Anne vs. Anne… vs. Anne
In my family, there are three generation of those that are in love with the Anne of Green Gables book series. This is an amazing book series which is all well written, romance, comedy, and the descriptive narratives that made Lucy Maud Montgomery famous. L. M. Montgomery really had a talent for writing books! Overall these books are one of a kind. She has even gone on to write other various stories and novels. This by far is one of her more famous works however. But like all books there will be adaption, after adaption, after adaption. This is where Anne of Green Gables movie comes in along with the animated series. Yes, there is an animated series. I will be judging today the 1985 movie and animated series. Sorry no other film adaptions and no I will not do the continuing story one because it is not even based off the book, it really is its own story.
Now without much wait, let us talk about the book. Anne of Green Gables is a simple story. Two elderly siblings decide they need to have someone to help around the farm, without paying them, and decide to adopt a boy. Through some mix-up they do not get a boy like they intended, but Anne (spelled with an “E”) Shirley. Anne is a talkative, imaginative, drama filled girl who always seems to get into rather amusing predicaments. The story chronicles Anne’s life along with all of her “mis”adventures. The first book develops the relationship with Matthew and Marilla. Yes, there is Diana and even a possible romance with a handsome troublemaker named Gilbert, but when you are with Marilla and Mathew it is like you are growing as a family.
Marilla, despite how cold she treated Anne at the beginning of the story and how harshly she reprimanded her, it is because she cares. She really does care about Anne in the end of the story and shows how she became a mother to her. Mathew was always Anne’s biggest fan and he grew to be the father that she never got to know. It is heartbreaking when he dies in the first book because he was such a likable character. This story makes you feel something and want to read the next to see where else Anne Shirley will go in her life.
The series continues with Anne growing older and proceeds through high school, her education as a teacher, college, and her life with her significant other. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you who that is. Even as she grows older, she still finds herself getting into quite a bit of mischief. The telling of the story and the description of her surroundings is impeccable. Everyone should read this series.
Based on my previous post, one might assume that I am going to pan the movie. I have to say however that it did not stink. The character development was good, it stayed close to the story line, and the visuals were good. With that being said, I felt the plot was too focused on the romantic aspects of Anne’s life. A large part of the joy that came with reading the books, was the slice of life adventures that Anne had. Also the movie had to contend with L.M. Montgomery being a very good writer. Her descriptions fill the brain with excellent imagery. While reading these books, the brain is constantly churning out scenes from Prince Edward Island. The moving is visually appealing, but because you are not building the images yourself these scenes are kind of taken for granted. I don’t believe the movie was bad, but I find the books so much more enjoyable.
As I mentioned earlier, my whole family has enjoyed the Anne books. So much so in fact, that we made a pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island. PEI is the home of Montgomery and is where almost all of the Anne series takes place. When we visited PEI, I was surprised to find that many signs were in English and Japanese. It seems that many Japanese people learned English through reading the Anne of Green Gables books. They developed an intense love of Anne and many, much like myself, make the trek to PEI. Along with this love of Anne, came an anime (think Japanese cartoons) production of the series. Akage No An (Red Haired Anne). The art work in the series was done by Hayao Miyazaki who went on to become the founder of the famous Studio Ghibli. What can I say, I loved it. It was true to the story line and the artwork was amazing. This was one of those instances where the change in media enhanced my overall experience with the series. I would highly recommend it to anyone. It just might inspire you to read the books which I recommend even more highly.