The Secret Garden (1993)

secret garden movieIf you like dark corners, shady relatives, and what appear to be satanic fire chants, this movie should be right up your alley.


Before I jump into this, I just have to say, who the heck is this Dickon kid? Apparently he is a crow whisperer, a botany expert, a fine flutist…what can Dickon not do? He’s like the Superman of creepy English estates.

Anyway, The Secret Garden is the slowish, non-musical version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s book filmed in the early ‘90s that most of your mothers probably purchased on VHS but probably never convinced you to watch.

It stars Maggie Smith (who played Wendy in Hook) and Kate Maberly (who also played Wendy in Finding Neverland), and a whole cast of other people who may or may not have also taken on the role of Wendy at some point.

And I don’t know the name of the actor who played Dickon, but mark my words: He can’t be half the man Dickon is in real life.

Supposedly Kirsten Dunst auditioned for the role of Mary but didn’t make the cut. Don’t worry, though, because she was able to traumatize my childhood a couple years later with Jumanji. (No doubt Dickon would have saved the day in that movie.)

I also read that Elijah Wood was turned down for the role of Colin. “Hobbit” he was disappointed. (See what I did there? You can’t get that kind of fine humor at just any Sunday Movies blog.)

OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: I’m exactly like Colin, except I really am allergic to “outside.” (Seriously, my nose starts running and my throat swells up when I take out the garbage. Though could also be a side effect of being too close to that many sour diapers at one time. Not my diapers—kids’ diapers. Then again I just turned 30, so maybe my diapers soon…I’ll bet Dickon is good at changing diapers.)

the secret garden message

Not to spoil the last line of the movie or anything, but…I’m going to spoil the last line of the movie and anything:

The spell was broken. My uncle learned to laugh, and I learned to cry. The secret garden is always open now. Open, and awake, and alive.

I’ve always been a fairly upbeat person who finds genuine joy in life. Happiness is easy for me. For some people, though, being “open, awake, and alive” doesn’t come so easy.

If you’ve ever struggled with depression or similar issues that are very real and very difficult, I wish I could provide a secret garden for you, but some things take professional counsel and a good deal of time to improve.

The one secret garden I can share with you, though, is my faith. I know that God is real. I know that despair and hopelessness do not come from God, but from forces that wish you to forget Him. And I know it would be a mistake to underestimate the comfort and healing of that heavenly help.

No matter what you’ve been through or who has left you, remember the One who never leaves. You may try to walk away from the Lord, or tell yourself He isn’t there, but in your darkest moments He will always be a whispered prayer away. 

“For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” — Isaiah 51:3

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