These days, my eight-year-old daughter has two great loves: a love of horses and a love of the American Girl dolls and their stories. With that in mind, I knew that I couldn't go wrong by getting her the newly-released: Felicity: An American Girl Adventure Deluxe Edition.
This movie was perfect for our family movie night, since my five-year-old and my three-year-old were also engaged in the storyline.
Felicity Merriman is a spirted ten-year-old, growing up in a colonial America that is right on the brink of the Revolutionary War. In the movie, Felicity must navigate the turbid waters of growing up (which for her means acting more like a true lady) in the midst of the conflict between patriotism to the colonies or loyalty to the crown.
The conflict for her is made especially difficult by the fact that so many of those who are closest to her come down on opposite sides of the divide. Her special friend, Ben, her father's apprentice and her best friend, Elizabeth have opposing views on the matter, as do her father and her beloved grandfather. As Christmas approaches, she does her best to hold to the highest value of loving others in the midst of the high emotions of the approaching war.
I thought that Shailene Woodley did a good job as Elizabeth. She doesn't look like I had pictured Felicity but gradually I adjusted my expectations and enjoyed her performance. Kevin Zegers (Ben Davidson) and David Gardner (Grandfather) also gave good performances. Of course, the big names were Marcia Gay Harden (Mother) and John Schneider (Father), but I was very disappointed in their performance. They seemed to have difficulty resonating with their characters and coming into the roles.
Along with the feature film, the DVD includes special features: Women in Williamsburg - Felicity: An American Girl; All About Felicity, An American Girl; On set with Felicity; and Felicity's Williamsburg. While it was nice to get some extra history and background of Colonial America, they all kind of ran together after the first two. The information was repetitive, unfortunately. My kids will probably just spend their time watching the feature film itself from now on.