Picks and Pans Review: Polly

updated 11/13/1989 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/1989 01:00AM

NBC (Sun., Nov. 12, 7 P.M. ET)

B-

This family special transforms the 1960 Disney film Pollyanna into a black musical set in Alabama in 1955. Cosby-ettes Keshia Knight Pulliam and Phylicia Ra-shad star respectively as the young orphan and her dour, domineering aunt.

Polly has an appealing cast (it includes T.K. Carter, Vanessa Bell Calloway and Brock Peters), but the songs and the dance numbers, choreographed by director Debbie Allen, are a bit extraneous. And while Pulliam is as cute as pie, she lacks the zest Hayley Mills gave the original. Instead of effecting changes in the townsfolk with infectious cheeriness, Pulliam's Polly is rather manipulative. So is this only sporadically sunny remake.

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