Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Little Orphan Annie Says Goodbye

posted by Nell Minow

The sun’ll come out tomorrow, but Little Orphan Annie won’t be there to see it come up in the morning. After 86 years, the daily comic strip about the plucky redhead and her dog, Sandy has come to an end.

annie.gif

Harold Gray created the strip and was its writer and artist from 1924 to 1968. During the Depression, the story of the feisty, independent-spirited orphan captivated newspaper readers. It became a popular radio show and Annie merchandise included everything from books and dolls to piggy banks, tea sets, board games, and, as anyone who has ever watched “A Christmas Story” knows, a decoder ring. Decades later, a musical based on the comic strip was one of the biggest box office hits in Broadway history. Several of its young stars went on to careers in show business including Sarah Jessica Parker. There is even a documentary called Life After Tomorrow about the girls who played Annie and the orphans and what happened to them while they were in the show and after they outgrew the role.

The musical later became a movie with Albert Finney as Annie’s adoptive father Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett as the cruel Miss Hannigan, and was remade for television. In 1977, Leonard Starr of “On Stage” took over the strip, retitled “Annie.” Under his direction, it received the National Cartoonist Society’s Story Comic Strip Award in 1983 and 1984. Starr retired in 2000 and the cartoonists who followed were not able to continue at his level. The fading appeal of comic strips and the struggles of print newspapers led the syndicate to announce its cancellation.

Little Orphan Annie survived the Depression, WWII, the Cold War, Watergate, and the dot.com bubble. She began just four years after American women got the vote and six years after the end of World War I. Gray, Starr, and all those who worked on the strip created a cultural touchstone that will continue through future generations. A junior version of the musical is performed frequently in elementary schools. Somewhere, someone is singing “Tomorrow.”



Previous Posts

Annie
The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corpora

posted 5:59:13pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Fans of the first two "Night at the Museum" films will like this one because it is pretty much the same film. They go to another museum, this time the British Museum in London, and the exhibi

posted 5:23:46pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Listen to People's Lives: David Plotz's Working Podcast
Former Slate editor David Plotz, now at Atlas Obscura, says that he is a big fan of Studs Terkel's classic book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. He has paid tribute to that great work in the best possible way, by updating it with his podcast seri

posted 3:59:23pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Little Orphan Annie: From Comic Strip to Radio, Broadway, Television, and Two Movies
The spunky little girl with the curly red hair and a dog named Sandy began as Little Orphan Annie in 1924, created by Harold Gray.  Her pluck, self-sufficiency, and resilience cau

posted 8:00:48am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

A Trailer for A Movie You'll Never See: Moonquake Lake with Mila Kunis and Rihanna
"Moonquake Lake" has a lot of star power behind it -- "LEGO Movie" directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord and stars Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, and Rihanna. And it looks....intriguing, some sort of "Twilight"-style supernatural teen romance. It just isn't real. "Moonquake Lake" is a movie with

posted 3:54:43pm Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.