ABC Weekend Specials (1977–1995)
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The Secret Garden 

Animated TV-film version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's story about a spoiled English orphan who lives in India but is transplanted to her uncle's old, mysterious house in ... See full summary »


Dave Edwards


Libby Hinson (teleplay), Frances Hodgson Burnett (book)


Episode complete credited cast:
Honor Blackman ... Mrs. Medlock (voice)
Derek Jacobi ... Archibald Craven (voice) (as Sir Derek Jacobi)
Glynis Johns ... Darjeeling (voice)
Victor Spinetti ... (voice)
Anndi McAfee ... Mary Lennox (voice)
Joe Baker Joe Baker ... Ben Weatherstaff (voice)
Felix Bell Felix Bell ... Dickon (voice)
Naomi Bell Naomi Bell ... Martha (voice)
Richard Stuart Richard Stuart ... Colin (voice)
Frank Welker ... Robin (voice)




Animated TV-film version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's story about a spoiled English orphan who lives in India but is transplanted to her uncle's old, mysterious house in England after her parents' deaths. After making friends with a country boy and several animals, who talk here, she discovers many secrets on the grounds, including a locked-up, neglected garden and a locked-up, sickly boy, who turns out to be her cousin. Far too much time is spent here on the children's attempts to save the sickly boy's life from the evil housekeeper and doctor, who want to kill him and inherit the house. Written by Tommy Peter

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Did You Know?


Derek Jacobi reprised his role as Archibald Craven from The Secret Garden (1987). See more »


When Mary is settling in her new bedroom at the mansion, she says she wishes she were back in England. But she actually came from India and was sent to her new home in England. See more »


Version of The Secret Garden (1952) See more »

User Reviews

A Marvelous, Magical Garden.
17 January 2016 | by Dawalk-1See all my reviews

This version of the story I viewed on Youtube back in this past, early September. I thought it was a wonderful take on the book. At first, I didn't see why this doesn't have a higher rating. But after reading a critique in the plot line, I may see the reason. That and this is the only film version I saw and have yet to see the others. Though I'm curious about seeing the live action version from 1993, which I plan to do soon and will see how well that's done for myself.

I won't bring up the premise again, since the storyline has already been mentioned, but I still would like to point out and discuss a few things concerning this. It may not be as perfect as the book and any of the other adaptations, but at least it still has substance. I'm guessing the complaint in the plot line about much of the movie being focused on Annie's cousin and saving him from the housekeeper and doctor, and why it's been given such lower ratings on this site, may have to do with the fact that not enough time was spent on the garden itself, which is supposed to be central to the plot. It's been a while since I've seen this, but this garden isn't ordinary. It has rejuvenation powers, but I'm not quite sure if it has healing problems too. The demonstration of these moments may be limited here, but they should be put to more use in other versions of the story, which I'm sure they are and expect them to be.

In spite of this one flaw about it, there isn't too much else for me to complain about, though that may be partly due to not having read the book nor seen other adaptations to make comparisons and contrasts, other than knowing that the others have no animals that can talk. However, the only other qualm I have is I wish that it were longer and that it was an hour and a half. In that case, maybe then more time would've been spent on the eponymous garden. Well, it still kept me entertained. Most of the cast I don't recognize, save Frank Welker and, I think somehow, maybe Andi MacAfee. Maybe this isn't the best ABC Weekend Special, but even for what this animated rendition is I still love it nonetheless and still don't find it to be all that bad. I'm glad and grateful for the books that the various authors wrote and inspired the adaptations for this show, and CBS Storybreak. I find most everything about this to be fine and would still recommend it, even if it's not on the original's level.

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Release Date:

5 November 1994 (USA) See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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