(1998)3Derek ArmstrongMadeline is a clean and faithful-looking recreation of a popular storybook world, effortlessly capturing the appropriate tone, and brimming with adorable little girls. However, little girls -- or those reminiscing about their girlhood -- are probably the only ones who will feel a special fondness for this movie, considering its narrow appeal. Others might smile mildly at the precocious adventures of this clan of freckled children, but the story doesn't offer any adult-sized wit or anything else that exceeds cuteness in its narrative value. Worse, it actually perpetuates some thoughtless stereotypes in its portrayal of the neighboring Spanish family, whose son has a string of about 15 surnames. This is supposed to be playful ethnic riffing, but it comes across as condescending. More often, Madeline is a generally pleasing little movie that gets energetic performances from its youthful cast, notably Hatte Jones in the title role, as well as a game lead adult performance from Oscar winner Frances McDormand. The cinematography and cobblestone streets all look great. Just don't plan to rent the movie unless you have a ruby-cheeked daughter in tow, or were a serious fan of the original stories.