When it comes to revisiting movies from your childhood, Netflix is the place to look. The streaming service has a knack for finding those movies from your youth that, while they were so important at the time, you might not remember to even look for as an adult. Now, Bustle can exclusively reveal that, in September, Netflix will be streaming The Secret Garden. So, now you can relive this underrated '90s gem all over again. (For more titles hitting Netflix in September, tune into Bustle's Facebook Live reveal on Tuesday, Aug 21 at 3:15 p.m. ET. And, check back on Wednesday, Aug 22 for the complete list of movies and shows coming to Netflix in September.)
This 1993 movie is one of a few adaptations of Francis Hodgson Burnett's novel by the same title, but it's one of the most iconic interpretations, and arguably captured the magical story better than any other. The film follows newly orphaned Mary Lennox, whose parents died in an earthquake in India. So, she returns to England to live at her uncle's manor. When she first arrives she's not agreeable and makes it clear she doesn't want to live there — that is, until she makes unlikely friends and discovers a beautiful locked garden that belonged to her late aunt.
The movie's cast wasn't exactly filled with major stars, but the most recognizable face, Maggie Smith, was perfectly cast as the curmudgeonly housekeeper Mrs. Medlock. She's a mean guardian, and when she's sick of yelling at Mary for exploring the household, she encourages her to play outside. That's where Mary finds the garden, which has been abandoned since her aunt passed away. Kate Maberly captured Mary Lennox's sadness (and sometimes brattiness) well, and even though she's initially unlikable — you definitely ended up rooting for her in the end. When you watched as a kid, the secret entrance to the garden, hidden in bushes and locked with a key, seemed infinitely magical, and soon you can relive that magic again on Netflix.
Even though this movie was released in 1993, the production actually holds up and doesn't feel dated. It was shot in the English countryside, and the locations and costuming make the story more believable. For anyone who is a fan of shows like Downton Abbey or the Harry Potter films for their scenery, it's definitely worth revisiting this movie. The whimsical 1901 setting alone is enough reason to revisit the film.
The Secret Garden is an old movie, set in an even older time period, but the friendships in the story still feel relevant. Mary befriends Dickon, the brother of a maid, and her cousin Colin, who has been led to believe that he is sickly and who is afraid of the world outside the manor. The three friends venture into the abandoned garden and bring it back to life. These scenes were everything to a kid. Mary, Colin, and Dickon hang out and talk to animals, plant colorful flowers, and conduct a magical ceremony to try and bring Mary's uncle home from abroad. When you were younger this all seemed magical and dream-like, and rewatching the film now, those nostalgic feelings should likely reappear.
For anyone hoping to revisit an iconic film from the '90s, this adaptation of The Secret Garden makes it a secret find of its own. Check it out on Netflix in September.