Review: Anne of Green Gables

The Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Maud Montgomery chronicles the adventures of Anne Shirley, a young red haired orphan girl sent to live with a middle-aged brother and sister on Prince Edward Island.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery has to be one of my favourite stories. I read the first novels and loved them, but couldn’t continue because of the absence of Anne of Windy Willows in my collection. Though this did not prevent me from flicking through the latter novels – yes I was quite naughty! – I’m still yet to finish the entire series. But now having obtained a copy and concluded school I look forward to finally continuing with the rest of the series.

Kevin Sullivan presented Montgomery’s stories beautifully in his adaptations, Anne of Green Gables (1985)  Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987.) These television movies posses the beauty and essence of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic works, tying together aspects of the eventful first four novels of the Anne series; Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island & Anne of Windy Willows. Honestly,  these are two of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. I’ve watched them both so many times; only leading me to become more and more engrossed. I highly recommend these films for anyone looking for a good chick-flick, the 7 hour+ length (when watched together) are well worth the watching!

Thirteen years after The Sequel Kevin Sullivan went on to release a third film, Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story. However this film differed from the earlier two as it completely strayed from Montgomery’s latter Anne novels. Though it is enjoyable to see the cast reunite, and Anne tying the knot with Gilbert Blythe (at last!) the overall feel of this adaptation is not “Anne,” lacking the humour and  “scope for the imagination” which we all know and love of Anne Shirley. I personally felt there was no need to detract from Montgomery’s works regarding Anne’s life as a wife and mother. Jumping forward a few decades to place Anne Shirley Blythe amidst the battlegrounds of WWI may have been thought by Sullivan as an empowering role for our heroine, but I feel that doing so displayed a misunderstanding and downplays the courageous effort and strength of a mother’s day-to-day quest to provide and care for her family – not to mention the day-to-day dramas including friends and family, ever present in his earlier Anne films and the novels. Besides watching Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie reprising their roles as Anne and Gilbert, I also did enjoy the soundtrack (I’m somewhat of a soundtrack freak!)

Once again, only four years ago, Sullivan released another Anne movie entitled Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning. This film depicts an older Anne Shirley, in the 1940s, who looks back upon her childhood prior to life at Green Gables. After thoroughly reading up on this movie, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it. It’s plain as day that Kevin Sullivan completely abandoned the works of Montgomery in this film, via the creation of a personal history for Anne Shirley that is entirely contradictory to all that is found in the Montgomery’s works.  As if the absence of Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie wasn’t enough to turn me off! – I mean come on, they were perfect! Oh well, the first two are absolutely beautiful. I’m grateful for that! A few months ago I discovered the following tribute video created by YouTube user . It beautifully captures the love story of the first two classic films with the song A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. Quite frankly, it’s too much for me to handle .^_^ I hope you enjoy this video – and if you haven’t watched Anne of Green Gables (1985)  Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) I encourage you to!

God Bless.

Gabby

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7 thoughts on “Review: Anne of Green Gables

  1. Great review! 🙂 I adore Anne(as you can see from my username), and have read her books obsessively.
    I watched the prequel Anne…I wished I hadn’t. I’ve haven’t watched the third one, though I love the other two.

    1. Thank-you Avon! The books are beautiful I can’t wait to continue with them. I wish Kevin Sullivan didn’t ruin his adaptations with the prequel (4th film) and the 3rd film. He did so well with the first two. I also enjoyed his “Road to Avonlea” series (though I’ve only seen season 1 so far.) x

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