Cynthia (csakuras) wrote,

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The Secret Garden

So like...a couple of weeks ago, I rewatched one of my favorite movies, A Little Princes (the one directed by Alfonso Cuaron). It made me cry at the end, like it does every time I watch it. I know that it takes a LOT of liberties from the original book (which I also own), such as moving the setting from London to New York, turning Becky into a black girl, bringing Sara's father back, etc. But I actually like and prefer most of these changes- I adore movie!Becky (she's so cute!), and having Sara's father alive instead of just her father's friend-who-we-barely-know has greater emotional payoff. I think only two changes really stick out (they didn't explain what happened to Sara's room, whereas the book goes into great detail about it, and for some reason Miss Minchin becomes a chimney sweeper at the end and her neighbour takes over the school), but they don't bother me.

Then that got me nostalgic for the other classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden. My grandmother got me the Hallmark Hall of Fame version of the movie when I was little, and I searched all over the house for it but couldn't find it. So I decided to reread the book instead. And on Wednesday I spotted the DVD of the Warners Bros. version of the movie at Borders, so I bought it because it was cheap. I hadn't actually seen this version before, so I was curious how it would compare to the book...

From what I remember of the Hallmark movie, it was pretty close to the book, except they made up a prologue/epilogue that has Mary and Colin as adults, and Colin proposes to her. (Oh, and Dickon got killed in World War I. ;____; WHY?!) I dunno if they decided not to make Mary and Colin cousins in that movie or not, but it always struck me as weird because I personally didn't see any romance between them in the book (they're only TEN YEARS OLD) and it was rather unnecessary.

Anyway, I watched the Warner Bros. movie tonight and...uh, wow. Lots of pointless changes. Such as making Mary's parents die in an earthquake instead of a cholera epidemic (that made me LOL because it looked stupid, but it was also disappointing because the cholera epidemic is what made the beginning of the Hallmark movie so creepy). And making Mary's mother Mrs. Craven's twin sister (in the book, her father is Mrs. Craven's brother). And Mary finding the key to the garden in Mrs. Craven's room instead of buried in the dirt outside. And turning Mrs. Medlock into a bad guy. WTF. THIS STORY DOESN'T NEED A BAD GUY. I could understand making Miss Minchin nasty, but Mrs. Medlock?! I feel sorry for Maggie Smith. D: Oh, and they seemed to be hinting at a love triangle between Mary, Colin, and Dickon. THEY'RE TEN AND TWELVE YEARS OLD.

What I did like about it is that Dickon is played by the boy who played Joe in the Black Beauty movie. SQUEE! ♥ (Black Beauty is another one of my favorite movies/books). And that it was actually filmed in Yorkshire, unlike the Hallmark movie. The music was nice too, I guess.

I think now I'll have to reread and rewatch Black Beauty too. :D Oh, my favorite childhood classics. ♥ I still get surprised whenever I come across people who aren't familiar with these stories. Or who are only familiar with crap like this. Also, one of the reviews at IMDb made me raise an eyebrow for saying the original book is "excessivley wordy."'s a children's book. If I were to point out a flaw, I'd say it's a bit too preachy. But how is a children's book excessively wordy? o.O
Tags: books, movies

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