this article first published as dvd review: samantha: an american girl holiday on blogcritics.
if there is one thing that zoe and tessa are sure to love for the holidays, it is anything to do with american girl dolls. unlike some of their other crazes, this is one i can really get on board with. the combination of great entertainment with an educational element is every parent's dream. the samantha: an american girl holiday dvd lives up to this standard.
set in new york in 1904, samanthaparkington (annasophia robb) goes to live with her "grandmary" edwards (mia farrow) after the death of her parents. grandmary wants samantha to grow up to be a proper victorian lady, although samantha is a pretty rough-and-tumble girl when left to her own devices. samantha may have had a lonely life if it weren't for the arrival of a family of servants next door. this family has three girls, one of whom, nellie, is samantha's age.
as samantha and nellie's friendship develops, samantha starts to learn about the significance of class differences. her world is further broadened when her favorite uncle gard (jordan bridges) arrives with a surprise: he is going to marry cornelia, a suffragette. as samantha gets to know cornelia better, she is inspired herself to reach out to help the plight of others, including friend nellie who has been taken to an orphanage.