Melissa Rose Bernardo
December 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Eloise at Christmastime

Current Status
In Season
Christine Baranski, Jeffrey Tambor, Julie Andrews
Kevin Lima

We gave it a B+

Kay Thompson’s kiddie-lit classic comes alive in a rawther predictable but totally adorable tinsel-trimmed TV movie, Eloise at Christmastime. Eloise still has her Christmas tree and pug-nosed canine companion Weenie, but even a 6-year-old needs a story line, so a Christmas Eve wedding/old-lady-in-peril plot is concocted to keep the little hellion occupied. Julie Andrews puts her Mary Poppins skills to marvelous use as Nanny, and whether sword-fighting with bellboy Bill (a very charming Gavin Creel) or terrorizing the prissy Prunella (Christine Baranski, purse-lipped perfection), Sofia Vassilieva is a darling Eloise. She’d have to be — why else would the Plaza hotel put up with her all these years?

EXTRAS In ”Absolutely Kay Thompson,” illustrator Hilary Knight rhapsodizes about his late partner in print; in the making-of, a producer reveals that Andrews padded her bum for the part. And as an added bonus: Eloise in Paris diehards can enjoy the movie en français.

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