an avonlea christmas

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HistoryMiner
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by HistoryMiner » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:03 pm

Timothy wrote:I think Sullivan wanted the big dramatic payoff at the end though where Felix miraclously returns, and that unfortunately meant that he had to be missing in action for most of the movie. I thought he later rehashed this dramatic scene concept in Anne3, where Gilbert is thought to be missing behind enemy lines.
I think you are right about Sullivan wanting Felix's return to be the big climax, with the viewer not knowing if he were dead or alive (though I personally found the "surprise" return too brief to be moving). Thus, they couldn't even show Felix's "journey" back to Avonlea. It would also have begged the question as to why Felix wasn't able to get a message home, unless he had amnesia, or was too injured, which would not have been satisfying to watch in any case. And they probably wanted to avoid having too many sets to build. One way of using Felix would have been a series of flashbacks as each character recalled their "last" moments before Felix left for the war. Though that could easily have been hokey and cheesy, and it would require that Felix's MIA status be a stimulus to the other characters, making a choice or taking an action which they might otherwise not have if Felix had not been missing.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by Timothy » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:35 am

Those are good ideas and I agree that Felix's return was too brief. I always felt that something was missing at the end to explain what happened to Felix and/or Elbert; or at least Felix could have had some lines of dialogue. If he was too shellshocked or injured from the war to speak, then perhaps it could have been suggested/hinted by one of the other characters. It just felt awkward that he was involved in the main plot but had no lines at the end.

Here's another idea. I wonder if originally Gus Pike was supposed to be missing in action? (Provided that his eye sight would have been restored by that time--on TV it's possible :) ). It would have given Felicity a stronger role, where in HCMK she seems lost in a pointless subplot. It would have somewhat mirrored what Sullivan later did in Anne 3 when Gilbert went missing. I tend to think this may have been the original script plot; and when it wasn't possible with budget cuts and Mahonen leaving, Sullivan replaced Gus with Felix in HCMK and expanded on the concept in Anne 3.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by felicity18 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:11 am

First of all I do agree that the return of Felix was the big climax of the movie. I also agree that Felix's return was brief, as true as that statement is, however the scene of his return does not fail to move you. Every time that I watch that scene it never fails to moves me to tears. It is one of the most touching scenes in the movie. The abscence of dialogue for Felix at the end of the movie, does not bother me at all. Notice the look on his face in the scene where he reunites with Janet and that same look when he's at the table, you could see the pain in his face and eyes. In my opinion, people have to realise that Felix went through a tramatic experience and to me its not suprising that didn't talk about it.

I really love An Avonlea Christmas and I watch it every year during the holidays. Its one of my favorite holiday movies. However, I do agree that the movie didn't really help to answer our questions about the characters of the show. It also added more questions and I didn't feel like anything was resolved in the story. But its a great story.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by Shelly » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:40 pm

Timothy wrote:Those are good ideas and I agree that Felix's return was too brief. I always felt that something was missing at the end to explain what happened to Felix and/or Elbert; or at least Felix could have had some lines of dialogue. If he was too shellshocked or injured from the war to speak, then perhaps it could have been suggested/hinted by one of the other characters. It just felt awkward that he was involved in the main plot but had no lines at the end.
Save for the two he had when he got home and reunited with Janet.

I love that scene so much. That said, it was brief. I wish it were longer. I wish we learned of Elbert's outcome. I wish we knew for certain why Felix's right arm was in a sling. Hrm...
Tim also wrote:Here's another idea. I wonder if originally Gus Pike was supposed to be missing in action? (Provided that his eye sight would have been restored by that time--on TV it's possible :) ). It would have given Felicity a stronger role, where in HCMK she seems lost in a pointless subplot. It would have somewhat mirrored what Sullivan later did in Anne 3 when Gilbert went missing. I tend to think this may have been the original script plot; and when it wasn't possible with budget cuts and Mahonen leaving, Sullivan replaced Gus with Felix in HCMK and expanded on the concept in Anne 3.
I've said for years I think the "Anne-going-to-look-for-missing!Gilbert" storyline was better suited to Felix and Izzy. I'm not sure it'd work with Gus and Felicity. (That said, either way... "Return to Me", anyone?)

MM noted at AvCon 2004 Gus was originally going to be the one to deliver the news re: Felix to Alec and Janet. I like to think that, after that, Gus would want to help locate him. Maybe he would've gone off to do so?
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by Timothy » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:26 pm

Shelly wrote:(That said, either way... "Return to Me", anyone?)
You're right come to think of it. I knew I had seen the plot for Anne3 somewhere before.
Shelly wrote:MM noted at AvCon 2004 Gus was originally going to be the one to deliver the news re: Felix to Alec and Janet. I like to think that, after that, Gus would want to help locate him. Maybe he would've gone off to do so?
Thanks Shelly. That really makes me wonder what the producers had planned for Gus (and Felicity). Perhaps your suggestion about Gus going to find Felix is something that Sullivan considered. Again, too bad we don't have the original script.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by weatherman15 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:14 am

I've been away for a while, finishing my master's thesis, and this looks like a good place to jump back in!

I do have to agree that An Avonlea Christmas has several great moments, primarily dealing with Janet, Alec, and Felix. Aside from Felix somehow jumping from the Navy to the Army, the continuity in the characters is really well done! Janet behaves in exactly the way we would expect. When she worries about Felix, you see the same concern on her face that we saw when she worried about Cecily. The same could be said for Alec. Though this storyline was the best part of the movie for me, I think it could have been strengthened further by adding Izzy into the story. This would have not only added more weight to the concern for Felix, but it would have also furthered the Felix/Izzy story, which was sorely needed in season 7 of Road to Avonlea.

The rest of the movie just didn't seem to do much of anything to me. Olivia returns, but without Jasper. Now, I know that R.H. Thomson probably wasn't available, but I wish they could have come up with some other reason for his absence. I don't like Hetty's old opinion of Jasper being dragged back out, because toward the end of the series, Jasper does prove himself to become much more competent in his own way. For instance, running the Cannery and taking that job as a professor. Hetty's biggest criticism was that he didn't take care of his family financially. But in this movie, that just doesn't seem to be enough for Hetty.

Hetty's whole ordeal of trying to brown nose famous actors is not surprising considering the evolution of her character in the series. However, in this movie I think it's just a little over the top. Then Hetty ends up in the hospital. It does well in causing Hetty to change her way of thinking (if only for a little while, e.g. Momento Mori), but I'm not sure it was very well done. I don't like Arthur Pettibone being the doctor in this, considering he was going to be a vet. If they were going for a familiar face, they should have put Dr. Snow there. At least Dr. Snow is a person doctor. If they really wanted Arthur in the story, they could have done it elsewhere.

As a final point of criticism, and I won't go into much detail because it has been a few months since I've watched it last, I really wish Felicity would go ahead and make up her mind on what to do with her life. I know that it's realistic for a person to go back and forth on what they should do, but if Felicity keeps this up, she's going to be an old women still pondering her future. It's okay for her future to be uncertain with the closing of the foundling home, but I think that after her experience with the foundling home that she would be inclined to go ahead with teacher's college and teach children. Now, I seem to recall that Felicity did take that as an option, but was unable to do it financially. I could be wrong, I'll have to re-watch it. But this seems to be the clear-cut direction for Felicity.

I'm glad that we do have something to give us a glimpse of the King family after the end of the series. However, I wish they had waited just a bit to do this so they could secure more of the characters we would want to see, such as Jasper and Gus. And speaking of missing characters, here's a rhetorical question... If Sara has been in Europe (as we know from the last two seasons of RTA) why doesn't anyone seem to have any concern for her since a good deal of WWI was fought in Europe? Now, as I said, it's been a while since I've watched it, so the details are a bit fuzzy, so if they did make mention of Sara, feel free to correct me! :wink: Nonetheless, it would have been nice to see Sara in this epilogue movie as well.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by Shelly » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:17 pm

weatherman15 wrote:It's okay for her future to be uncertain with the closing of the foundling home, but I think that after her experience with the foundling home that she would be inclined to go ahead with teacher's college and teach children. Now, I seem to recall that Felicity did take that as an option, but was unable to do it financially. I could be wrong, I'll have to re-watch it. But this seems to be the clear-cut direction for Felicity.
She went to the orphanage to look for a position there, met the little deaf girl Alice and became inspired to become a teacher for the deaf, given there were none on PEI. She eventually opted to take sign language classes by correspondence as: 1) she didn't want to be away from home; and 2) she just found out she was pregnant.
weatherman15 also wrote:And speaking of missing characters, here's a rhetorical question... If Sara has been in Europe (as we know from the last two seasons of RTA) why doesn't anyone seem to have any concern for her since a good deal of WWI was fought in Europe? Now, as I said, it's been a while since I've watched it, so the details are a bit fuzzy, so if they did make mention of Sara, feel free to correct me! :wink: Nonetheless, it would have been nice to see Sara in this epilogue movie as well.
Only Felicity mentions Sara, but she's recalling a memory of her with Felix when they were younger. No one mentions Sara in the context of her being in Europe during the war. It's something that miffed me quite a bit. You'd think they'd show at least some concern for her well-being.
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by weatherman15 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:52 am

She went to the orphanage to look for a position there, met the little deaf girl Alice and became inspired to become a teacher for the deaf, given there were none on PEI. She eventually opted to take sign language classes by correspondence as: 1) she didn't want to be away from home; and 2) she just found out she was pregnant.
Thanks for clearing that up! As I said, it's been a while since I've watched it! :D

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by hannikan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:54 am

Timothy wrote:Those are good ideas and I agree that Felix's return was too brief. I always felt that something was missing at the end to explain what happened to Felix and/or Elbert; or at least Felix could have had some lines of dialogue. If he was too shellshocked or injured from the war to speak, then perhaps it could have been suggested/hinted by one of the other characters. It just felt awkward that he was involved in the main plot but had no lines at the end.
Yeah I do think Felix was too emotional to talk at the end of the movie. Janet was, as well, and we all know she's usually not at loss for words. I think the return is very moving. Considering how long the mail would have taken from the front, Felix probably just beat the letter notifying that he was returning. But I do think the end of the movie is rushed, from the point of Hetty's surgery (which is the most awful part of the movie to me-the weird hallucination scene) on. But it wasn't bad because of Arthur's involvement, that was the only redeeming quality, IMO. If it had been Dr. Snow it would have been way too close to Memento Mori. If they were going to use a different doctor, should have been Dr. Jones. But Arthur worked nicely, I thought. It makes sense that during WWI he would transition from being a vet to being a human doctor. He would have had much more job opportunities as a doctor during WWI. I think they should have mentioned earlier in the movie about Elbert's fate. Sandwiching it in between Felix returning and Hetty's speech would have been very strange. I think Alec should have been sent to deliver the care basket to Elbert's mother, not an unknown family, as the way to tell us.
Timothy wrote:Here's another idea. I wonder if originally Gus Pike was supposed to be missing in action? (Provided that his eye sight would have been restored by that time--on TV it's possible :) ). It would have given Felicity a stronger role, where in HCMK she seems lost in a pointless subplot. It would have somewhat mirrored what Sullivan later did in Anne 3 when Gilbert went missing. I tend to think this may have been the original script plot; and when it wasn't possible with budget cuts and Mahonen leaving, Sullivan replaced Gus with Felix in HCMK and expanded on the concept in Anne 3.
I don't like the idea of Felicity going though Europe searching for Gus because it would be far too much like the end of the series. Plus it was Felix who had joined the Navy in enough time to be in England when the war started and be available to join the ground troops. It would have been a completely different timeline for Gus to have joined the Canadian forces and get to Europe (like Gil and Fred do in Anne 3). He would have been gone much longer (even if he was injured) and the movie would have had to cover a longer timeframe. I do think it was originally going to be Izzy looking for Felix and then that idea got transferred to Anne 3. Felix still might have had a small role if the movie focused on Izzy looking for him. Probably the climatic ending would have been finding him and bringing him home. Esp if it was only an hour long. Given that they had a small budget, had to use limited sets from WAMB and didn't have Heather Brown or Michael Mahonen willing to be in the movie, a longer sweeping piece was not possible. The story they gave Felicity was good they just dropped it at the end of the movie. She would have fought Mrs. Potts to get the foundling home back and we should have seen that. I would have preferred seeing that than Felicity filling in for Hetty in the Christmas recital. I think that Felicity should not have said she was trying to sort out her future because that did make it sound like she was still a teen and takes Gus out of the picture. Any decision she's making needed to include Gus. In that discussion it seemed like the writers forgot she was married to Gus! That line should have just been cut. Hers and Gus's life was likely to always be in flux given his disability, caring for and helping to place so many children in homes. Showing Felicity learning to become resilient and flexible was important and continues the development of her character; it doesn't make her go backward.
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by StoryJan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:42 pm

It seems many of us agree that Happy Christmas Miss King leaves a lot to be desired. If KS could take it back, would you want him to? In other words, is a bad RTA reunion better than no reunion at all? There are parts of the movie I enjoyed, but for the most part, I wish he would have left the series alone. "So Dear to My Heart" was a perfect ending. All of the main characters were there. Everything ended on a high note. For me, there were just more minuses to "Happy Christmas Miss King" than pluses, and I thought the magical quality the original series had was completely missing. I've had a hard time putting my finger on exactly what rubs me the wrong way about this movie, but to me, it doesn't seem like RTA at all. Almost like Disney creating a Snow White 2.

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by hannikan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:56 pm

You can never go backward, only forward. Hence a 2nd reunion movie is in order IMO. I think there would be lots to work with... I came up with 150 pages worth myself... 8)
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by janbo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:46 am

I watched the movie yesterday, for the very first time...

I liked the fact that I saw them again in stories I didn't see before.. and I really feel nostalgic about RTA watching this movie..
Still, There are a lot that I didn't like in HCMK !
Gus wasn't there ! Sara wasn't there ! Petibones weren't there ! Lot of them missing...
It was sad to see Hatty and Olivia are still fighting over the same thing like always... I thought Hatty changed ! Some RTA episodes ( Momento Mori, So dear to my heart, .. ) shows us that Hetty's character and her view of life are changing and developing.. But after that, she goes back to what she was.. It leads me think that she will probably still unlike Jusper and have the same fights with Olivia in the future...
Hatty having surgery, Felicity doesn't know what to do in her life, Olivia and Jusper problem - We saw that before !
It surprised me Daniel look so different then he looked in RTA episodes ( they should have find more similar boy to play Daniel )..
We didn't see the normal Avonlea village... Many houses and places were new and never seen before.. Was that because KS didn't make Avonlea houses for this film ???? Or many new houses were build for those 2 years ( I don't believe it ) ???

It was sad nobody mentioned Sara ! They didn't mentioned her after she left for Paris.. at least they could say something, so we know what's happening with her in Paris ... Felix was back and it was all... He didn't say a single word in this movie ... Where are Pettibones ???? :(

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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by Shelly » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:41 pm

janbo wrote:We didn't see the normal Avonlea village... Many houses and places were new and never seen before.. Was that because KS didn't make Avonlea houses for this film ???? Or many new houses were build for those 2 years ( I don't believe it ) ???
After RTA ceased production in late 1995/early 1996, the outdoor "fronts" -- save King Farm (which is an actual house) and, I think, the church that served as Avonlea Presbyterian -- were destroyed; after seven years, they were in a pretty bad state, to my understanding. The exteriors for HCMK were filmed largely on Sullivan's backlot, which was also used for Wind at My Back and Anne 3.
Where are Pettibones ???? :(
Most of them were in Halifax (see Hetty's comments to Arthur when she runs into him at the party in Charlottetown).
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by hannikan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:08 pm

Shelly wrote:
janbo wrote:We didn't see the normal Avonlea village... Many houses and places were new and never seen before.. Was that because KS didn't make Avonlea houses for this film ???? Or many new houses were build for those 2 years ( I don't believe it ) ???
After RTA ceased production in late 1995/early 1996, the outdoor "fronts" -- save King Farm (which is an actual house) and, I think, the church that served as Avonlea Presbyterian -- were destroyed; after seven years, they were in a pretty bad state, to my understanding. The exteriors for HCMK were filmed largely on Sullivan's backlot, which was also used for Wind at My Back and Anne 3.
The Pinegrove Village church that served as Avonlea Presbyterian is still there and is still a functioning church near the property and house used as King Farm. I've seen it in person 1.5 yrs ago, so I know. The interiors were from the WAMB set but a lot of the exteriors representing the town were filmed at Pickering Museum Village. The General Store was filmed there unlike during the series. The interior of the church in this movie was from a hall at Pickering. There are pictures of the museum village here and you will recognize some places from HCMK/Avonlea Christmas:
http://avonlea.hu/fans/avcon/avcon2007/ (click on Pickering)

http://greengables.tripod.com/locations.html
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Re: an avonlea christmas

Post by widmannjm1 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:43 pm

I was trying to remember do they mention what has become of Davey and Dora in the film? I assumed Rachal was still living at Rose Cottage with Hetty so where were the kids?

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