Search - Tales from Avonlea - Beginnings on DVD

Tales from Avonlea - Beginnings
Tales from Avonlea - Beginnings
Actors: Zachary Bennett, Mag Ruffman, Jackie Burroughs, Lally Cadeau, Cedric Smith
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television
NR     2004     6hr 9min

Experience all the charm of a homespun saga as TALES FROM AVONLEA takes you on enchanting journeys of unforgettable trials and triumphs. In this soul-stirring collection, Sara Stanley comes of age in an all-new environment...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Zachary Bennett, Mag Ruffman, Jackie Burroughs, Lally Cadeau, Cedric Smith
Creators: Nicholas J. Gray, Noella Nesdoly, Paul Quigley
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Family Films, Television
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 03/02/2004
Original Release Date: 01/07/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 01/07/1990
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 6hr 9min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Sort of a greatest hits of "Avonlea" from seasons one & two
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Tales from Avonlea: Beginnings" is a mixed bag, with the good news being that you can get the eight of the first sixteen episodes from the first and second seasons of the beloved series (I got the Disney channel just to watch it), but nothing else in this stripped down DVD. Based on characters featured in "The Story Girl," which was author Lucy Maud Montgomery's favorite novel, and its sequel "The Golden Road," the series also adapted tales from two collections of short stories known as the "Chronicles of Avonlea." The eight episodes provided are:Episode 1.1, "The Journey Begins" tells how young Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley) is shipped off to her late mother's relatives on Prince Edward Island when When her father is threatened with financial ruin. Sara arrives in Avonlea with her Nanny Louisa is tow, only to meet up with the formidable King family, headed by the imperious Aunt Hetty (Jackie Burroughs), who also happens to be the local school teacher. Episode 1.6, "The Proof of the Pudding" finds Felicity in charge of her siblings when Alec and Janet go to Charlottetown to celebrate their anniversary. Sarah is added to the mix when Aunt Hetty goes to visit the Governor's office to prevent an over-zealous lawyer from denying the King's water rights to the local pond. Actually it is sawdust that ends up in the pudding and the woman who shows up at the King's farm is not the tone deaf Great Aunt Eliza but Agnes Leslie, the wife of the Governor.Episode 1.3, "Quarantine at Alexander Abraham's" is one of the best adaptations of a Montgomery short story. Mrs. Rachel Lynde (Patricia Hamilton) is put in charge of the boy's Sunday School class and when she finds the young boy who work's Alexander Abraham's farm has gone truant, she heads out to save the boy's soul. However, everybody involved is in for a big shock when they all end up in Abraham's home only to discover he has been quarantined because of the small pox. Episode 1.4, "The Materializing of Duncan McTavish," begins when Sara asks Marilla Cuthbert (Colleen Dewhurst) "Did you ever have a beau?" Having endured a lifetime of slurs because she never did, Marilla defiantly declares "I had one once" and weaves a fantasy about her beau Duncan (because it is her favorite name) and McTavish (because she sees an advertisement for McTavish Porous Plasters). Of course, who should arrive in town but Duncan McTavish himself and Sara Stanley knows Fate has brought the two former lovers together again. Episode 1.11, "The Witch of Avonlea" is about Peg Bowen (Susan Cox), who lives in the woods smoking her pipe and doing whatever she wants with no concern for what the good folks of Avonlea think or say. When Felix King (Zachary Bennett) finds himself unable to spell anything during the class spelling bees because he is so afraid of Aunt Hetty, his nightmares convince him she might be a witch. So he goes off to visit Peg, who gives him a "magic" stone to give him confidenceEpisode 1.13, "Nothing Endures but Change," finds that Blair Stanley, Sara's father, has been acquitted of the scandalous embezzlement charges that forced him to send his daughter to live with her mother's relatives on Prince Edward Island. Blair arrives in Avonlea ready to take Sara back to Montreal, at which point everyone of Sara's King relatives absolutely freaks, especially Aunt Hetty, who announces she will not give the child up to her father. Sara wants to say goodbye to all her friends and attend the upcoming skating party she has been looking forward to, but her father wants to get out of Avonlea and as far away from Hetty as quickly as possible. Sara cannot abide the thought that two of the people she loves most in the world cannot even talk to each other civilly, and so she hatches up a plan to force their reconciliation. Episode 2.2, "How Kissing Was Discovered" begins Great Aunt Eliza (the real one) coming for a visit and turning the King household upside down. Meanwhile, Alec discovers that playing cricket is not as easy it was when he was a younger man and Felicity has her eye on a young cricket player on the visiting team. After all, she is now all grown up and has decided it is time to receive her "first kiss." However, Sarah and Felix have made a new friend in Gus Pike (Michael Mahonen), a young sailor recently arrived in Avonlea and looking for work. Alec lets Gus stay in his barn and while Felicity will not give the boy the time of day, it is clear that he finds her rather interesting. Episode 2.3, "Aunt Hetty's Ordeal" begins the pivotal relationship between Gus Pike and Hetty King begins. Given how Hetty treats Sara, Olivia and everybody else in the extended King family, you have to worry about poor, uneducated Gus. The problem is that everybody in Avonlea knows to take Hetty King with a grain or salt. But Gus thinks everything Aunt Hetty says is carved on stone tablets and when Hetty makes a heated offhand remark to the young man it has significant repercussions. Gus had been a minor character in previous episodes, and "Aunt Hetty's Ordeal" is where he starts becoming more important to the show in general (and Felicity King in particular). This is also the point where Hetty King, who tended to be a bit insufferable for my money, started to thaw, because the big difference between Gus and Sara, is that Gus is not family and Hetty ends up opening her heart to him. Granted, these are probably the better half of those first sixteen episodes. But the legion of fans for "Avonlea" would be better served by having each season available on DVD and they may well hold out for that then pick this up."
Complete seasons found!
M. E. Volmar | 04/28/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"For all of those who would like to see complete seasons of Avonlea, I have found them! Released through Sullivan Entertainment, you can go to and purchase the first three complete seasons of Road to Avonlea on dvd. Not only are all of the episodes included, there are also bonus features, such as bios and behind the scenes. I have also found these dvds on ebay, where you might be able to purchase them for less. Hope this has been helpful!"
Quality of DVD leaves much to be desired...
vigilant_wolf1 | Wisconsin, USA | 04/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I was thrilled to find out the television series "Avonlea" had finally be released on DVD in the United States. I was very disappointed to discover that Disney was the one releasing it, however, and not Sullivan Entertainment. Instead of the complete first season on DVD, only eight episodes from the series are available. Disney really ought to reconsider bringing out a complete first season set of the series. I, for one, wouldn't mind spending a little more money to have ALL of the episodes instead of just eight. Another thing I was very disappointed with was the quality of the DVDs themselves. The disc art is great, but the menus on the disc are absolutely horrible. No care was taken into putting them together at all. All-in-all, I'm glad to have at least some form of Avonlea on DVD, but Disney should've taken more care with such a splendid series. Let's hope they fix this if they plan on having future releases of the series. Major fans of the show really ought to consider buying the show on DVD from Sullivan Entertainment's web site. They offer all the episodes from the first three seasons in three sets, complete and uncut. Yes, it's a lot pricier, but at least you get the whole package. If I had the money right now, that's definitely the version of "Avonlea" that I would be purchasing..."
The first 8 episodes of "Road To Avonlea".
James McDonald | Southern California | 10/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Tales From Avonlea" is the DVD set for the Disney Channel tv series "Road To Avonlea" (1989-96). This two-sisc set is a collection of the first eight episodes that originally aired January 1990 through December 9, 1990. "Beginnings"
Blair Stanley (Robert Collins) has just come back from his trip and his little girl Sara (Sarah Polley) is so happy to see him. Suddenly, Mr. Stanley receives the bad news that he is under house arrest for a financial matter. he must protect Sara at all costs during this ordeal. He sends Sara to her mother's side of the family on Prince Edward Island to Avonlea. On the train with Nanny Louisa (Frances Hyland) she meets a boy, Andrew King (Joel Blake). When Alec King (Cedric Smith) arrives at the Bright River train depot to pick them up, he notices that Andrew and Sara are indeed cousins.
At the King home, they meet their new island relatives, Alec's wife Janet (Lally Cadeau) and their two children, Felicity (Gema Zamprogna) and Felix (Zachary Bennett). The King children do not take to kindly to Sara and Andrew. The Kings just simply so not have room for Sara and her well-to-do nanny. So they recommend that they stay with Hetty (Jackie Burrough) and Olivia (Mag Ruffman) on their farm at Rose Cottage. Sara's time at Rose Cottage is an emotional one due to the separation from her dad and her nanny. However, her mother is buried there and her mother's piano is there and she has her mother's side of the family to be blessed by. It is here in beautiful Avonlea Sara must stay until her father's trial is over. Indeed her father will return.
The story of Marilla Cuthbert (Colleen Dewhurst) also continues. Now that Anne (not in this series) is already out in the world, Marilla still stays close to Green Gables. She is known as "the soul of honesty" and love happens to come her way.

In this series, you will see many familar faces from the "Anne of Green Gables" movies.

Total running time: 6 hours, 36 minutes. (VHS and DVD).

The complete First Season of "Tales From Avonlea" will be available on DVD, November 8, 2005.

A heavily condensed, shorter version of the "Road To Avonlea" tv series, mostly concentrating on the story of Sara, is titled, "Road To Avonlea". Running time: 99 minutes on DVD."