Samantha: An American Girl Holiday

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday is a 2004[1] television film, based on the American Girl children's books written by Susan S. Adler and Valerie Tripp. The film follows young, wealthy Samantha Parkington's adventures with three poor orphan girls.[3] Shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the 86-minute film features lavish period costumes and settings, and was nominated for three Young Artist Awards, winning one.

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday
Also known asAn American Girl Holiday
Written by
Directed byNadia Tass[1]
Music byChris Hajian
DistributorWarner Bros. Television
Original networkThe WB
Original releaseNovember 23, 2004 (2004-11-23)
Followed byFelicity: An American Girl Adventure

Samantha is the first in the series of An American Girl films.


Young Samantha Parkington lives with her grandmother, "Grandmary" Edwards, in a world of wealth and privilege in fictional Mount Bedford, New York, in 1904. Nellie O'Malley, a domestic worker girl about Samantha's age, moves into the house next-door with her father and two younger sisters named Bridget and Jenny. Samantha is an unspoiled young girl without class biases or prejudices and takes an instant liking to Nellie, teaching her to read and sharing Nellie's household tasks such as carpet beating, darning, and other small jobs. Samantha and Nellie become fast friends. The girls turn to each other in happiness and sorrow, adventure and danger, and grow as close as sisters.

It is then learned that Nellie's mother died last fall and that Samantha is an orphan as her parents died in an accident by the river. The only memento she has of them is a locket with their pictures. Shortly, Samantha's Uncle Gardner, who is settled in New York, pays a visit home with his fiancé Cornelia. Uncle Gard announces that he and Cornelia are engaged. Samantha is unhappy by this turn of events but agrees to be the bridesmaid for the wedding. Soon after, Samantha moves to New York to attend a new school.

After Nellie's father dies, she and her little sisters Bridget and Jenny are sent to a dismal orphanage run by a thieving matron. Samantha rescues the girls and hides them at home. Nellie secretly takes a job in a factory to support her little sisters. Samantha tracks her down and brings her home, then bravely speaks out against the cruelty of child labor at her school. Eventually, Samantha's Uncle Gard and his new wife Cornelia adopt the orphan sisters. The film ends with the girls happily enjoying a Christmas sleigh ride through cotton candy-like drifts of snow.

Awards and nominations

Young Artist Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2005 Olivia Ballantyne Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries Or Special — Supporting Young Actress Won
Samantha: An American Girl Holiday Best Family Television Movie or Special Nominated
AnnaSophia Robb Best Performance in a TV Movie, Miniseries or Special – Leading Young Actress Nominated



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