This week marks the 60th anniversary of the gem of a film: Pollyanna. This movie is not only important because it introduced the world to the majestic Hayley Mills, but it is based on a novel that introduced the world to the glad game.
Published by Eleanor H. Porter in 1913, Pollyanna has been a lasting classic ever since. The term “being a Pollyanna” entered the public zeitgeist not long after publication either – and is still used today. D23 this week is celebrating Pollyanna culminating in a special talk between Leonard Maltin and Pollyanna herself, Hayley Mills on Friday, May 22 at 4 pm PST on their website or social media platforms.
Also, all week D23 is going to be following along with what you are glad about by playing the glad game and using the hashtag: #D23GladGame. If you’ve seen the movie or are familiar with the book, you already know how to play. If not, here are the instructions from Pollyanna. (Text borrowed from an article written in 1931 for the Launceston Examiner about a women’s club who would meet to play the glad game and help others.)
“‘Why, we began it on some crutches that came in a missionary barrel,’ was how Pollyanna explained the glad game to the inquiring Nancy. ‘You see, I’d wanted a doll and father had written them so; but when the barrel came the lady wrote that there hadn’t any dolls come in, but the little crutches had. So she sent ‘em along as they might come in handy for some child, sometime. And that’s when we began it. The game was to just find something about everything to be glad about–no matter what ‘twas. Why, just be glad you don’t need ‘em.’”
Even in hard times it’s fun to be a “Pollyanna.” Let’s all play along with the glad game and spread a little gladness. I’ll go first. I’m glad for lots of time for kitty cuddles from my little fur face Oswald (even if it means his fur is literally in my face).
As an added bonus here is an article from 1960 about the release of Disney’s live action movie to get you ready for the D23 watch party on Friday.