Classics Retold is a project created by Alison @ The Cheap Reader and hosted by a number of bloggers. This project encompasses reviews of some original classics, as well as their adaptations, retellings, and/or sequels. Click here for more details. The master post for Children’s Classic can also be found here.
During the early years of my life, while I spent most of my time watching too much cartoons as my source of entertainment, I was only familiar with the anime adaptation of The Secret Garden. I only found out recently that there was a film adaptation of it during the early 1990s. Therefore, intrigued to find out how it fared as an adaptation, I allotted some time to watch the film.
It’s quite fun to see how movies improve as time passes. With technological limitations, I actually did not expect much from the movie in terms of visual quality. As much as this holds true, it’s still impressive to see how the production team makes use of real places to shoot instead of merely utilizing the green screen technique.
I would say the same for the cast. It’s like everyone is perfect for his/her role. Surprisingly, Maggie Smith is in the movie as well! She’s like the Professor McGonagall of The Secret Garden. Her stern look and facial expressions definitely justify her role as Mrs. Medlock. Kate Maberly also perfectly captures the personality of Mary Lennox, from being snobbish and rude to being a happy and optimistic child. The same goes for Heydon Prowse playing as Colin, Andrew Knott as Dickon, and Laura Crossley as Martha.
While there are some details that are left out and changed in the movie, I still enjoyed the film adaptation. The message and theme of the story is still demonstrated suitably just as what the book intends to do. The setting is also so realistic and the props used express the antiqueness of the manor. And the garden! I love how the production team reveals the transformation of the garden from being neglected to something that is carefully tended – full of colorful flowers of every kind. This made me wish to visit a place like that someday, with the castle-like house and a secret garden.