August 1, 2011

from novel to movie

back in 2005, when i told my kids the premise of my story, my eldest son said, "if your book were a movie, i'd watch it."

to which i adamantly replied, "i don't want hollywood going anywhere near my book." after watching enough movies from books, i know better. granted, some have to be changed to work as movies, some are actually better (in my humble opinion), and some are awful.

as part of the Novel Films Blogfest at Scribble and Edit, i thought i'd not only list the movies from books i've read, but give you my quick opinion on which i preferred if they were different. (as a sidenote, when i looked at this list of novels that had been made into movies, i was very surprised. more than i'd ever imagined.)

Beauty and the Beast – this is my favorite Disney movie of all time and one of my very favorite stories. i much prefer the movie to the various versions of the story.

Ever After – this is my favorite telling of the Cinderella story

Batman – similar, like both

Spiderman – similar, like both

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – different, prefer the book

101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith – different, prefer the movie

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett – shared the same title, that was it. preferred the book

The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander – could have been better, preferred the book

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White – different, preferred movie

Congher by Louis L'Amour - similar, preferred the movie

Crossfire Trail by Louis L'Amour - different, preferred the movie

Eragon by Christopher Paolini – loved the first book, and except for the dragon scenes, hated the movie (what a waste of film)

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein – similar, preferred the movie

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien –haven’t seen the movie yet, but i like Peter Jackson's take on Tolkien, probably will be different

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg – very different, enjoyed both

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – similar, like both

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis – similar, like both

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – tried the book and couldn’t make it past the first page. love the movie

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – two very different stories, preferred the movie

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein – similar, preferred the movie

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Jane Austen’s books and I don’t get along, but i love the movies

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – see above comment

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – different, love the movie

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – different, prefer the 2nd movie version with Johnny Depp

Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss – preferred the book

Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss – preferred the book


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The entire LOTR series was excellent and definitely prefer it to the books. And who doesn't prefer the Dr. Seuss books over the movies? Cat in the Hat was a creepy and horrible film.

Tony Benson said...

I love the Princess Bride film. It's quirky and fun. I've not tried reading the book, but it was milling around somewhere low on my to read list. It might stay there for a while :-)

Great list. It's interesting to see your preferences.

Madeleine said...

Oh yes I'd forgotten about Dr Suess and Charlotte's web. Great list thanks for taking part :O)

The Golden Eagle said...

I haven't seen The Tale of Despereaux; just read the book, which is one of my favorites. I should get around to watching it sometime . . .

Great list!

Pk Hrezo said...

Michelle, good luck with your move to beautiful Montana! You are in for a treat.

Love your list! Beauty & the Beast is one of my faves too. I mean, what girl doesn't just love Belle. She's such a great character.

Francine Howarth said...


I'm with PK, loved B&B!

I've read a quarter of your list and seen the movies, but I'm still an advocate for books over movies. ;)


M Pax said...

Love Dr. Seuss and have seen the movies. Loved the Little Princess, too. And Willy Wonka.

kelworthfiles said...

Thanks for sharing. My list will be up later this evening.

If you get a chance, check out a fellow writer's zombie story and help me make him wear an embarrassing shirt next year! It's the ultimate grudge match between social media and the zombies. Details are here:

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Gosh, I almost never like the movies better than the book, but I'm satisfied when a movie does the book justice and many on your list do. Some of the later Harry Potter movies do justice to the books - when I saw the first one I was disappointed, but I just watched it again recently, and liked it better than I had before. Go figure.

Phil said...

I like your taste in movies! I love A Little Princess and Ever After.

Lara said...

Great list! I had the same feeling about The Princess Bride. How could such a great movie come from such a boring book?

And I agree with you about Jane Austen.

But Willy Wonka? Much as I'm a Johnny Depp fan, I'm too stuck on Gene Wilder's portrayal of WW.

T C Mckee said...

Great pics. I forgot about 101 Dalmations.

Arlee Bird said...

I must say that the film versions of Pride and Prejudice helped me appreciate the book much more and now I do like the book. But it was a chore to get through and I haven't rushed out to read anything else by Austen.

Tossing It Out

Jennifer Hillier said...

Yay, another Princess Bride fan! It's one of my favorite movies ever. Agree that the book plods a little in the beginning, but if you can manage to stick it out, it does get better and it's very, very funny.

Great list!

Margo Berendsen said...

So true about the Princess Bride! My first reaction is to say the book is always better, but that's not true. Sometimes they tighten up the plot or add funny touches to the movie versions... the one thing I don't like though is how they change your mental image of what the characters look like. The Lord of the Rings movies changed my mental image of Aragorn, not cool! But I loved Gandalf because they matched my mental image of him perfectly!

Glynis said...

Love the post. I like to read the book prior to the movie. For me it is to see the 'pure' work of the author.