Parent reviews for The Secret Garden | Common Sense Media

Perfect for anyone age 10+

My age 10+ recommendation is based on children understanding some of the serious themes presented in the film. There is absolutely nothing at all objectionable in this film, it’s perfectly safe for children, age 10 and up. The story of the film is written from the perspective of a 10 year old girl.

“The Secret Garden”, 1993, is simply one of the most charming, heartwarming and beautiful films I’ve ever seen, of any genre.


The story is set in early 20th century England and concerns the plight of a recently orphaned 10 year old girl named Mary,

sent to live with her uncle in a rural castle. Mary was neglected by her parents and has become selfish and bitter.

She discovers and befriends her unknown cousin of the same age living in the castle.

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The maturity, wisdom and intelligence of the story in “The Secret Garden”, 1993, make it appropriate and enjoyable for a wide audience age range. I haven’t read the original story it’s based on. Like most adaptations, there are are some minor changes to the characters and story. These minor changes are all done with good taste.

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The film begins gloomy, tragic, sad and moves at a slow pace, with special moments throughout, eventually building to an impressive, heartfelt climax. For those with patience, you will definitely be rewarded intermittently throughout the film and especially at the end.

This is an art film drama, not your typical “popcorn entertainment” Hollywood style film. It’s a film best appreciated by sensitive, intelligent adults and children.

It’s simple story touches on mature, important and serious themes, such as life, death, healing, acceptance and friendship.

The beautiful cinematography and music score are impressive and effectively contribute to the story telling of the film.

Time lapse photography adds an effective touch to the nature aspect of the story. Children used to high tech visual effect filled, action packed movies might become a little bored by the film.

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Polish film director Agnieska Holland shows she has just the right touch (sensitivity) to tell this story very effectively, connecting meaningfully with children and adults.

Highly recommended.

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This title contains:

Educational Value

Positive Messages