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Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

Group Members: Matt Handley

All Music Guide:

Pollyanna came to prominence in Australia in the mid-'90s with their brand of noisy indie guitar pop, reminiscent of Sugar or Happy Days-era Catherine Wheel. Formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1993, the original Pollyanna lineup was Matt Handley (vocals/guitar), Maryke Stapleton (bass), and Serge Luca (drums). Their first EP, FordGreenSilverRocket, released in October 1994, was largely ignored, although their second EP, Junior, was picked up by Australian radio after its release in February 1995, largely due to the track "Pale Grey Eyes."

Their first full album, Long Player, appeared in early 1996, and received good reviews for its guitar-driven pop. Several tracks became alternative radio staples and one single -- "Lemonsuck" -- managed to crack the Australian mainstream charts. With this newfound success in mind, Pollyanna re-released the two early EPs on one disc entitled Junior Rock in November 1996. Following extensive touring, including support spots for the Australian leg of tours by Weezer, Paw, and Garbage, Pollyanna began work on their new album. During the recording of the album, Luca quit the group, and was replaced by Glenn Maynard, who had performed in Melbourne bands Have a Nice Day and Violetine. Accordingly, the band shifted base from Sydney to Melbourne at this time.

Pollyanna returned with Hello Halo in late 1997. While the album was not a huge stylistic change for the band, tracks like "Brittle Then Broken" and "Cooling Your Heels" showed that Pollyanna were capable of writing more than just straightforward guitar rock. Hello Halo received widespread attention and was greeted with good reviews.


Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook. Also, the subconscious bias towards the positive is often described as the Pollyanna principle. The book was such a success that Porter soon produced a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up (1915). Eleven more Pollyanna sequels, known as "Glad Books", were later published, most of them written by Elizabeth Borton or Harriet Lummis Smith. Further sequels followed, including Pollyanna Plays the Game by Colleen L. Reece, published in 1997.

Pollyanna has been adapted for film several times. Some of the best-known are Disney's 1960 version starring child actress Hayley Mills, who won a special Oscar for the role, and the 1920 version starring Mary Pickford.

^ "Pollyanna: Spirit of Optimism Born Out of War". NPR. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 

Plot summary[edit]

The title character is named Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna, but feels it is her duty to her late sister. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game," an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!"

With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt's dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. The Glad Game shields her from her aunt's stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to "punish" her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy.

Soon Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville's most troubled inhabitants to "play the game" as well, from a querulous invalid named Mrs. Snow to a miserly bachelor, Mr. Pendleton, who lives all alone in a cluttered mansion. Aunt Polly, too—finding herself helpless before Pollyanna's buoyant refusal to be downcast—gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else.

Eventually, however, even Pollyanna's robust optimism is put to the test when she is struck by an automobile and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn't realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she is told what happened to her. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly's house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she at least has had her legs. The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled.


"When you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will."

Although a quote similar to this was attributed to Abraham Lincoln and inserted by the director into the 1960 Disney movie version of the story, it is actually, as written here, from the original book and not attributed.

As a result of the novel's success, new terms were coined, e.g., the adjective "Pollyannaish" and the noun "Pollyannaism" to refer to a personality type characterised by irrepressible optimism evident in the face of even the most adverse or discouraging of circumstances. It is sometimes used pejoratively, referring to someone whose optimism is excessive to the point of naïveté or refusing to accept the facts of an unfortunate situation. This pejorative use can be heard in the introduction of the 1930 George and Ira Gershwin song But Not For Me: "I never want to hear from any cheerful pollyannas/who tell me fate supplies a mate/that's all bananas." (cf. song performed by Judy Garland in the 1943 film/movie Girl Crazy)

The word "pollyanna" may also denote a holiday gift exchange more typically known as Secret Santa. This term is used in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania. It can instead mean a gift exchange rotation in which several families each give gifts to one other family in the "pollyanna" each year. This is often done when siblings in a large family begin to have children of their own.

Pollyanna is still available in reprint editions. At the height of her popularity, Pollyanna was known as "The Glad Girl", and Parker Brothers even created The Glad Game, a board game. The Glad Game, a type of Parcheesi, was made and sold from 1915 to 1967 in various versions, similar to the popular UK board game Ludo. The board game was later licensed by Milton Bradley but has been discontinued for many years. A Broadway adaption was mounted in 1916 titled "Pollyanna Whittier, The Glad Girl". Helen Hayes was the star

Author Jerome (Jerry) Griswold analysed Pollyanna together with juvenile 'heroes' in several well-known children's books, e.g., Little Lord Fauntleroy, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Secret Garden from the era known as the Golden Age of Children's Books (approximately the American Civil War to World War I). With reference to the Theory of the Three Lives of the Child Hero, he posits that, in Pollyanna, clear oedipal tensions exist, albeit in disguised or projected forms, in the relationships between the child, her Aunt and the principal male adult characters, which are only resolved by the Aunt marrying Dr. Chilton at the end of the story. He calls Pollyanna 'a complex novel replete with disguises' and sees Pollyanna, not as a naïve child but, rather, as a gifted individual with the ability to direct her extreme optimism and good-naturedness (for the good) towards the manipulating of the negative, worldly, cynical or disillusioned emotions of the adults that inhabit her life.

"Glad Clubs" appear to have been popular for a while; however, it is questionable if they were ever more than a publicity gimmick. Glad Clubs may have been simply a means to popularize The Glad Game as a method for coping with the vicissitudes of life such as loss, disappointment, and distress. Nevertheless, at least one "glad club" existed as recently as 2008, in Denver, Colorado.

In 2002 the citizens of Littleton, New Hampshire unveiled a bronze statue in honour of Eleanor H. Porter, author of the Pollyanna books and one of the town's most famous residents. The statue depicts a smiling Pollyanna, arms flung wide in greeting. Littleton also hosts a festival known as "The Official Pollyanna Glad Day" every summer.

The celebrated American science fiction writer Ray Bradbury described himself as "Janus, the two-faced god who is half Pollyanna and half Cassandra, warning of the future and perhaps living too much in the past—a combination of both".

The video game series Mother features a song in every game of the series titled "Pollyanna (I Believe in You)". The song is a reference to the novel and a lyrical version produced and released on a soundtrack CD that reinforces the reference in the lyrics.

^ "Pollyanna (1960) - Quotes". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 October 2014. ^ https://www.epubbooks.com/book/392-pollyanna - chapter XXII - "When you look for the bad, expecting it, you will get it. When you know you will find the good—you will get that.... "^ pollyannaish and pollyannaism: same page of (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 06, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pollyannaish^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035942/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl^ Michael Quinion. "POLLYANNA". World Wide Words (Michael Quinion). Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-25. ^ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pollyanna-eleanor-porter/1100149807?ean=9781502383068 retrieved 6 March 2015^ http://www.museumofplay.org/online-collections/images/Z000/Z00016/Z0001697.jpg (c) - retrieved 6 March 2015. Marked as 'Free to Share and Use' by Bing Images^ http://gamesmuseum.uwaterloo.ca/VirtualExhibits/Whitehill/parcheesi/ - retrieved 6 March 2015^ http://ibdb.com/show.php?id=7167 - retrieved 6 March 2015^ http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/Mice_and_Men_A_Romantic_Comedy_in_Four_Acts_1000307548/61 - retrieved 6 March 2015^ Audacious Kids: Coming of Age in America's Classic Children's Books pub. Johns Hopkins University Press in 1992 - revd. edn. 15 Sept. 2014 - ISBN 978-1421414577 - retrieved 6 March 2015^ "The Pollyanna Glad Club". Archived from the original on August 20, 2009. ^ 2 (Littleton's Pollyanna Glad Days)^ Weller, Sam (Spring 2010). "Ray Bradbury, The Art of Fiction No. 203". The Paris Review. Interview (192). Retrieved June 7, 2012. ^ Gann, Patrick (2009-08-07). "Mother (2004)". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 

List of Pollyanna books[edit]

Glad Books[edit]
Porter, Eleanor H.Pollyanna: The First Glad BookPollyanna Grows Up: The Second Glad BookSmith, Harriet Lummis Pollyanna of the Orange Blossoms: The Third Glad BookPollyanna's Jewels: The Fourth Glad BookPollyanna's Debt of Honor: The Fifth Glad BookPollyanna's Western Adventure: The Sixth Glad BookBorton, Elizabeth Pollyanna in Hollywood: The Seventh Glad BookPollyanna's Castle in Mexico: The Eighth Glad BookPollyanna's Door to Happiness: The Ninth Glad BookPollyanna's Golden Horseshoe: The Tenth Glad BookPollyanna and the Secret Mission: The Fourteenth Glad Book [written out of sequence]Chalmers, Margaret Piper Pollyanna's Protegee: The Eleventh Glad BookMoffitt, Virginia May Pollyanna at Six Star Ranch: The Twelfth Glad BookPollyanna of Magic Valley: The Thirteenth Glad Book
Further sequels[edit]
Reece, Colleen L. Pollyanna Comes HomePollyanna Plays the Game


Adaptations1.1 1920 film1.2 1960 film1.3 1973 serial1.4 1986 TV series1.5 1989 film1.6 2003 film


1920 film[edit]
Main article: Pollyanna (1920 film)

The 1920 American silent melodrama/comedy film Pollyana starred Mary Pickford and was directed by Paul Powell. It was Pickford's first motion picture for United Artists. It became a major success and would be regarded as one of Pickford's most defining pictures. The film grossed $1.1 million (approximately $12,950,000 today).

1960 film[edit]
Main article: Pollyanna (1960 film)

A Walt Disney film Pollyana was released in 1960 starring English actress Hayley Mills in the title role (which made her a Hollywood star and led to a Disney contract). The 1960 film was shot at the McDonald Mansion (aka Mableton Mansion) on McDonald Avenue in what was then the small town of Santa Rosa, California. It was directed by David Swift.

The film was a major hit for the Disney Studios, and gave a tremendous boost to the career of Hayley Mills. It also marked the last film appearance of noted Hollywood actor Adolphe Menjou, who played the hermit-like Mr. Pendergast, who is eventually brought out of his shell by Pollyanna and her friend Jimmy.

The film was only somewhat faithful to the novel. One marked difference from the book (and the 1920 silent version with Mary Pickford) was the treatment of Pollyanna's accident. Originally, she is paralyzed when she is hit by a car, while in the Disney film, the accident occurs because she is sneaking home from a local festival she has been forbidden to attend, and falls when she tries to re-enter her room by climbing the tree outside her bedroom window. The characters have been altered; in the book Aunt Polly does not run the town and is hardly as ruthless or controlling. The town in the movie is named "Harrington", but in the book is called "Beldingsville". The idea of the orphanage and the bazaar with Dr. Chilton and the townsfolk opposing the charity of the rich are not found in the novel. This movie has Jimmy Bean in a far bigger role than the book does. Mr. Pendergast is Mr. Pendleton in the book, and has a whole other subplot and relationship with Pollyanna to go along with him. Additionally, the ending has been altered slightly; in the movie it is never made clear whether or not she is able to walk again (unlike the original book, the film never had a sequel).

1973 serial[edit]

The BBC produced a six-part TV serial in 1973 starring Colyton Grammar School pupil Elizabeth Archard as Pollyanna and Elaine Stritch as Aunt Polly. This was run on the Sunday tea-time slot, where they often ran fairly faithful adaptations of classic novels aimed at a family audience.

1986 TV series[edit]

Nippon Animation of Japan released Ai Shoujo Pollyanna Monogatari (The Story of Pollyanna, Girl of Love), a fifty-one episode anime TV series that made up the 1986 installment of the studio's World Masterpiece Theater, and had famous singer Mitsuko Horie playing the role of Pollyanna.

1989 film[edit]
Main article: Polly (TV)

There was also a modernized made-for-TV musical version made by Disney (originally airing on NBC) in 1989 with an African-American cast entitled Polly, which later had a sequel (Polly: Coming Home).

2003 film[edit]

A 2003 Carlton Television TV film version of Pollyanna starring Amanda Burton as Aunt Polly and Georgina Terry as Pollyanna is very faithful to the book, with one or two minor differences that do not affect the accuracy of the plot. It uses the original characterizations and storylines, but takes place in an English village rather than Vermont (only the scenery and accents show this—the town is still called Beldingsville). Like the book, it ends with Aunt Polly and Dr. Chilton married and Pollyanna walking, but the scene is the actual wedding with Pollyanna back for a visit rather than a letter as in the book.

^ American Experience | Mary Pickford | People & Events | PBS
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