Little House on the Prairie (TV Mini-Series 2005– ) Poster

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8/10
modernity and history
zolavarsity511 April 2005
For me, most of the historical inconsistencies in the book and movie aren't necessarily such a big deal- such as whether it was Mr. Edwards or Mrs. Scott whom Jack scared onto the wood pile. Most of these, I assume were done to create more cinematic consistency with characters,etc. Generally, I don't think that they hurt the story.

But some things do, like Ma wearing earrings, since this undermines the nature of the family's intense struggle to get by. (sunbonnets also would be a good thing.)

. Generally, my biggest historical problem is that the children seem to be more modern in their mentality-- almost as if they'll say "cool" or "gee whiz". This fits with the modern music and seems to have been done to cater to children of today.

Some examples of this more modern sensibility: Laura jokingly asking her father for candy when he goes to Independence (product of modern-day materialism? Laura in the book knew how precious/rare such treats were). Also Laura being the one to suggest that she could wear Mary's old shoes-- its pretty clear from the book that the Ingalls (most working pioneer families) always handed such precious goods down to one another (they were poor!!)

I also found the scene with Mary confronting Ms. Scott to be ridiculous- both because it was completely inconsistent with Mary's character according to LIW(good girl vs. Laura as the bad girl) and because it is completely inconsistent with how children would have behaved in the Little House books (children not speaking at the table and definitely not contradicting others). (Ma's reaction to this offense also is inconsistent, way too chummy)

I do like this series because it has beautiful scenery and deftly demonstrates how terrifying life then could be. (I never thought about, for example, how terrifying Independence was- always taking it instead for a charming town- it is scary) I like also how they show scene through Laura's perspective- with a sense of childhood wonder.

Yet one reason I always loved the books was because the children's mentalities were different from mine. They were in an earlier, less casual era, that fascinated me. I'd like to see more of that preserved, instead of having it slide so that today's children can relate to these ones in the series.
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10/10
Great fun! TV worth staying home for on a Saturday night!
janicerogers9 April 2005
We've been glued to the tube for the last three Saturday nights. Wow. I loved it. This is TV worth staying home for. The story has grabbed us, the cast is just right--especially little Laura, Mr. and Mrs. Scott (what a hoot!), and Wildcat. Loved the cinematography. The production values are worthy of the big screen. Such stark beauty. And that part about them driving the wagon across the frozen lake as it is thawing... White knuckle time! The scenes with the Native-Americans are some of the best I've seen in any film. You catch a sense of how strange it was for both the white man and the Indians, locked in their silent dance.

I definitely recommend this movie. Hope it comes out soon on DVD!
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9/10
Great Film for Little House Fans
Jay Glenewinkel26 April 2006
As many, I have grown up on Michael Landon's "Little House" and have read all of the "Little House" books written by Laura Inagalls Wilder.

The original television series of the 1970s and 1980s was good, with a homey and warmth of family feeling to it, but strayed more and more from the actual writings of the LIW books as time went on.

This ABC/Disney version of "Little House On The Prairie" is much more closer to the actual books than any of the previous TV shows of the past. However, this 6 hours mini-series was not all completely accurate, and some of the camera shots could have filmed been better. But all in all, it is a very good program and well worth adding to your collection.

The acting by Kyle Chavarria and Danielle Ryan Chuchran was excellent, along with several of the other cast members. No, it is not Michael Landon with his Hollywood looking Charles Ingalls, but a lot closer to the real Charles Ingalls as played by Cameron Bancroft in this version. This DVD gives you a more realistic insight as to how the pioneers actually lived back in those times, and the hardships and the family values that are rare to find in modern day time.

Get this DVD, you will enjoy it!!!!
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8/10
A reasonably faithful rendition of an old favorite
SlinkyBird11 April 2005
Being a tremendous fan of the books (and being one who hated the 70s TV show with the heat of a thousand suns), I have to say this series is... not bad.

The script is relatively true to the Little House On the Prarie book. Except for the inexplicable New Age nonsense inflicted on poor old Jack (spirit dog frightening the savages, my Aunt Fanny), all the changes make sense in the context of a TV miniseries. There's no need to bother casting a Carrie, a toddler whose literary counterpart isn't old enough to talk. There's also no real need to go into all the pioneering how-to, however fascinating such details are in the book.

The cast is tremendously likable, especially Erin Cottrell, whose portrayal of Caroline Ingalls is both saintly and human, just as the character was written in the stories. Gregory Sporleder does a terrific turn as Mr. Edwards, the wildcat bachelor from Tennessee.

Where the miniseries fails is at the adaptation level, not in the performances. The author of the teleplay, Katie Ford, has injected too much of a modern sensibility. The Charles of the book would not in a thousand years have expressed his appreciation for Caroline's sacrifices by weeping as if he were on Oprah. Caroline's whining about dressing up, Mary's "sassing" an adult (an adult who was expressing fear and hatred towards the Native Americans, an attitude common to white settlers of the time), and Laura's constant disobedience of her father's orders to stay on the homestead - these all ring falsely to anyone who ever enjoyed the iconic series of books.

However, with that aside, it must be said that LHOTP:2005 is a completely inoffensive, sweet little series. It's beautifully shot, evenly paced, nicely casted, and tailor-made for the "Wonderful World of Disney/Saturday evening movie" brand.
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8/10
Best adaptation so far...albeit minus an important Character.
inthecrease7727 March 2005
So far it seems to be the best adaptation. Some may wonder where is Carrie, well as true in her life, Carrie was born in Kansas. Albeit, at the time Mary was 5 and Laura 3. Then the Ingalls moved back to the Big Woods, when the buyer of their log cabin could no longer make payments.

In the books, it talks of the second journey out west. So if this is true to the story, Carrie should be born soon. Otherwise, I would be annoyed with the omittance of a character as well.

The story so far does follow the books quite well ("except for no Carrie") One hopes a screen play writer out there could adapt the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder to screen, so far there has been too many poor attempts.
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VERY disappointed!
gpg_697826 March 2005
I agree with most of the comments placed here. I'm currently watching the series on ABC and boy am I disappointed but I must say that working in the entertainment industry I know how a lot of good books are made into horrible movies or TV shows.

Most of the time it is the Network or Studio Executives who mess with the originality of the books ( Due to advertisers requests) and sometimes the producers and writers tend to stray from the original idea which is always better in my opinion. It gives them a creative license that ticks me off. I know how it works due to the fact that I'm working along side most of these folks.

I grew up with the Little House on the Prarie series and have read the series numerous times. Very disappointed with the series so far.

The music selections are too modern. Pa's clothes seems to have been picked out of the local western wear-house in Los Angeles. No attention to detail of that time period. Lots of mistakes all around. Too bad. I was really looking forward to a great series.

In my mind I was looking forward to seeing something like the Lonsome Dove Mini-Series. Now that was really a good Series. They at least paid attention to the book. I gotta give props to Suzanne DePasse and her crew.

Well, enough of my rants. I will continue to watch the show but with a heavy heart. I hope someone, someday does another Little House on the Prarie series and follows the details to the T. Maybe it will be me. :o) Enjoy folks.!

Phil

P.S. Who's looking forward to "Into the West" on TNT due out this summer?
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1/10
Disney's Little House is not good for fans
lagomorphgirl9 May 2005
Books are almost always better than the movie made out of the book. And Disney's version of Little House on the Prairie is no exception. While the 1974 series did not follow the book completely, it did at least follow the story line and story elements a bit more closely than this new Disney version is doing. In one scene, in the movie, Laura is arguing with Mary whether brown or blonde hair is prettier. That happened in the book. But am I the only one who noticed that the Disney Laura also has blonde hair??? What's up with that? Couldn't they at least have dyed her hair...if not to look more like the historical Laura, then at least for making that one scene make sense?

Disney has taken so many liberties with the story line, I don't understand why they left the title intact. I might have liked the story more if it had just been another pioneer film. The scene with the wolves is another example of too much liberty with the story line.

I was watching this with my girls, but we found better things to do on a Saturday evening. This particular Disney film gets four thumbs down (I'm including my big toes as thumbs).
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7/10
Still waiting...
cyndie-423 April 2005
OK, I'm a great Laura Ingalls/Little House fan. I love the series - I grew up with it, hokey as it was at times. I really loved the books. I just ordered & re-read them a couple of years ago. I re-realized how much was fabricated for the series, but it was still wonderful. Even the books themselves are not completely true to life; Ms. Wilder omitted & softened some events and some characters - they are children's' books after all. I only saw the last two eps of this one, but I agree it does seem to be the truest to detail to the books, (except for Laura & Mary's ages, and the ever-missing Carrie). I still really liked it, and enjoyed seeing yet another interpretation. The movie that was out a few years ago was good as well, for the "First Four Years". What I REALLY want to see is an essential verbatim movie for each book; with Laura's omitted details. Hollywood is so Sequel Driven these days; did we really need a 'Miss Congeniality 2' or a 'Lion King 1 1/2' (or 2 for that matter)OR how about those 'Friday the 13th' movies (they're on like #27 now aren't they?. I waited over 20 years for the LOTR series to be done right...I guess I can wait for a Little House Series of movies...
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10/10
Best adaptation so far.
bombad_jedi26 March 2005
The first version (the 1970's TV series) was so woefully off of the true story it was sad. Unfortunately, the recent "Beyond the Prairie" with Richard Thomas wasn't much better.

I find problems with this version as well (mainly with the acting) but it is thankfully much closer to the original version.

The man who plays Charles Ingles in this version is far better than Micheal Landon or Richard Thomas, both of whom were sadly miscast in that role. All in all, it is quite entertaining, and fairly close to the book.

I'm looking forward to part two of this version with great interest.
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Parents, two young daughters, dog, belongings and horses head to Kansas
teadub7 March 2005
I saw the first 1.5 hours via a "no duplication" press release DVD. It's slow. Nice location shots (real snow !). Dogs used for wolf scene. Some very corny dialog such as when they start out for Kansas in their wagon (in those days, quite possibly their last meeting) and Ma's father says to his departing "girls" – "You have your mother's eyes". Er… great advice Dad. Very little tension or character depth beyond "good, nice people". An encounter with American Indians promised to be the first potentially engaging scene, but was interrupted by "TO BE CONTINUED" - (sorry !). Shaky camera/quick cutting used to simulate any real action scenes (crossing rivers etc.) Predictable, and inoffensive. Fans of the original series would have to be disappointed, but with the introduction of some interesting story lines, and edgier characters, it could have a future in series format. Personally, I would have liked to know what they ate, how they knew where they were, (beyond a shot of Dad holding an apparently non-functioning compass on top of a crude map), and why they seemed so unconcerned and comfortable even though there was snow and ice on the ground, with out today's weather proof clothing or subzero sleeping bags, partially covered in wet mud in a leaky wagon in high winds and pouring rain ! It's hard to live in America and not have a fascination for this period in American history, but this feels way too bland and simplistic to capture much more interest than a pack of your favorite chewing gum.
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I don't get it
tacey7528 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I watched the first two hours of this adaptation, and I have to say I don't understand where they are going with this. I too am disturbed by the fights Laura and Mary are having over hair color, because in the books, Laura is always described as having dark brown hair, and this child playing Laura is clearly a "dirty blond" at best. Yet they still included the scenes of Laura and Mary fighting over hair color. In the first two hours, alone, I found that I was watching an ENTIRELY different story than the one Laura Ingalls Wilder actually wrote. Just where in the book did Charles ever threaten a man's life in the big woods? And why is Charles portrayed as so mean? In the books he doted on Laura and cuddled her often. And how come he didn't break out his fiddle until he was in Kansas? He was described as playing frequently unless he was too tired. I just think that if Disney wanted to make a mini-series about the book, then they should have read the book first. It is clear to me that they do not understand what it was about these books that made them magical in the first place. They cut out practically everything that was important, and added in such far-fetched parts that they should call it "Little House somewhere OTHER than on the PRAIRIE!"
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Baby Carrie was missing and Jack was wrong breed
dmr736627 March 2005
I just watched the first two hour installment of this movie...I enjoyed it, and for the most part, felt it was pretty faithful to the books and the the spirit of the story...but there were two glaring problems....WHERE was Baby Carrie....and they NEVER have the right breed of dog to play Jack...he's supposed to be a brindle bull dog! I felt the acting was good, better than some other productions I've seen....they had a good cast....I plan on watching the rest of the series...I enjoyed the guy they got to play Mr. Edwards....he was as good, if not better than Victor French...I liked the music they had throughout....very catchy....
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Another inaccurate adaptation
amidalasky27 March 2005
One thing I simply don't understand is why Hollywood has so much trouble adapting the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder with some degree of accuracy. Her life was fascinating; why do they feel they need to take such artistic license in order to dramatize everything? This attempt is better than its predecessors (the Michael Landon TV series, which skidded completely off the tracks after a few seasons; the DREADFUL "Beyond the Prairie" TV movies), but that's not saying much. I do think the parts were fairly well cast, but I wondered: where's baby Carrie? I can only assume she'll be born in a future episode, or not at all. Either way, her exclusion is annoying. So too was the use of the word "blonde" to describe Mary's hair color. The word used in all the books was "golden." Also, why are Caroline's (Ma) parents still alive? They'd both been dead for years by the time the Ingalls family started their trek west. If they wanted a big, tearful scene where the grandparents say goodbye, they could've used Charles's (Pa) parents instead.

Oh well. Better luck next time.
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Excuse me...are we missing a child???
thebaileybunch126 March 2005
Hey...I watched the series and read the books! Where is Carrie??? Am I the only one that remembered the lost child? Carrie really existed so where is she in the movie??? For those who don't know, in Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, Carrie was a baby when they left Wiss! In Laura Ingalls Wilder's first book, "Little House In The Big Woods", in chapter 1 on page 2 in the beginning of the third paragraph, it reads, "So far as the little girl could see, there was only one little house where she lived with her Father and Mother, her sister Mary and baby sister Carrie.". And what's with this "Jack"??? Jack from the beginning was a bulldog! In the same book and the same chapter on page 3 in the second paragraph, it reads, "Her father's gun hung over the door and good old Jack, the brindle bulldog, lay on guard before it.". I let this go in the series that their Jack was a sheep dog mix but the Australian Shepard/Blue Heeler mix does not cut it...if they say they are going to base the movie on the books, then shouldn't they? I understand that for those of you that have no real appreciation of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books, you probably could really care less but I just feel that if you're going to base the movie on someone's writings, at least they could have done was follow the book the best they can! Would it have been a real problem for them to have used a baby for Carrie? It seems to me that using a baby for Carrie would have really captured the true challenge to travel across undeveloped territory in a covered wagon with a baby instead of their Caroline riding carefree up with Charles. And would it have been a real problem for them to have used a real bulldog?
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Boring, too much about Indians...
sari_tb6 September 2006
I really like the 70's Little House On The Prairie a lot better. I grew up with it. I still watch it. Better actors, more exciting etc. I thought this mini TV series was too much about Indians. It's like they were lurking everywhere. I have read the books, but I don't remember if they were about Indians. But when making a TV series, they should make it more exciting. I don't want to watch Indians lurking for 40 minutes... I mean yes, there were other things, but.. not a whole lot. In the show, they made them to be evil. The Indians really were not like that in real life, at least not all of them. Sure they were upset that white people took their land and stuff, but it doesn't make them bad! And other things; where the heck was Carrie? And, Laura is suppose to be a brunette! I thought Caroline's part was lame. Charles seemed to be quite hard on the girls... So, watch it if you like, but you won't miss anything by not watching it :)
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2/10
Sad
PrairieCal2 September 2006
After Michael Landon's and Ed Friendly's 1974 rape and destruction of the literary works of Laura Ingalls Wilder, one would think those stories could at last rest in peace, never again to be defiled by producers, writers, and directors of mediocre vision and ability. Not so. Now Disney has decided to give their corpse one more kick with it's new mini series. And once again -- 30-some years later -- Ed Friendly as Excecutive Producer, is on hand for the kicking. Anyone who loves these books will be horrified, angered, and embarrassed at the result.

I can only assume that the holder of the rights to the Wilder books (no relation to either Wilder, or her daughter) is more motivated by money than quality. Since 1974, each subsequent licensing for television has displayed a complete naiveté as to who might actually be talented and capable enough to bring these stories to film in the manner they so richly deserve.

Until someone with the vision and talent of a Kevin Sullivan is able to make a faithful filmed version of Little House on the Prairie, and until the owners of the rights to these books stop selling the film rights so indiscriminately, Little House on the Prairie will continue to provide fodder for the grist mill of mediocrity and drivel. Truly sad.
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8/10
An inspiring surprise
scalesa-525322 January 2018
I must say I did not have great expectations and had not even intended to watch this miniseries, but all three consecutive episodes appeared on one of the free movie channels on New Years Eve. I did not move from my chair until the last credits.

Not a fan of the original TV series (perhaps not surprisingly as a then teenage male), and had not read the book. But this version! Superior direction and cinematography, and above all, INSPIRED casting.

This is altogether edgier than the original TV series. You get the feeling that happy outcomes are not always guaranteed and this keeps you watching.

Cameron Bancroft as Charles is a good man but not a saint. This makes his virtues all the more appealing because you see him struggle with darker thoughts and a possibly murky past, and win.

Erin Cottrell as Caroline may seem a little clear-eyed and fresh at first, but the steel reinforcing her kindness shows through, without overplaying it.

Danielle Chuchran's Mary is overshadowed by her sparky sister. Chuchran chooses to be true to the character rather than try to steal scenes, and it is performances like those that contribute to the overall truth of a production.

Gregory Sporleder as Mr. Edwards is a suitably likeable, salt-of-the-earth character. Perhaps he could have been even rougher round the edges, to justify Erin's initial wariness of him, and that Laura is the only one at first to see through to his virtues.

But the sparky gem of the show is the wonderful, wonderful Kyle Chavarria as Laura. I don't think I have seen a better performance by such a young actress since perhaps the young Saoirse Ronan. If not played right, Laura could have been annoyingly sweet, but Chavarria compromises for no-one and thus steals your heart. I will have to see more of this young lady in future.

This is as close as you will get to knowing what it was really like to be a pioneer family in the 19th century, inching west to the beautiful and dangerous unknown, with no safety net, nothing except what you thought to carry with you. The interactions with the Indians have the ring of truth. There is rightly no translation of the native languages so that you are as disconcerted as the Ingalls by the complications of moving on to their land.

Perhaps I've been gushing too much, you may not agree with everything. If you are troubled by differences from the book, watch this anew and remember that film is a different medium. And if you are expecting schmaltz based on the original series, the Disney name or the frankly ridiculous poster, don't worry - this is the real thing.
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1/10
I couldn't even watch it.
Chrissie18 December 2015
I found LHotP when I was searching YouTube for Laura Ingalls Wilder audiobooks. The very first clip I spotted should have told me everything I needed to know: While Ma's back is turned, Laura deliberately knocks her spoon off the table. Pa also deliberately knocks his spoon off the table. This was an obvious habit between the two of them for Laura asking for a discreet word with Pa, and Pa obliging. As if Pa would have ever gone behind Ma's back for anything! The two of them have a brief, "We understand each other!" moment as they pick up the spoons. Then Ma came to the table, with her clothes and hair all wrong, and clearly Pa was sharing a private joke with Laura at Ma's expense.

Yes, Pa and Laura understood each other in a way that no two other members of the family did, and yes, they had a special bond -- but that fact could have been conveyed in a way that also underscored the respect Charles Ingalls had for his wife, and that both Ingalls parents demanded that the children show to adults in general and their parents in particular.

I jumped around a few other spots and found the non-bulldog Jack and the non-Ma Ma so distracting that I just gave up. Caroline Ingalls was a prim, proper Victorian woman who managed to remain one in the most difficult circumstances. There is no excuse for turning her into a casually-mussed modern woman.

A few more beefs: Where was Carrie? Pa's fiddle? Laura's BROWN hair and her hated sunbonnet? Next up: An episode of The Simpsons in which Homer neither overeats nor drinks beer, Bart doesn't do a single bratty thing, Maggie never takes a single suck of her binky, and Lisa doesn't even own a sax.

I agree with the other reviewers who suggested that as a generic prairie family/Hallmark Channel type thing, this might have worked. But please, take the Ingalls family's names off the thing! That wobble in the earth's orbit is them collectively spinning in their graves.
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7/10
A Disney Revisioning
Hollywood_Yoda15 July 2013
It seems every time a classic TV show or movie has a TV movie made about it these days, Disney brings it to life. This time it is "Little House on the Prairie," the last one was "Where the Wild Fern Grows."

Some of the charm of the original series is lost in Disneyland, as much more sugar is used in coating, making it sweeter than the original. Not to say it wasn't a good film, but it was not anything like the TV series, except in character name.

I hope no time soon that Disney remakes any other high profile TV series as movie of the week programs. They should stick to what they know, original stories and sequels to their own films.
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10/10
The new Little house on the Prairie
desertsunset5223 April 2005
This show surprised me since I was a fan of the old Little house I did not expect to like this one very much. What a surprise. I fell in love with the show and the cast. I hope it will continue and come back on next season. The entire show was wonderful and the cast was great. I felt that the show got into more family stories. And I loved how it showed the indians and what they went through. I think it had some important information for all of us to know. And the landscape was just breath taking. I would watch the show every Sat if it was to come back on again and the funny thing is my son sat down for one night to watch it with me and he didn't think he was at all interested, and now he was hooked too. Imagine a 14 year old getting hooked on this type of show. I did not expect this.. Thank you Disney for doing such a wonderful show and please please bring it back again. I am sure you will find that you have a fan club that is just waiting for more.
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future episodes?
jleclerc23 April 2005
My family really enjoyed the recent episodes. I think it was done well and was much more realistic than the original TV series (although as a young girl I was totally hooked and never missed an episode). There were some differences from the books, but I think the spirit of the novels was well portrayed. I've searched the web for additional information but can't find what I'm looking for. Has anyone heard if there will be a second mini-series or if any additional episodes will be made? It seems as if the producers gave us just enough to wet our appetites and then kind of left us hanging. I'd love my kids to have a good family show to watch.
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10/10
It was wonderful!
hillarydanae30 March 2005
I really enjoyed this rendition of Little House on the Prairie, and am recommending it to everyone. I really appreciate that it is a good, clean family movie, which is really rare to find these days. I coaxed my whole family into watching it, including my dad, boyfriend and brother-in-law, and it ended up being the men who stuck around to the end...the action of the show kept them watching and they were really into it! The scenery is absolutely beautiful and the story line is very entertaining. Although I've heard the TV script is close to the book, but not word for word, it is still amazing to see the obstacles the Ingles encountered as they traveled mile by wagon. I also think the casting is excellent - I particularly like the roles of Pa and Mary.
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1/10
well, the names are the same, but the story...
prapp6994 May 2013
My daughter and I only made it through fifteen minutes of this. We have read the original books over and over and couldn't believe what we were seeing. I thought, if they can get this much wrong in that little space, I'm not going to waste another four hours. Laura almost gets shot by some stranger? Laura is blonde? Jack is an Australian Shepherd? Ma wears her hair down? Their little house in Wisconsin is surrounded by other homesteads instead of lonely woods? Pa works for some scoundrel? They sell their house with all its contents? What I want to know is, why did they bother calling it "Little House on the Prairie"? Change the character names, call it "Pioneers" or something, and leave a beloved book series alone.
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6/10
Heartwarming but flawed.
james higgins16 June 2010
It is a heartwarming story, pleasant production. not too bad on period detail and the acting is fine. Considering it's length, the pacing is surprisingly good. It is also filled with inaccuracies. Since when do you cross canyons from Wisconsin to Kansas, and since when are their high mountains in Kansas? At times it is unintentionally funny, like when Caroline, concerned with Indian attacks, demands a latch be put on the house door, yet the house doesn't have a roof yet. In general though, it kept me entertained and is certainly many notches above the television series from the 1970's. It does tend to be over sentimental, but that is also the nature of the stories. Good score and art direction.
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