The Ultimate Guide to Anne of Green Gables Film Adaptations


There are plenty of Anne of Green Gables movies to choose from. Wondering which version of Anne of Green Gables you should watch? Here are eight surviving film adaptations of Anne, from big-screen productions, to anime, to T.V. movies and miniseries. I’ve given a mini review for each plus a star rating to help you decide which is the best version of Anne of Green Gables!

Collage of actresses playing Anne Shirley from all of the Anne of Green Gables film versions

Anne of Green Gables Movie Versions

Over the past 6 months, I’ve spent over 40 hours watching Anne of Green Gables movie adaptations. Yes, Anne Shirley has gotten that much screen time in the past century since she was written! Why did I personally spend so much time watching Anne? First of all, I love Anne of Green Gables and all the books she’s featured in, so this self-imposed assignment was delightful. Second of all, I wanted to write a guide for you, my reader, to help you decide which AoGG versions are worth your time.

I found both hidden gems and bitter disappointments when preparing this guide, and learned more about Anne filmography than I thought was possible! Enjoy this list, and let me know in the comments how you feel about the Anne movies you’ve seen!

Anne of Green Gables Film Adaptations

There are twelve English-language film adaptations of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. In addition, there are at least 5 “fan fiction” movies and T.V. series based on Anne, as well as numerous radio dramas and musicals based on the books.

Anne films based on the original novels

  • 1919: Anne of Green Gables – A silent film directed by William Desmond Taylor. No recordings remain.
  • 1934: Anne of Green Gables – Directed by George Nichols Jr.. Reviewed below.
  • 1940: Anne of Windy Poplars – Directed by Jack Hively. Reviewed below.
  • 1952: Anne of Green Gables – A television series produced by Pamela Brown. No recordings remain.
  • 1972: Anne of Green Gables – A BBC miniseries directed by Joan Craft. No recordings remain.
  • 1975: Anne of Avonlea – A BBC miniseries directed by Joan Craft. Reviewed below.
  • 1979: Akage no An (Red-Haired Anne) – An anime series directed by Isao Takahata. Reviewed below.
  • 1985: Anne of Green Gables – A television series directed by Kevin Sullivan. Reviewed below.
  • 1987: Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel – A television series directed by Kevin Sullivan. Reviewed below.
  • 2016: L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables – A television movie directed by John Kent Harrison. Reviewed below.
  • 2017: Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars – A television movie directed by John Kent Harrison. Reviewed below.
  • 2017: Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew – A television movie directed by John Kent Harrison. Reviewed below.
  • (2017) Anne with an E – A Canadian drama and Netflix series produced by Moira Walley-Beckett and Miranda de Pencier. The first season loosely follows the book, but the second season diverges even more widely. Reviewed below.

Anne films that aren’t based on the original novels

  • 2000: Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story A television series directed by Kevin Sullivan. An original story about Anne and Gilbert which does not follow the books.
  • 2000 – 2001: Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series – A television series directed by Kevin Sullivan. It uses Montgomery’s characters to teach moral lessons for children.
  • 2005: Anne: Journey to Green Gables – An animated film directed by Kevin Sullivan, it serves as an original prequel story.
  • 2008: Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning – A television miniseries directed by Kevin Sullivan. It is an original prequel/sequel that uses some of Montgomery’s characters but does not follow the books.
  • 2009: Kon’nichiwa Anne (Before Green Gables) – An anime directed by Katsuyoshi Yatabe. Based on the prequel novel Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson.

Out of the 8 novels in the Anne series, it’s interesting that only material from the first 4 books has been filmed! So many people have filmed Anne, but it’s typically just the first book, over and over again. When will someone at least make a Rilla of Ingleside movie?? Anyway, I diverge…

Let’s dive in to the Anne movies that have been made (and that still exist!). You can click on the linked titles to check the DVD prices on Amazon and read more reviews.

8 Anne of Green Gables Movies, Reviewed and Rated

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe in the 1934 Anne of Green Gables film.

Anne of Green Gables (1934)

After watching this film, Lucy Maud Montgomery commented that “On the whole it is not a bad picture. At least the first two thirds. The last third is a silly sentimental commonplace end tacked on for the sake of rounding it up as a love story.” Viewers didn’t seem to mind the silly sentimental ending—the film was a record-breaking box office hit.

When I heard that lead actress Dawn O’Day embraced her role so much that she legally changed her name to Anne Shirley after the film, I expected great things from her performance. She doesn’t disappoint! This is a great portrayal of Anne and is thoroughly enjoyable to watch. I also liked Matthew, and Gilbert wasn’t too bad. Marilla I didn’t care for much.

This film suffers from its short run time and its compressed characters and story line. The sped-up Anne + Gilbert love story felt terribly out of place, and I disliked how they changed the plot in this last part of the movie. The highlights are some well-done interactions between Anne and Gilbert and some sweet Anne and Matthew moments. In the end, Montgomery’s assessment sums it up aptly.

You can watch the 1934 Anne of Green Gables for free online HERE.


Anne Shirley in the 1940 movie Anne of Windy Poplars

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940)

The movie studio hoped to piggyback on the popularity of the 1934 film, but this sequel actually incurred a loss at the box office. Dawn O’Day plays Anne Shirley again, and does a wonderful job, but other than that there’s an entirely new cast (including a new Gilbert). The film jumps right into Anne’s arrival at Summerside (called Pringleton in the movie). It’s less episodic than the book, for the most part keeping the tension focused tightly around the Pringle snobbery.

It was an interesting film to watch, and I enjoyed the casting quite a bit. It borrowed a lot from the book, but there are also so many invented scenes and relationships that it would take too long to point them out! As far as Anne books go, Windy Poplars is my least favourite, so honestly I wasn’t too bothered by the divergences from the novel. It makes a fun watch for a cozy evening in.

You can watch Anne of Windy Poplars for free online HERE.


Kim Braden in the 1975 Anne of Avonlea miniseries.

Anne of Avonlea (1975)

When I found the 1975 BBC Anne of Avonlea at my local library, I expected it to be a dated, low-budget curiosity piece. Well, it is low budget, but it’s so delightful that it’s aged considerably well. I loved this one!

If you’re a fan of Anne books 2 and 3 you are in for a treat, as this 6-part miniseries actually covers both Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island. (The BBC also made a miniseries of Anne of Green Gables in 1972, but tragically it is a lost film.) While Kevin Sullivan touches on a few episodes from books 2 and 3 in his 1987 series, he draws most heavily from book 4. So this 1975 adaptation is practically all uncharted territory. We get to see the A.V.I.S., Echo Lodge and Lavender Lewis, Paul Irving, Davy and Dora, Redmond College and Patty’s Place, Phillipa Gordon and Roy Gardner…everything’s there, with only a few minor and forgivable changes to the books.

In spite of being a very unflashy production, the 1975 Anne of Avonlea feels like cannon. Kim Braden makes an excellent and realistic-feeling Anne. The whole cast is lovely—even Marilla, who I wasn’t certain about at first, grew on me tremendously. I loved watching two of my favourite Anne novels come to life in such a faithful, unpretentious way.

Funfact: Barbara Hamilton, the actress who plays Marilla, is sister to Patricia Hamilton who plays Rachel Lynde in Kevin Sullivan’s Anne films!

You can sometimes find the 1975 Anne of Avonlea to watch online via a Youtube search.


"Akage no An" Japanese anime version of Anne of Green Gables

Akage no An (1979)

An anime Anne of Green Gables?? Yes. If you are a true Anne fan, whatever you do, don’t pass this one by. In spite of (or perhaps because of) being animated, Akage no An is the best, most beautiful, fullest representation of Montgomery’s novel. You read that right! I was about a dozen episodes in to this 50-episode series when I told my husband “I think this might be the best Anne of Green Gables! But it’s still not my favourite.” But by the last episode: “Okay. I’m just going to call it. This is my favourite.”

With stunning, painterly backgrounds, a delightful soundtrack, nuanced character growth, and word-for-word dialogue, this series feels, sounds, and looks like the book. I was astounded by how well the filmmakers understood and loved Montgomery’s world. There’s a sharp attention to period and setting detail, shown in things like the Scottish roots of the Islanders or the way the schoolchildren put their milk bottles in the stream to stay cool.

Interestingly, there is one episode that is actually taken from Emily of Moon (when Emily eats the poisoned apple). Although I found this odd, it was also neat to know that the show creators have read other Montgomery books besides just the first Anne.

There are two Akage no An versions available to watch for free on Youtube: a dubbed version and the original voice actors with English subtitles. I recommend the latter, as the subtitles directly quote the book, and I loved hearing the personalities come through from the original voice cast.

Note: Here’s a fascinating article on why Anne Shirley is so popular in Japan. Also, a Youtube video that examines the progression and pacing in Akage no An.


Megan Follows and Richard Farnsworth drive to Avonlea in the 1985 Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables (1985)

I adored Kevin Sullivan’s hugely popular miniseries when I was little, but as an adult I wondered if my nostalgia was clouding my judgement. Well, even with repeated re-watches where I try my best to be critical, this adaptation still sweeps me off my feet every time. It’s iconic, and they nailed it on almost every score. Speaking of scores…isn’t that theme music to die for?

This version is so widely-loved and uncontroversial for a reason. It’s a carefully-crafted, faithful adaptation that hits all the right notes.


Where can you watch Anne of Green Gables 1985?

The 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables staring Megan Follows, as well as the 1987 sequel are available to stream on GazeboTV. GazeboTV is the streaming platform for all of the period dramas and documentaries produced by Sullivan Entertainment, including the Anne of Green Gables films and the Road to Avonlea series. Anne of Green Gables (1985) is not available on Netflix.

Related: Check out my review of GazeboTV here. If you want to own the Anne trilogy on GazeboTV, you can use the code ELSIE to get $10 off.

Jonathan Crombie and Megan Follows in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel

Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987)

Kevin Sullivan followed up his 1985 success with this sequel, which focuses on the novel Anne of Windy Poplars, but has a handful of episodes and elements from Anne of Avonlea and Anne of the Island. Growing up, I actually liked this sequel better than Sullivan’s first miniseries. I liked seeing all the characters grown up and beginning adult lives, with all the backstory of the first miniseries to give them depth.

Sullivan’s divergences from the book are tasteful and don’t feel utterly out of place. He eliminates some characters and invents others to avoid being overrun with episodic side plots. Emmeline Harris is a combination of Paul Irving and Elizabeth Grayson; Morgan Harris takes the place of Roy Gardner, Mr. Irving, and Pierce Grayson; and grandmother Harris is based on Mrs. Campbell and Sarah Pringle. However, I can’t help but wonder if the positive reception Sullivan got to these changes made him more bold with future divergences; sadly, his next two Anne miniseries don’t follow the books at all.

The highlight of this series is seeing Anne grown up in a natural and engaging way, getting the satisfaction of her love story with Gilbert Blythe, and having an amazing cast and plotting that brings Montgomery’s least-compelling Anne novel to life. I give it four stars instead of five for the changes it makes to the books, although I don’t think it detracts from the viewing experience.


PBS L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables cast

L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (2016-17)

This made-for-TV movie and its sequels The Good Stars and Fire and Dew was nice but completely unremarkable. It added nothing to the filmography of the Anne books, and seems unnecessary in light of the established 1985 series. The movies were touted as “a new Anne for a new generation,” which made me wonder: do we need a new Anne? Today’s small fry will love the older adaptations if we introduce them.

If you want to make a new kid-targeted Montgomery movie, why not film Rainbow Valley? There’d be a lot less riding on the actors as well. This adaptation missed the mark with almost all of its iconic characters: Marilla was too sweet and indulgent, Mathew became comic relief, and the little boy who played Gilbert would’ve been better cast as Charlie Sloane! It was bad enough that Diana didn’t have jet-black tresses, far worse that Gilbert was a redhead!

The movies also suffered from strange alterations to the book, like the White Way of Delight being a little group of trees Anne glimpses from the porch, but which aren’t really shown to the viewers. We’re subjected to an apocryphal and cliché “fall through the ice” episode, and a supposedly humorous scene where Matthew lands on his face in the mud.

The high points of these movies are the lovely and detailed settings and props. Green Gables is a gorgeous house, and there’s some nice nature scenes. There’s suitable homage paid to the domestic rhythms that are so prominent in Montgomery’s books: hospitality, preparing food, and all the quotidian duties of a working farm. I also thought Ella Ballentine did a good job as Anne, even if she’s not how I picture Anne when I read the books.

Note: The somewhat cheesy-sounding titles “The Good Stars” and “Fire and Dew” actually come from a poem by Robert Browning. I don’t recall this being explained or even referenced in the movies, but Montgomery quotes this poem at the beginning of Anne of Green Gables as a description of Anne.


Amybeth McNulty and Geraldine James in Netflix's Anne with an E.

Anne with an E (2017-2020)

This 3-season Netflix series had potential to be something different and special. Many of us Anne fans hoped that it would even take us deeper into the book series, especially since Netflix typically waits a year to release new seasons of its originals, so the cast could age naturally.

Well, Anne with an E is different alright. But it’s not for the faint of heart. My skin was crawling by the second episode. It’s the Upside-Down version of Avonlea, where adult themes abound and truth, beauty, and goodness seldom shine through. I think I get what the filmmakers were trying to do, exploring modern issues and sensibilities in a period setting. I just wish they hadn’t done it on Anne. Instead of honoring L. M. Montgomery, I feel like they stole her characters to animate their own agenda.

Perhaps the chief strength of this series is its talented cast. They often don’t behave the way Montgomery wrote them, but at least they’re good actors. The series also has a high budget, which means it often looks nice, with an intentionally dark color palate and earthy tones to reflect this darker take.

If you don’t mind shows that push the envelope and run beloved classics through the meat grinder, go ahead and give this a watch (without your kids). But if you feel that Anne is a little too special to be tampered with, just re-read the books instead.


What do you think are the key components that make a good Anne film? What’s your favourite version of Anne of Green Gables, and how would you rank the Anne of Green Gables movies out there?

For more discussion on L. M. Montgomery novels and the novels’ portrayal in film, watch this video interview with Dan Schneider, Monika Hilder, Holly Blackford, and myself (I’m the one who does the long awkward pause when I’m supposed to be fielding my first question!).

(Here’s the link if you can’t get the video to play above.)

Other Tea and Ink Posts about Anne of Green Gables:

Anne of Green Gables movies rated 1-5 stars.

The Ultimate Guide to Anne of Green Gables Film Adaptations

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  1. I realized I’ve never seen an Anne adaptation… gasp!! I noticed the Anne with an E on Netflix, but I’m so glad I didn’t watch it now. It sounds awful. I’ll keep an eye out for a few of these other ones that do her justice 🙂

    1. How did you get away without watching Anne?? Yes, you should definitely check out some of the others on this list. You have many delightful hours ahead of you!

      1. I love Anne of Green gables with most of my heart and soul!!!!!!! Almost no one I know appreciates LM Montgomery’s books. It’s so nice to find someone else who thinks the same thing! I agree with you on all points of this article and ive just joined the pen and ink society because of this! I’m currently rereading the series and I can’t wait to read more of your articles!

  2. Thanks for this, I’m an Anne of Green Gables fan! 🙂 I think I’ve only seen the Kevin Sullivan Anne of Green Gables miniseries and the sequel. I like Rilla, she’s a good heroine as well. My favourite Anne books are the first one, Anne’s House of Dreams and Rilla (although that’s a “Rilla” book really!).

    My fave L.M. Montgomery series is Emily of New Moon. I know there’s a TV version but I’ve never seen it. It might be a bit odd it I do though, I’ve been reading the Emily books since I was young and have a certain “picture” of all the characters in my head if that makes sense! lol.


    1. Oh good, so glad to meet another fan! I know exactly what you mean about having a picture of the characters in your head. I started watching the live-action Emily of New Moon TV series, and…sigh. That is not Emily. That is not Ilse. I do like the actor’s portrayal who plays Cousin Jimmy. And I love that it’s filmed on PEI. But much of the story doesn’t resemble what I saw in my head when I fell in love with the books!

      BUT, do watch some of these other Anne adaptations and let me know what you think! There are some hidden gems, even if most of the Anne books have never made it to screen.

  3. I would like to start by saying that I appreciate you so much for making that list. However, I couldn’t agree less with your rating of Anne with and E. The series has brought so many important issues to light, and the performance of Amybeth Mcnulty as Anne is impeccable, as well as of many of the characters. The show has made me a huge fan of Anne, and, however it may differ from the books, I believe it has made the story so much more relevant, worldwide, I say this, because I am a Brazilian English undergrad student and, in my 5 years of college, I never once came across Anne’s books – very unfortunately. But, again, thank you for that list. I have already watched the 85 and 87’s adaptations, and I’m looking forward to watch as many more as I can, as well as read the rest of the books! <3

    1. Thank you for your comment! I am so glad you enjoyed the list! I think that’s wonderful that Anne with an E inspired you to become an Anne fan. That is a great compliment to the show. From what I’ve heard, one of the reasons people do love the Netflix Anne with an E is because it brings all sorts of issues and conversations to light. There was a show I liked (not on Netflix) called Downton Abbey that also explored seemingly modern-day issues in a historical setting. I liked that Downton Abbey tried to give a realistic picture of what rape or class divides or homosexuality might have been like in Edwardian and WWI-era England. But the big difference with Anne with an E is that it purports to be an adaptation of the Anne books and of Montgomery’s characters, and from that perspective it is way off base. I do think Amybeth McNulty’s acting is good and that she’s exactly the character the show creators wanted to tell their story. But from all the times I’ve read the Anne books, she is just not there. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts once you watch the anime version, because I think the anime Anne nails the book much better.

      1. Ah I could not agree with you more! I cringed my to to the 4th episode of Anne with an E and eventually had to stop! I felt like it was almost sacrilegious to the story and heroine that I grew up reading and loving! Definitely a huge no for me- but I’m excited to see some of these other adaptations! I’m re-reading the books again (for the 50th time I swear hahah) but would love to see some more of the story on screen! Thanks for this!!

  4. To answer your question about “Fire & Dew” and “The Good Stars”, I think the Robert Browning poem is an epigraph in the 1908 edition of Anne of Green Gables published by Ryerson Press.

    I found in Project Gutenberg that the lines “For Anne to take things calmly would have been to change her nature. All “spirit and fire and dew,” as she was, the pleasures and pains of life came to her with trebled intensity.” appears in original text of Anne of Green Gables.

    1. Those would be really hard to find online (for free, at least), because the Sullivan Entertainment company keeps an eye on that. But because they’re so popular, they’d be pretty common to find in the local library, at least if you live in the U.S. or Canada. If you want to stream online, you can do so via GazeboTV.

  5. Very nice list. Thank you! Totally agree both with your assessment of the Kevin Sullivan series–love them!–and the Anne with an E version. The latter made me think it was a horror version of the series. Ick1

  6. I love the series by Kevin Sullivan also. I’m a big fan of L.M. Montgomery and have reread all her books multiple times. When “Anne with an E” came on Netflix, I was pretty excited, but it didn’t take too many episodes to be a bit horrified! I kept watching however, and as the series continued on, I was really glad that my kids are grown up and didn’t see this while they were young. I understand what they are trying to do, but maybe they should have come up with a different venue. Looking forward to watching some of the other Anne movies I haven’t seen yet.

    1. I agree! I was excited about the Netflix one initially, but now watching it has made me leery of ALL Netflix adaptations of classic books! I will keep my expectations low from now on and then maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. My kids will grow up with a different film version, and then they can watch the Netflix when later if they choose!

  7. A reconstructed version of the 1919 film is available. The people who run the muskoka (as in the blue castle) lmm museum undertook a phenomenal amount of research and obtained stills and the sheet music of the original score. They used these to piece the film back together.

    The CBC tv productions from the 50s, upon which the musical is derived also survive but the bbc 1950s ones do not

    1. Thank you so much for this info! I’ve seen some images from the 1919 film, but not the full reconstruction. And I will have to nose around for the CBC 50s production!

  8. The best adaptation by far is the animated Japanese series in my opinion. I’ve grown up watching it and nothing else comes even close. Japanese have always been true artists when transitioning stories into animated cartoons. I’m actually watching the 1985/87 series right now fir the very first time but, once I’ve reached ‘The sequel’, I’m quickly losing interest, sadly.

    1. I’m glad to find someone else who has watched and loved the anime! It is a work of art. I’m hoping to watch others in their World Masterpiece series.

  9. I have recently started watching the anime ‘Emily of the new moon’ but, even though it is nice, Emily is just not Anne!

    If you have not done it yet, I strongly suggest you should watch ‘Future boy Conan’

    1. I have the Emily anime series on my watch list! I’ve seen some of the live-action series made by a Canadian network, but it is lacking in important ways):

  10. Anne of Windy Poplars is actually one of my favorite Anne books, along with Anne’s House of Dreams. Those two books stand out in a good way, and they have a different feel from the other books and from one another. I loved how Anne went away to teach at a girl’s high school in PEI. It was so dreamy. If anyone went to college in a beautiful college town, then maybe they can relate. And Anne’s House of Dreams had a mystique that the other books didn’t have, as well as an emphasis on the sea. Montgomery wrote some short stories with a focus on the sea, anthologized in the collection Along the Shore. Leslie Moore in Anne’s House of Dreams is one of the most interesting and mysterious characters in the Anne books. I loved how the novel focused on the early years of Anne and Gilbert’s marriage and how they built their new life in a seaside town.

    The first three Anne books were very amazing and epic. I didn’t like the last three as much; maybe I’m just not into Anne’s kids. My least favorite is Anne of Ingleside. Rainbow Valley was okay. And I liked Rilla of Ingleside, though it felt like a more “pedestrian” and ordinary novel, without the brilliance and magic of most of the other Anne books. And I really liked the Emily books, too.

    Of course the anime series from 1979 was amazing, with a deep and innate understanding of the Anne books and close attention to detail. That’s how Asians and Asian Americans tend to be – full of heart, understanding, perceptiveness, thoroughness, aesthetics, and creativity.

    1. Anne of Windy Poplars is actually my least favourite Anne! I think I just didn’t gel with the epistolary style, since the other books don’t use it. But I do share your thoughts about Anne’s House of Dreams; I love the influence of the sea! Now that you mention it, Rilla does feel a bit more “ordinary.” I do love it, but it doesn’t have quite the magic of the Anne or Emily books. I would put Jane of Lantern Hill in the Rilla category, too. It’s a wonderful, tidy novel on its own, but doesn’t have the luminescence of other LMM novels.

      I wish there were other anime series of the Anne books. You wouldn’t have to do them all or in order, either. I’d love to see an anime of Anne’s House of Dreams, for instance, as a sort-of standalone story.

  11. I totally agree with what you said. My friends love Anne with an E but I don’t think they’ve read the books, and for someone who’s read all of them, just no. I only watched like 30 minutes of the first episode of Anne with an E and ugh it is awful!
    I adore L.M. Montgomerys books. They are so perfect and don’t need a film, though I’ve only seen Anne with an E. Should I watch the others?

    1. Fiona, I’m glad you feel the same way! As far as Anne films, there are certainly things to love and dislike about each adaptation…I feel like there’s always room for something more. However, I would encourage you to at least watch the anime series. It may take a few episodes to get into, but it is well worth it. Throughout the series I was continually impressed with the attention to detail and their respect of the source material. The series is a gentle, lovely trip through the first novel, and I only wish they continued it into the next books!

      And if you watch the Kevin Sullivan series with Meagan Follows, do let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear an “unbiased” opinion of that one from someone who doesn’t view it through nostalgia goggles like I do(:

  12. I grew up watching Akage no Anne, in the 1980s, and that’s how I fell in love with Anne and later went to read the books. It all made sense. It was the same feeling, the characters were exactly as I remembered them.
    I later went back watching it, with the same feeling you had going back to Kevin Sullivan’s movie… do I have a romantic childhood version in my head? Will I be disappointed? Not at all. It’s perfect. I love it as much as I did or, dare I say, more now that I have read the books?!
    I recently decided to give a go at Anne with an E and all felt odd from the first scenes. Although Amybeth McNulty probably is the most accurate figure for Anne I’ve seen so far (at least how I pictured her in my head), and though she is a great actress, she misses the mark in so many levels… and I actually think that’s not her fault, but the way she was guided and directed. All that compulsive talking we are used to in Anne, most of the time feels forced and unnatural, not joyful and cute. I missed little Anne’s joviality and joy.
    I’m not even going to go deeper than this about this adaptation, because I only went so far as the second episode (the all go-back-to-the-orphanage was too much, I gess…). This was enough to let me down.

    1. I agree with you that Amybeth McNulty was exactly the kind of Anne that the “Anne with an E” directors were looking for to fit their take. I think the intention was definitely to put a different spin on everything that book Anne said or did.

      I wish I could’ve grown up watching Akage no Anne! I would’ve loved to have that be part of the fabric of my imagination as a child. Lucky you!

  13. I’m so so happy to have found this list! I’m going to happily binge-watch the anime that I had never even heard of before now.

    I’m also glad to meet others who feel the same way about Anne With An E… I love RH Thomson and was thrilled when I heard he was playing Matthew. I was horrified at the innocent themes of the book being ripped away, and I couldn’t make myself watch it and be endlessly triggered. I’m not a sensitive person at all but I was shaking and sick the more I watched. No thanks! I’ll just enjoy Thomson in “Road to Avonlea” as Jasper Dale instead!

    Thank you again for all these reviews in one place! Definitely keeping it for reference when I need something fun to watch.

  14. I haven’t seen all of these versions but I love the 1985 version with Megan Follows. I don’t think they could have done better with Anne, Matthew, or Marilla. I have not seen the animated version, but will look for it. I would also like to see the 1934 version. The later t.v. series was ok sometimes but didn’t measure up to the 1985 version .

    I may be biased, since my first exposure was the 1985 version on PBS, then I read the series of books to my daughter. So it is my favorite, but I will give the others a chance.

    I tried Anne with an E & just couldn’t watch it because it changed too much. I think you nailed it.

  15. Have to say love your article and totally agree with your assessments. I wouldn’t even watch the new Anne with an e cause of how bad i heard it was/ how far it derived from the original and how much agenda/stuff they pushed that had nothing to do with the books. Personally I’d watch the Kevin Sullivan/Megan follows one anytime. I loved the Ann/Gilbert story and all the original characters.

    1. Thank you. I really do think you can skip the Anne with an E version…sometimes people feel like they “have” to watch something because of the source material or because everyone’s talking about it. But you’re right, what you heard as far as its portrayal of the book is sadly accurate!

  16. The Netflix version of Anne is an abomination. Incorporating lesbianism into a classic and wholesome story is evil. I will not beat around the bush with fear of offending people. Anne with and “E” is a Trojan horse targeting children!

  17. I actually don’t mind the Anne with an E version. I read a lot of negative reviews on the show, so I wasn’t going to watch at first, but during lockdown, I was bored so I gave a chance. It’s definitely not the same as the books but it didn’t annoy me as much as I thought it would either. I enjoyed it. I can understand why fans growing up with the books didn’t like it though.

    I have been trying to find the 1985 version for free, but I think I’ll just have to pay for it but it’s worth it. I loved the book as a kid and I annoyed my family with how much I watched the movies. I wish I still had them. I just found the whole book series on Amazon kindle cheap. I’m going to check out the animated series after reading your reviews.

    I just watched the 2016 one and I didn’t like it, but I thought it looked beautiful. It’s how I found this site. I was looking for reviews on it to see others views on it. The actress was adorable though, and I think she could do well in other movies.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with Anne with an E! It’s good to have things balanced around here. I can see how some viewers would like it (even if I am one of the people who didn’t)!

      I’ve never found the 80s version for free except at the library.

      I love Ella Ballentine’s smile! I will certainly look for her in other movies and shows.

  18. Thank you for the very helpful review.
    My favorite acting in the anime is Mr. Phillips. Yes, I am a bit strange.
    Mr Phillips’ voice was a little funny. Did Anne dislike Mr. Phillips until the end? I wanted to see a little more about the development of the relationship between Anne and Mr. Phillips.
    And Mrs. Lind is also a favorite. I think the actor is acting very nicely as a friendly lady next door. Of course the rest of the cast is fine.
    Anime is great, but not perfect. I think it has some drawbacks.
    The place and the people surely look like an island in Canada, but the gestures are arranged in a Japanese style. (Bowing, walking, etc.)
    I’ve always been concerned about this. I would have been more glad if there was no such arrangement.
    And this is an English novel. I love English sounds, so I wanted to enjoy the English version as well.
    But I didn’t enjoy it very much. There is a considerable difference in quality, so I will definitely compare them. I may not have been so worried if I was just watching the dub version from the beginning. Is there no other English version?
    Even if these weaknesses exist, it is a loss to pass them.
    Because this is a wonderful work of art left by Montgomery. And skillful craftsmen decorated it beautifully.
    (My excuse. This is a Google translation.)

    1. There is no other dubbed English version of the anime that I know of. I did notice some mannerisms that I thought might be Japanese, like the
      slight bowing, but found it rather charming. It didn’t feel out of place because people had better manners back then anyway, it seems! About Mr. Phillips…if I remember correctly from the book Anne never comes to like him or have a rapport, but in the end she does feel a bit of sympathy for him.

  19. I am a big fan of Anne, mostly because I relate a lot to her love for stories and imagining things. I’ve read all the books but I had not watched any of the movies. I did watch the anime series on cable TV as a kid. It was one of my favorite anime shows, alongside ‘Princess Sarah’ (based on A little princess). I even used to play-pretend as one of those characters sometimes.
    I did watch Anne with an E, and I watched it twice because I really liked it. I respect your opinion about how it is not something Anne fans were expecting and that a lot of people would be disappointed, but I heartily disagree with your rating for it, so I must defend it. Admittedly, it is a very different version and doesn’t derive much from the books, but it is in no way intolerable (like so many commenters here are claiming). It is a modern take on Anne, and it has to be judged individually, not compared to something from ages ago. I tried watching the older movies and none of the actors came close to how I pictured the characters reading the books. The actors from Anne with an E have done an amazing job. My favorite is Thompson as Matthew. Amybeth was a little too loud as Anne, but it went well with the adaptation.

    Further, I’ve noticed among several reviews that it’s the older viewers complaining that the show is ‘too dark’ or ‘pushing an agenda’. The Gen X and Y are mostly are not happy with this show, but Gen Z loves it.
    Since I fall between the millennials and Gen Z, I consider this a very thought-provoking series made for young adults, I’d say for above 14-15 age. If you haven’t noticed, the kids these days are no longer ‘kids’. Social media and politics are already a huge part of their lives and this show is in no way explicit like people claim. Periods or LGBTQ+ is no longer considered a non-kid topic, and I think people complaining about the show are not okay with kids learning of these things, rather than the show itself, but these issues are very real, and they were real in Anne’s era. They were just unspeakable back then. They aren’t unspeakable anymore and we need to stop making a big deal about them.

    1. Hi June,

      I’m so sorry it took me this long to reply…hopefully you will still see this! I replied in my head and then forgot the next time I was at my laptop! I’m always glad to hear from Anne fans that DO like “Anne with an E,” because it gives an alternative perspective and proves that the books can mean different things to different people.

      There does seem to be a bit of a generation gap effect going on with Anne with an E, although not as much as I at first thought! I’ve heard from so many other millennials like myself who didn’t like the show. But you are so right that the material in Aw/E isn’t going to be explicit for your average teenager these days. And ultimately I believe the show was made for them…for Gen Z. Not Millennials or Gen X fans, although we’re the ones writing articles on it(:

      Speaking of articles, this one from Vanity Fair captures my thoughts pretty well!

      What it boils down to for me is the fact that this just isn’t a true adaptation of the books. It feels over the top, not just in trotting out as many Issues as it can cram into each episode, but even in its supposed-to-be heartwarming moments, like Anne and Marilla sitting shoulder-to-shoulder after people are mean to Anne, or Anne and Matthew playing at fisticuffs. I think those scenes were meant to make the show go down easier for crotchety fans like me, but they had the opposite effect in my case because it wasn’t believable for how I read those characters! Which again, just goes to show how differently a book can be read, depending on the reader!

      Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts on the show!

  20. How did you feel about Anne 3: The Continuing Story? I hated it! While I enjoyed seeing Megan and Jonathan Crombie together again, I hated the story. If you’d read the books, much of what happened in the movie happened to Anne’s youngest daughter Rilla. Anne was an older lady with seven children by the time this timeline came about. She never went to war and there was no Dominic. I don’t know what the filmmakers were thinking, or Megan. For folks who had been precious with LM’s material, this movie felt like they were making a movie of the week. I can never watch it without cringing.
    By the way, I agree with you about Anne with and E. Great casting, especially considering the actor who played Mathew also played Jasper Dale in the series Avonlea (which I also loved) but the themes they touched on were far too modern for me to enjoy it.

    1. I actually haven’t watched The Continuing Story, only read a synopsis! But I think it was a wasted opportunity. ): Kevin Sullivan worked himself into a corner, I suppose, because when he made the first Anne film he advanced the historical period from the late 1800s (as it is in the book) to the early 1900s. So by the time Anne grows up in the movies it’s WWWI…whereas in the books, like you point out, it’s Anne’s children going to war, not her and Gil. Still, Kevin Sullivan could’ve redeemed the situation by NOT making a war movie, and just filming Anne’s House of Dreams, you know? Or he could’ve tried his hand at the Emily series.

  21. I love this post! It has totally encouraged me to watch the 1935 and 1975 adaptions… still, no weird Japanese cartoons for me. I was a little disappointed with your review of the Sullivan films… you didn’t do them enough credit. They are PERFECT!!!!!! Although I looooove the books and miss the characters that didn’t make it on screen, those Sullivan films truly couldn’t have been better. As for the 2016 film, it is pathetic and cheesy. And Gilbert is AWFUL. But the worst by far is Anne with an E (thank you for the bad review you gave it) It is dark, disgusting, and horrible in every way. Just bad trash.

    Anyway, aside from the point. Just reiterating that the Sullivan story, actors, music are the best and nothing else is truly worth watching (except on interest) I don’t intend to ever replace my love for the Sullivan films.

    1. Yes! The Sullivan films are very special, and a singular, hard-to-replicate gift to fans. But because of the deep respect, understanding and appreciation the Japanese filmmakers show to Anne and to Prince Edward Island, I’m afraid you’re shortchanging yourself by passing up the anime version! Kevin Sullivan made cartoons of Anne, too, but I’m afraid his are more in the “weird” category, whereas the Japanese anime is art!

  22. This is a wonderful and comprehensive list, thank you! But I have to disagree on one point – which seems to be the most disputed here too: I LOVED ‘Anne With an ‘E’’.
    The series is what got me to read the books (however surprising that may sound)! Like many, I stopped watching it after the first episode because I felt it was far too boring. Two years later I picked it back up, having seen some promotional images for the 3rd (and, terribly sadly, the final) season.
    And I couldn’t have loved it more.
    The romance between Gilbert and Anne kept me watching, but I quickly realised that I loved every aspect. From every character and every relationship (all of which had depth and incredible emotional impact) to the cinematography and the score – I thought everything was magical.
    I can, however, see why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I admit, there were a few plot lines (though I didn’t know they were deviations to the novels at the time) that didn’t land – the fake gold plot in the second season comes to mind. However, they were overlook-able for all the wonderful additions that made up for it – Aunt Jo’s lesbianism and the addition of Cole’s character were particularly heartwarming. Jerry and Sebastian too, who I only found out when I caught up with my reading weren’t in the books, became two of my favourite characters!
    Many changes were made, and for those truly loyal to the source material I can understand why it might deter you from the series. But the darkness in ‘Anne With an ‘E’’ is balanced by the light – to quote from the show itself, “Those of us who can soar to the highest heights can also plunge to the deepest depths.” “It’s a balance.” “It’s the beauty of it.”
    I missed the stories so much after the show ended that only then did I check out the source material – and I obviously I fell in love with it too! The books were so different (and honestly, so much more wholesome) but I appreciated them and the show in very different ways. I’m currently watching the Megan Follows films and absolutely adoring them as well.
    I think I’m just an Anne fan, a kindred spirit, really. I’ve loved every part of Green Gables so far and I would encourage everyone to go into each medium with an open mind and accept that they won’t all be completely loyal to the source material – and that that’s not always a bad thing! I would truly, from the bottom of my heart, recommend watching this series. It’s 3 seasons, 27 episodes and approximately 20.5 hours long, after a gut-wrenching and outright idiotic cancellation, and it has made its home in my heart soundly.

    1. Thank you for that eloquent testimonial for Anne with an E! You have a unique perspective as someone who watched the show without prior conceptions of Anne and her world. Welcome to Avonlea! Really, regardless of what we Anne fans like or dislike about various film adaptations, Montgomery has given all of us a gift we can treasure in common with those books! And I think you’ve convinced me to give the series another try, too(:

      By the way, if you think about it, Jerry is in the books, but as a minor character. He’s Jerry Buote, who works with Matthew since Anne is “not a boy.”

  23. Thank you for the warm welcome! 😀 It’s wonderful I’ve convinced you to try it again, that’s all I could ever ask! Please do reply to my comment again if you see a new side to the show – or even if you don’t, I’d still love to hear your opinions on it and how they differ.

    I do remember now that Jerry is in the books too! I think I just imagined he was a new addition because, if I recall correctly, he doesn’t get one line in the books, sadly. Plus the show changed his surname so I probably got a bit confused haha!

    Thank you again for taking time to read over my comment and even re-investing in AnnE. Love atour website!

    1. I will reply here! But just to warn you, it might be a while because my “to watch” list is almost as long as my TBR! I have a couple of other shows I need to finish first! Thanks for encouraging me to try it again.

  24. What I hate most about the Good Star version was the uncharacteristic Matthew Cuthbert portrayed by Martin Sheen. I bet it was Martin who demand those extra lines because Matthew was the least spoken character in the story. Simply have no respect for the original work. Kevin Sullivan’s version was the one that hooked me into the original literature, and with the exception of the anime, was by far the best adaptation of the first book with the best cast. Watching the making of the film shows how much love and respect they have to the original work; both by the crew and the cast.

    1. Yes, Martin Sheen’s portrayal was one of the big strikes against that version for sure. I’m glad Sullivan stuck to the book and characters so well with his intro film. And nice to hear someone else has seen the anime!

  25. I was very pleased to discover your list and really have enjoyed going through the comments; and I have a couple of my own.

    Your note on Barbara Hamilton was something I was not aware of, but she was also the original Marilla in the musical version of Anne of Green Gables in Charlottetown, and can be heard on the very rare Original Cast Album. I am hoping that a copy of the BBC “Anne of Green Gables” will eventually be found. As much as “Anne of Avonlea” was obviously produced on a shoestring, I really enjoyed it.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to interview Kevin Sullivan for “The Whispered Watchword” a girls series book collector’s journal in the early 1990’s. This was after the sequel but prior to “…the Continuing Story”, which I have a copy of but will not watch. At the time was almost sure he would not be producing a third series because Megan Follows was afraid of being type cast and was all “Anned out”. This is why Follows did not return for the Marilla’s death episode of “Road to Avonlea” after Coleen Dewhurst passed away.

    I also specifically asked him why he did not follow book by book through the series instead of a mashup of three books. He felt, although I thoroughly disagree with him, that the remaining books were too episodic to make a full 6-8 hour series. What has always been odd to me is the amount of “Anne of Windy Poplars” he used. While I love the book, next only to Anne, it is considered in the academic community to be the weakest of the nine Anne books because it is an epistolary novel, which is one of the reasons I loved it. If you did enjoy any or all of the Sullivan films, you should try to find a copy of Lantern Hill from 1990. It is an adaptation of Montgomery’s “Jane of Lantern Hill” and is also quite good.

    As for “Anne With an E” I understand why a lot of Anne fans did not enjoy it. If you wanted the books represented on screen, then you can begin and end with the first two Sullivan versions. However, I did like it very much. It referenced a much more real world feel than the Sullivan movies or the books. A major example of this is the trauma that Anne exhibited from her time in foster homes. It seemed to me it gave a little more of an explanation as to how she could turn out as she did with the life she had lived.

    There were part I definitely did not enjoy; all of episode 2 and Matthews’s reaction to the financial problems ( I will not spoil it for anyone who has not yet seen the show). I am also not sure how Montgomery would have reacted to Sebastian, Oqwatnuk and even Jerry as she was very conscious of class and, if not race, at least ethnicity.

    Quickly in reference to the Emily Series it strayed farther and farther from the books as it went along (in all of the movies I have seem I am not sure there has been a more physically miscast actress than the young girl who played Elsa), but it was filed on the Island and, for the most part, was made up of PEI actresses and actors.

    Now I have to find copies of “Akage no An”

    Once again, thanks for the ranking!

    1. Wow John, thank you so much for your comment, and for adding all this insight to the Anne lore! I’m fascinated to hear that Megan Follows wasn’t planning to act in another Anne film. While I can imagine not wanting to be typecast, it really is such a gift to fans and future generations when actors and actresses continue to reprise beloved roles. I’m reminded of David Suchet, who acted out all of Christie’s Poirot stories, and the children (now adults) who kept coming back for Harry Potter. Too bad that when Follows at last decided to play Anne again, it was Sullivan who disserviced the fans after all with his apocryphal story!

      Thank you for asking Sullivan about mashup approach. I think all of the books are pretty episodic, so I don’t see how that would’ve been a problem! One of my favourite quotes from the Anne series describes the books themselves. Anne says: “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” The books are full of episodes–these pearls–of small-town dramas and “mundane” life, and for me they’re enough of a world to escape into without needing to add gold rushes or people falling through the ice or any of the other antics the less-faithful adaptations have gotten up!

      I was aware of the Jane of Lantern Hill film, but I haven’t seen it. The preview I watched looked like it added in some ideas from Emily of New Moon, which turned me off a bit, but I will try and hunt one down! I also plan to finish the Emily TV series, although I was having some trouble accepting pretty much all of the child actors! Perry was okay, although not quite like the book. Emily and Ilse and Teddy were hard to watch!

      Akage no An is so, so good. Enjoy that! Let me know what you think of it.

  26. I loved reading all of these comments. Totally agree with you about “Anne with an E”. I also felt if the writers and producers wanted to tackle these issues, why cannibalize a classic to do it?

    At any rate, I will be looking at The BBC series.

    Although slightly off topic, I would love if someone would make a movie based upon The Blue Castle!

    1. Mmm, Ilana, YES! What untapped gold we have there with The Blue Castle!

      I really feel like the makers of Anne with an E could’ve done an original period drama a la Downton Abbey. Something with a historical setting, that tackles issues we face today that may have surfaced in unique ways “back then”–and that could’ve still been immensely popular (Downton Abbey was!) without needing to borrow all the names and places from Montgomery. But the filmmakers forgot to ask me. (;

  27. When I was in late grade school I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables and read all the books I could get my hands on that L. M. Montgomery wrote. I was also adopted and felt out of place in the world. Reading about Anne gave me the idea that I could be some good to my small world too. Always loved stories that have a country feel to them. Good many of the movies that tried to capture Anne of Green Gables came short to me, but again I don’t think movies can do great justice to any books because we all have different ideas and limited to reality. However, I do love Kevin Sullivan’s first two movies of Anne (the last two movies not loyal to the story of Anne, but pretty good movies by themselves). 1975 BBC Anne of Avonlea I only discovered it recently when I saw it in the public library. I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. The other adaptations of Anne I have not seen the whole thing, but just the little I did I am not really interested in taking the time to watch them. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and it is so nice to hear that there others who love L.M. Montgomery books just as much if not more as me.

    1. Thank you for sharing what Anne means to you! Also, I’m glad your library had a copy of 1975 Anne of Avonlea. It’s definitely harder to find!

  28. I came here after finishing Anne of Windy Poplars, in search of adaptations of the whole book series before I start Anne’s House of Dreams.

    The only adaptation of L.M.Montogomery’s books I have seen is Anne With An E and I am so thankful I saw it more than 4 years after I read Anne of Green Gables as I was not bothered by it not respecting the book, but also because it made me search for the rest of the series and buy it so I can re-read it.

    In my opinion, AWAE has the best cast of all AoGG adaptations, most actors resembling the way I pictured the characters when I was younger and read AoGG for the first time. Although it doesn’t follow the book, and puts a modern spin on the books, it has its own magic and it really shows Avonlea and Green Gables (the places, not the people living there) the way they felt like (at least for me). AWAE is definitely not for a very young audience (I’d say the person watching it should be at least 13-14 years old), it has its beauty with all the themes it touches.

    On the other hand, AWAE has moments (especially in season 1 and the beginning of season 2) which I wish that weren’t there (spoiler alert and triggger warning: suicide mention; but here are the moments: Anne being sent away from Green Gables after she lost Marilla’s brouche, Matthew trying to commit suicide, Jeanie and Matthew becoming -sort of- love interests, Anne being bullied by almost everyone and the gold storyline) because they were unnecessary and did not really fit with Anne’s story, even if it was a retelling of the books.

    While not accurate to the books, it still has the same message as the books. It introduces us to new characters that I am still sad that aren’t in the books (like Bash and Mary or Jerry as an important character) and it discusses topics that were definetely important back then, but just weren’t talked about.

    I respect your opinion on it, however, and I am so thankful you wrote this article because I really needed to know what adaptations there are for this book series. I would also like to apologise for any mistakes in this comment, as English isn’t my first language.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the Anne books and your thoughts on AWAE. The cast of AWAE did a really good job, and I thought that the child actors were great, even those with minor roles. I’m sure that can be a challenge when your cast includes so many young people. I think when I give Anne with an E another try (and I do plan to), I’ll watch for other things. My first go I was really just paying attention to how it aligned with the narrative and the tone of the books, but I’d like to take a closer look at other elements, like the locations and sets they crafted.

      I hope you love Anne’s House of Dreams…that’s one of my favourites in the series! I love how the sea comes into play so much more in that book, and carries through into the later books some as well.

  29. Thank you for your reviews. I watched the “new” adaptation on Netflix with anticipation and was so disappointed that a story so wonderful was turned into a dark tale to promote so many questionable situations and poor choices. So far from the original story and characters. Stopped watching it was so awful. Very sad!!! I will try one of the others you mentioned. Thanks again!

  30. Thank you so much for this list. I have all the Anne of Green Gables (must be the 1985-1987 ones) on VHS but have been looking at Amazon as a source to buy them on DVD. The comments on Amazon are confusing me and it sounds like they have cut out a lot of the original episodes so I don’t know which would be complete sets. We have taken in 12 foreign exchange students over the years, all girls, and we watched all of our VHS tapes with them. They all went back to their countries having fallen in love with Anne of Green Gables.

    1. Yes, as John says here in the comments it would be best to get the DVDs directly from the Shop at Sullivan website, to make sure you’re getting the full material.

  31. Sheryl,

    You can get all of the various 1985-87 films in CD or Blue Ray direct from Sullivan Films. They are priced a little on the high side, but all different variations are available, along with other series and movies they produced. You can find them at

  32. My family started our “Anne” journey by watching “Anne with an E” – the latest Netflix production which earned such a poor reviews here. Then my wife and son refused to watch other Anne movies because they didn’t want to spoil their impressions! We absolutely loved Anne with an E and were so sorry that the show had been cancelled. Amybeth McNulty is a wonderful actress. We watched Anne with an E without trying to compare it to anything. We evaluated it on its own merits.
    My wife had read “Anne of Green Gables” prior to watching the Netflix series but I hadn’t so it was my first experience with Anne. Then I read the books (listened to audiobooks, actually) and watched the 1985 and 1987 mini-series.
    I loved both the Netflix series and the 1985/87 series. Anne is different but utterly lovable in both. I understand that Anne purists may have been incensed at the deviations from the book and the infusion of the Netflix series with modern themes. I do not find these deviations the least troubling. It’s almost like there are different Annes and different plots. I love them all. The 1985-87 mini-series also deviate from the books but I have no problem with that. Hey, if I want the book, I read (or rather listen to) the book. I was interested to see what the 1985-87 series creators did with the plot and I think they did a great job.
    I look forward to watching the previous years’ adaptations too. If they are different – so much the better! My best wishes to all Anne fans!

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  34. I just finished the Netflix series! I enjoyed it and am disappointed that the show is cancelled. That being said, I had never heard of Anne of Green Gables before- so I’m so curious to how I’m going to feel about the shoe after I read the books! And perhaps even watch the other adaptions. Staring with the first book tonight. I appreciate this post, thank you! 🙂

    1. I hope you are enjoying the books, and I think that’s absolutely wonderful that the Netflix series inspired you to read them! A lot of us who grew up reading the books first or watching the 80s miniseries were very surprised by the Netflix show, but I know that I for one ought to be more grateful that it has introduced new audiences to the books I love! Enjoy!

  35. Thank you for putting this list together. I just finished reading the series and loved them! Now I am looking for a good movie of it because I’m not ready to let them go. ;). I came across your list and am so thankful for it. I was having trouble sorting through all the versions out there and wasn’t sure how they followed along with the books. Thank you for putting this together to help with that.
    I am also wondering if you’ve seen the pbs mini series. I came across that and it looks well done and I know pbs has done several quality shows but I’m just wondering if you’ve seen it and if you have, what your thoughts are before I possibly buy it.
    Also, I have to agree with your opinion of the Netflix version. I tried watching it before I read the books and hated it. It actually turned me off to the books. I am not a fan of the unrealistic interpretation they created. I did end up reading the books because a lady I know was talking about her trip to PEI and I decided, ya know, this is a classic,I should at least be familiar with it. So glad I gave it a try!

    1. I am so glad that you gave the books a try anyway, and that you loved them! Think how you would’ve been missing out if you hadn’t given them a try! Also, I know exactly what you mean about wanting to watch a movie after reading a book…it does help to keep you in the story a little longer! The PBS one is the version I reviewed above called L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which was a three-part series (part 2 is The Good Stars, part 3 Fire and Dew). It’s very family-friendly and actually seems geared more towards younger children. I thought it was fine, just rather bland. It has a few odd/silly changes, like Gilbert having red hair. I would check it out from your library first before buying. (On the other hand, I thought the PBS-distributed version of Little Women was excellent, and I liked it even better than the recent big-screen version!)

  36. I love the Anne books and enjoy the Sullivan movies more than any of the others. Also very much enjoyed the Sullivan „Road to Avonlea“ series, though it was an adjustment to having Anne with blonde hair, I thought the actress portrayed Anne‘s character well and the stories, while not all ones I remembered from the books, seems in line with the ones in the Anne books and others by LM Montgomery. ☺️

    1. I have not seen all of Road to Avonlea, but I’ve seen a number of episodes and would love to watch them all in order! I believe that the main character (the blonde-haired girl) is not Anne but is in fact Sara Stanley, another of Montgomery’s heroines that appears in the books The Story Girl and The Golden Road. The Road to Avonlea series includes characters and materials from those books, as well as other Avonlea-set short stories written by Montgomery.

  37. I found this post when searching for different versions of Anne movies. I did not know about some of these versions, specifically the older series. I have seen the 1934 version, along with its sequel, as a young child, before Sullivan’s versions were released. I tried watching Anne with an E, but turned it off partway through the first episode because I felt like I was cheating on Megan Follows’ version of her. I will always and forever compare every Anne film to Megan’s performance in Sullivan’s 1985 version. It captured everything magical about the books and I wore out our VHS recordings of that and the 1987 sequel. Everything you said about the sequel is exactly how I feel. It was so different, yet absolutely perfect and enjoyable to watch.
    The score is still my favourite soundtrack. The theme was the song I walked down the aisle to for my wedding.

    1. Oh, I love that! My sister-in-law had the Anne theme at her wedding, too, and I thought ‘what a good idea!!’ I have so many precious memories of watching the Sullivan Anne films at my grandparents’ house, and birthday parties, and with college hallmates. Such treasures!

  38. I am by NO means an expert on this timeless classic but I plan to be as I have loved it since childhood and was recently gifted a set of all eight books from my father! As a part of the younger audience (18 years of age, going on 19) entering the fandom, I love Anne with an E. It is of course completely understandable that those who grew up with the books and the adaptations that stayed true to the books would dislike this modern take but, I personally think it works (I’ll have to update when I become an expert though). I had a similar experience with Little Women actually. I just love when radical characters are written to be even more radical. Greta Gerwig did a better job with staying true to the books of course and she simply gave Louisa May Alcott the justice she deserved but I get that same radical feeling with modern Anne. I think I simply enjoy how they included trauma, abandonment issues, the various difficulties of navigating social life, made Anne so much more ADHD-coded etc. I suspect I have ADHD (currently getting tested for it) and so many aspects of her are relatable. The entire series makes me feel so seen in so many ways. And I actually think it *is* quite child friendly (depending on how young the child is of course). I think it could act as a gateway to learn about feminism, racism, independence, bodily autonomy, different cultures, empathy, the LGBTQ+ community and more. It makes me feel every single emotion man is able to experience which enables me to forgive the fact that it doesn’t stay true to the novels (I will admit, I felt quite betrayed when they struggle with their finances and when there was no sinking boat).

    1. Well, from one Anne fan to another, welcome to Avonlea! I hope you fall in love with all of the books as you read more and more! It is so interesting to get to see what Anne is like as a young adult and as a “middle-aged” mother with a brood of Blythe children! As a matter of personal opinion, I don’t typically like it when filmmakers take an already-radical, different-from-people-around-them character to an extreme or fit them to a modern ideal. I’d rather see how that character or situation was radical for its time. As modern viewers, we’ll automatically compare that to our own world and culture, but the real magic is being able to experience and empathize with a time, place, and people different from our own. Also, although it’s wonderful that Anne with an E has brought in more awareness to Montgomery’s books, I can’t help but wonder if the people who loved the show will be very disappointed when they discover that many of the issues and situations included in it aren’t found in the books.

  39. Seeing lots of little mistakes in my comment that I spent ages writing and just realised that it is 02:43 in the morning. Thank you for making this Anne of Green Gables adaptations guide, I will be back!

  40. Didn’t trust it until now, but look forward to seeing the Anne anime. They did a lovely job with Emily. The Japanese FEEL L.M. Montgomery’s soul.

  41. Dissapointed. The anime is terribly dragged out slow…should have known with World Masterpiece Theatre. Anime Emily is so much better. My Daddy Long-legs anime is wonderful, but such perfection is horribly rare.

    1. How many episodes have you seen so far? I agree, it is very slow at first. But please don’t give up! It is worth it! I love how they age and mature the characters over the course of the season, and how it is so faithful to the book, with specific lines and little details. And beautiful scenery!

      I’m glad to hear the Emily series is so good! I wasn’t able to find those episodes for free anywhere, but I will look again. Did you find them on Youtube?

  42. Some site specifically for anime. I forget what it was called. They were for free. I was so exited when I found they had captured the spirit of the book!

  43. Dear Tea and Ink Society,

    I must say, your article on the best Anne of Green Gables movie had me immersed from start to finish! As a devoted fan of the classic tale, I admire your comprehensive analysis and thoughtful comparison of the different film adaptations. Your insights shed new light on each movie’s unique strengths and make it easier for fans like me to choose which version to rewatch.

    The way you delved into the performances, the cinematography, and the overall essence of each film truly showcases your expertise and passion for storytelling in cinema. Your attention to detail and ability to capture the true spirit of Anne’s character in each interpretation is remarkable and greatly appreciated.

    Thank you for providing such an engaging and informative piece that allowed me to relive fond memories and discover new perspectives. Your dedication to discussing the best Anne of Green Gables movie is evident, and I am certain that many other readers, just like me, will benefit from your informed recommendations.

    Warm wishes,

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