is assisted in said transformation by the fairest lady of them all, Dame Julie Andrews. Andrews' stunning beauty and grace are enthralling from the moment she first appears; too long has this global treasure been absent from the silver screen. Her regal air hardly diminished by her recent health problems, she isn't above loosening her tiara enough in her role to learn a little something from her oh-so-American teenage co-star.

Hector Elizondo, a Marshall regular who has appeared in all of his films, is back as Joseph, the Queen's Head of Security. As usual, he has the film's funniest lines, expertly delivered in a dry deadpan, a dashing Pickering to Andrews' Higgins in this Pygmalion tale.

Also of note is young character actress supreme, Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse) as Mia's quirky, eco-minded best friend Lilly Mascovitz.

Pop chanteuse Mandy Moore fairs less: as the resident spoiled little rich girl, she ain't no Amber Von Tussle, and as the beachside songstress warbling in incongruous do-wop ditty, she ain't no Annette Funicello neither.

Toon Talk Rating: B+
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 115 minutes
In theaters now nationwide. Click for showtimes from IMDB.

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Toon Talk Trivia:

  • Julie Andrews made her film debut in the Disney masterpiece Mary Poppins, for which she won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress. A Disney Legend, The Princess Diaries is, amazingly, only her second film for Disney, although she has appeared in several Disney television specials.

  • Hector Elizondo also appeared in Marshall's Touchstone Pictures comedy Pretty Woman as Barney the hotel manager, and guest-voiced on Gargoyles and the Aladdin television series.

  • Erik von Detten, who plays BMOC Josh Bryant, is a regular on the Disney Channel series So Weird and also the voice of Earwin in the Recess movie and television series. He played Danny in the 1995 TV movie remake of Escape to Witch Mountain , had bit roles in Hercules and Tarzan, and was the voice of naughty boy Sid in Toy Story.

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-- Kirby C. Holt

Kirby is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. A frequent contributer to the LaughingPlace.com Discussion Boards, he currently resides near one of the Happiest Places on Earth: Orlando, Florida.

Took Talk: Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt is posted whenever there's something new to review.

The opinions expressed by our Kirby C. Holt, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.

-- Posted August 6, 2001

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