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An Avonlea Christmas Movie Review

Updated on October 13, 2014

The King Family Is Reunited In This Heartwarming Film, An Avonlea Christmas

An Avonlea Christmas, also known as Happy Christmas Miss King, is a heartwarming drama, a family Christmas movie that centers on the reunion of the King Family at Christmas time. The setting is fictional Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, and the movie takes place in the period of World War I. An Avonlea Christmas is a follow-up movie to the very popular television series The Road to Avonlea. It takes off two years after when the series ended, providing a look at the lives of the characters in December of 1914.

An Avonlea Christmas is a tribute to the family matriarch of the King family, Hetty King. Miss King, often thought of as indomitable and intolerable, is forced to reevaluate what she has done in her life and her relationships with her family and friends. In doing so, she illustrates just how frail life can be and the importance of family. Fans of The Road To Avonlea shows will be pleased to know that almost all of the original cast returned as this Christmas movie stars Jackie Burroughs, Lally Cadeau, Mag Ruffman, Cedric Smith, Zachary Bennett, Molly Atkinson, Patricia Hamilton and Gema Zaprogna. This film originally aired on CBC television on December 13th, 1998.

Fans of Anne of Green Gables and the works of Lucy Maud Montgomery (L.M. Montgomery) will enjoy this movie, which is based loosely on the books by this beloved author. It is a moving family Christmas movie and is appropriate for all ages.

Click here to read more about An Avonlea Christmas on Amazon.

More About The Road To Avonlea Television Series

A Kevin Sullivan Production

Road to Avonlea was a television series set between 1907 and 1914 in fictional Avonlea that was shown in Canada and the United States between 1990 and 1996. It was created by Kevin Sullivan and produced by Sullivan Films with the CBC, Disney Channel, and Telefilm Canada. In the U.S., the series eventually became known as Avonlea and many parts of the series were renamed and reogranized. When the DVD of the series was released in the U.S., it was called Tales from Avonlea.

The show dealt with 11 year-old girl (Sarah Polley) being sent to live with two aunts and their relationships. Episodes made later in the series focused on the King family and Sarah Polley departed making only a few guest appearances in the last two seasons.

An Avonlea Christmas Setting in Uxbridge, Ontario

The Road to Avonlea and An Avonlea Christmas were filmed on a set in Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada. The town was created starting in the summer of 1989 on the former Robert Nesbitt farm lands using existing buildings. For instance, the house and the barn already on the property became the King farming buildings. All of the other buildings were fakes -- just fronts. Roads were painted red to look like the red soil of Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.). Actual scenes from P.E.I. were used where required. When the final season had been filmed, the set was demolished except for the original buildings.

Main Characters of An Avonlea Christmas - Jackie Burroughs, Lally Cadeau, Mag Ruffman, Cedric Smith, Zachary Bennett, Molly Atkinson, Patricia Hamilton and Gema

  • Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs) - Hetty is the stern, humourless schoolteacher and the matriarch of the King family.
  • Janet King (Lally Cadeau) - Janet is a loving and independent wife to Alec. She is mother to Felicity, Felix, Cecily and Daniel.
  • Olivia King (Mag Ruffman) - Olivia is the youngest of the King siblings. In the series she married Jasper Dale (who does not appear in An Avonlea Christmas.) In this movie she returns to Avonlea for Christmas with her children.
  • Alec King (Cedric Smith) - Alec is the farmer brother of Hetty and Olivia. He is the father to Felicity, Felix (who appears only briefly in this movie), Cecily and Daniel.
  • Felicity King (Gema Zamprogna) - Felicity is the oldest daughter of Alec and Janet. In An Avonlea Christmas, her husband Gus is away at war and she operates a foundling home. Gus does not appear in this movie.
  • Cecily King (Molly Atkinson in the movie) - The daughter of Alec and Janet, Cecily is the quiet, younger one.
  • Felix King (Zachary Bennett) - The oldest son of Janet and Alec, Felix's story is a central part of this show even though he appears only briefly.

An Avonlea Christmas (Happy Christmas Miss King) Movie Trailer

 

An Avonlea Christmas DVD

An Avonlea Christmas DVD
An Avonlea Christmas DVD

An Avonlea Christmas Movie Review

I enjoyed the movie; it was moving and at moments I fought off tears. Reviews that I read online were somewhat mixed. Some people were slightly disappointed with this production. Others, though, were glad to be reunited with some of the characters whom they had loved throughout the Road to Avonlea series. The biggest complaint, perhaps, was about the characters who were known and loved from the series who were missing from the movie.

Generally, I think there was a consensus that if you liked the shows, you will probably like the Christmas special and that having followed the series would be helpful in terms of explaining some of the points of the movie. I watched this movie before I watched The Road To Avonlea which is backwards, I know, although I had seen a couple of episodes many, many years ago when the show was being shown on television. I do not believe that seeing the series first is a prerequisite if you love these kind of family movies.

This film is appropriate for all ages and definitely for any and all who love the Anne of Green Gables movies and The Road To Avonlea series. This is a family movie that is great for all generations to watch together!

Amazon Customer Review:

"This is pure Avonlea. A delightful feel-good warm ending Christmas story for the entire family. It is beautifully filmed with the old country look that we all wish for our own Christmas times.

It is a war story taking place on the home front as boys head to war, and only some return. It has a Scroogie old lady school teacher, who learns at Christmas time that love of family is available and worthwhile. There are other individual struggles but as in all good "G" rated stories, all's well that ends well.

If hearing the name "Avonlea" congers up good thoughts, then you will enjoy this DVD to the max."

~~ Harold Wolf "Doc"

Wells, IN United States

"Insider Tip ~~

It was July when we shot this movie, so our cheeks are only pink because we were hot!" ~~ Mag Ruffman's website

© 2009 Treasures By Brenda

Have you ever heard of The Road To Avonlea? Are you a fan? - Please take a moment to stop in and say hello!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Our family loves this series. Wonderfully produced with loving care and always had a lesson at the end. Great actors. Just beautiful! I wish more series could be produced like this show. I miss shows that touch your heart and soul.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Yes. The movies and programs are always heart warming and moving. There is a sweetness about them that seems to be lost in today's film making.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I haven't watched the series, but this sounds like a wonderful movie that I would really enjoy. Thank you for the great review lens!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      I came from a state in Europe and I fell in love with The Road to Avonlea. I like it sooooo much, that i couldn't stop watching it. This serial was never performed in my country, i saw it once on an italian program (which for me is a foreighn television) and now, after 10 years i could manage to download it. It�s really great!

    • GypsyOwl profile image

      Deb Bryan 8 years ago from Chico California

      Beautiful Lens Brenda! Welcome to the Holiday Shopping Cooperative :D

    • Charlyjl profile image

      Charlyjl 8 years ago

      I love the Avonela movies, particularly this one. It is touching and so well put together. This is a great tribute.