We all know Anne Shirley, the pale-skinned girl with freckles, braided red hair and a lot of imagination.
Japan’s celebrated animator Hayao Miyazaki’s famous TV anime, “Anne of Green Gables,” is hitting the big screen this month, offering many Seoulites a chance to revisit the beloved literary character.
Based on Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 bestselling novel, Miyazaki, along with anime director Isao Takahata, created the 50-episode anime series for Japan’s Fuji TV in 1979.
|A scene from “Anne of Green Gables” (Early Bird Pictures)|
The show became a huge hit and was later exported to Japan’s neighboring Asian countries as well as Canada. In Korea, the animation was first broadcast through KBS in 1985, and was again aired in 1998 on KBS and in 2008 on EBS. On a recent survey hosted by Korea’s major portal site Nate, “Anne of Green Gables” was voted as the TV series that the participants wanted to watch again the most. Montgomery’s original novel also has been very popular in the country.
The novel and the TV series recount the adventures of Anne Shirley, a young girl raised in an orphanage. She is accidentally sent to Marilla and Matthew, middle-aged siblings living on Prince Edward Island, Canada, who had initially requested a boy to help them run their farm. While strict Marilla plans to send her back to the orphanage, shy and good-hearted Matthew quickly falls for Anne’s charm. The young girl is extremely talkative, eager to please and overly imaginative.
“But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne with an ‘e,’” Anne tells Marilla, after she refuses to call her Cordelia as she requested, as that spelling is “much more distinguished.”
While the original novel follows Anne’s journey after Marilla and Matthew eventually decide to keep her, the upcoming movie focuses on Anne’s arrival at the siblings’ house and how she gradually becomes an irreplaceable member of the family. The anime has been digitalized in the process of being converted into a film.
The film’s animator Miyazaki also has a strong fan-base in Korea. Some of his famous works include “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988), “Whisper of the Heart” (1995), “Imaginary Flying Machines” (2002), and “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004).
“Anne of Green Gables” opens in local theaters on Jan. 10.
By Claire Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)