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The Secret Garden


The Secret Garden is a family favourite book by Frances Hodgson Burnett with many film adaptations.

This years release of the movie is a spectacular to be seen. This is Colin Firths second adaptation of The Secret Garden. In his first adaption it was a made for TV movie in 1987 where he play the adult Colin Craven. In 2020’s version he is playing the role of Archibald Craven. He seemed to be enjoying his role in this movie which is fantastic. The movie also welcomes new comer Dixie Egerickx as Mary. I am pleased to see that Julie Walters is in in this adaptation as well. She plays Mrs. Medlock in a much less mean way but gets the point across that the charter does need.

I found the story to be very quick paced in the beginning then slowed down once in the garden itself. The key to the garden was found very circumstantially, I do not like this way of having this be the way the key is found personally. I much rather have the key be found in with the mother’s possessions like in the WB’s version.

I liked at the beginning of the movie how Mary was telling the story with her characters. This story was told throughout the 1995 WB version of A Little Princess.

The many different tie ins of 1995’s WB A Little Princess and 1993’s WB The Secret Garden were over all done seamlessly.

I enjoyed the telling of that the house, Misselthwaite Manor, being turned into a hospital during the war and not just a manor that was built with very limited use.

I felt that Colins cries at night should have been made more of a thing and Mary been more intentionally trying to find the source of them rather then thinking it was the cries of the soldiers who had been there during the war. Although it doesn’t make it easier to understand versus the winds that the more was make.

In this adaptation the garden seems to be endless with no physical barriers to it except the front of the garden. I am sure Mary would have found her way into the garden with out the key at some point and happened to get in without the key as well. Which I find to be a big plot hole of this adaptation.

I do enjoy how Mary found a dog and became friends with him but wanted Dixon to be brought in with the dog sooner then what he was as a friend of the dog, not that this is a random dog that came from no where that has been befriended by Mary and Dixon.

Overall, the movie was fantastic and will be enjoyed by young children much as I did when the WB adaptation came out when I was young. The story is quick and well loved.

As The Secret Garden was made I am hopeful that A Little Princess (a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett) will get another adaptation as well. I am a fan of these two stories of Frances Hodgson Burnett, and hope that many more adaptations do get done in the future.