Victorian London's brattiest
wit, Wilde once remarked, of Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop," that "one must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing." It would be stone-hearted to laugh at "The Happy Prince," but its level of sentimentality is nearly Dickensian.
A wildly imaginative kid who can never keep her high spirits or her tongue in check, Ramona is a heroine as exasperating as she is endearing, and King--whose pretty, slightly impudent features can turn on a dime from grinning excitement to lip-quivering emotion--makes her sympathetic even at her brattiest
. Her teacher (Sandra Oh, perfectly balancing authority and sarcasm) is quick to admonish Ramona when she gets stuck on the monkey bars or botches a show-and-tell assignment, while her parents' reactions range from affectionate indulgence to bemusement and irritation.