A weekly update of video releases

Dates in parentheses indicate a full-length review of the film in the Monitor.

* A LITTLE PRINCESS ''It's a cold and nasty world out there,'' headmistress Miss Minchon shouts to English boarding-school student Sara Crewe. But the ogre-like schoolmarm (Eleanor Bron) can't squelch lovely Sara's insistence on goodness and faith in a world of make-believe. Only when her life turns from gleeful to grim does Sara (Liesel Matthews) need a nudge from her adoring pals to revive her imagination, which was earlier nurtured by her soldier father. The exquisite film, based on the novel by Fran ces Hodgson Burnett, isn't just for little girls. Except for a brief war scene that could be disturbing to very young children, it will delight all ages. (G, Warner Home Video)

- Jennifer G. Wolcott

* Don Juan DeMarco Johnny Depp stars as the masked Casanova in this dull comedy about love, seduction, and abandonment. Believing he is the reincarnation of Don Juan, Johnny (Depp) is assigned to a psychiatrist (Marlon Brando) to determine his state of mind. After several sessions, Johnny convinces the psychiatrist - with his stories of seducing thousands of women - that he really is the world's greatest lover, inspiring the psychiatrist to show renewed interest in his wife (Faye Dunaway). Even though t he film is a fantasy, its plot is unsatisfying and dry. The film has a few scenes of sexual situations and partial nudity. (PG-13, New Line Home Video)

- Lisa Leigh Parney

* Jefferson in Paris Scholars fault producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory for the liberties they took with the events in this drama about Thomas Jefferson's stint as an ambassador. Primarily at issue is Jefferson's alleged affair with a black servant, which the film portrays as fact. But controversy aside, the movie suffers from other problems such as lengthiness and lack of energy. Nick Nolte gives a thoughtful, if conservative performance as Jefferson the widower, father, and lover. Greta Scacchi - whose wigs steal the show - and Thandie Newton costar as his romantic interests. (PG-13, Touchstone Home Video, April 4)

- Kim Campbell

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