There are individual parts of Annie that work well. Carol Burnett plays Miss Hannigan like a female W.C. Fields, a drunken misanthrope of the highest order. Aileen Quinn belts out the songs in an entertaining if overly professional manner familiar to any fan of old-time musicals. The songs -- Broadway staples -- are presented without much alteration from their original stage arrangements. The sets are detailed, lavish, and big. Everything in the film (the performances, the props, the sound) is big. Perhaps because he was not used to making light-hearted family entertainment, Huston adopted a "bigger is better approach," hoping that if there was enough business onscreen, nobody would notice how little he cared for the actual story. His visual approach to the material is studied and a bit stiff; the camera movements feel motivated not by a desire to share the joyous exuberance of the dancers, but by his knowledge that in musicals the camera is supposed to move. Annie is a decent film made at the wrong time by the wrong person.
by Perry Seibert review