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Children's Movies - Archive > Children's/YA Movies based on Books

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message 1: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments This was a popular thread in the past as people discovered some good must-see movies based on good reads. Please feel free to use this thread to discuss new and old movies that are based on books only (there is a second thread for children's movies only). In the past this thread was one that contained years worth of movies, however we can always define a movie with it's own thread as this is not a searchable field.


message 2: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Nov 23, 2013 06:35PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Just this weekend I watched "Pollyanna" on DVD, a version that was released in 2004 by WGBH, and was broadcast on Masterpiece Theater (so not the Disney/Hayley Mills version, which I also liked). I enjoyed this newer version very much; in some ways it was similar to the Disney version, and in some ways it differed. Very good acting as well.
Last weekend, my husband and I went to see "Ender's Game." I liked it a lot, though my husband was more reserved in his appreciation. I enjoyed the acting, the plot, and the wonderful special effects. I have never read the book, but now I will have to.
Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed "The Hunger Games," and I am planning to go see "Catching Fire" as soon as I can. Jennifer Lawrence was awesome as Katniss. I did read this series before the movies came out.
I love, love, loved the Disney/Walden versions of the Chronicles of Narnia that have come out in the past few years: "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," "Prince Caspian," and "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." The acting was good; Lucy was especially incredible. All of the costumes and CG creatures were fascinating. I read all seven of these books when I was in college.


message 3: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
We saw "Catching Fire" this past Monday. It was fantastic! Even better than the "Hunger Games." Great acting! And Stanley Tucci's (Caesar) 100-watt smile! The costumer should win an Oscar!


message 4: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) Beverly wrote: "We saw "Catching Fire" this past Monday. It was fantastic! Even better than the "Hunger Games." Great acting! And Stanley Tucci's (Caesar) 100-watt smile! The costumer should win an Oscar!"

Agreed, everything about it was awesome. Acting was first rate, costumes were perfect and they stayed true to the mood of the book. I enjoyed it very much.


message 5: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighb) I thought Enders Game was very good. It captured the book faithfully and the special effects and acting were first rate.


message 6: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Leigh wrote: "Beverly wrote: "We saw "Catching Fire" this past Monday. It was fantastic! Even better than the "Hunger Games." Great acting! And Stanley Tucci's (Caesar) 100-watt smile! The costumer should win an..."

I am glad that you enjoyed it too!


message 7: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments Saw Catching Fire this weekend, they did an amazing job! It was better then the Hunger Games. I also feel, that unlike the first one, you didn't need to read the book to understand the movie. Great casting and it was highly enjoyable. I'm a little disappointed that they are breaking up Mockingjay into 2 movies (one released in 2014 and one in 2015). I hope that they do as good of a job.


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5767 comments Mod
I just heard about a new version of Paddington Bear coming out next year. I hope it will be good. Colin Firth does the voice of Paddington and Hugh Bonneville is the father so it sounds suitably British ;-)


message 9: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
I just looked up the movie on IMDB.com. It is titled "Paddington" and coming out in December of next year. Yikes! How can I ever wait that long!! It looks like its going to be a great movie.


message 10: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 160 comments That sounds amazing. Also Waiting for Mr. Banks looks really good (does it go bad with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson?) not sure if that one belongs in this stream or the other but very excited to see it!


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5767 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to "Saving Mr Banks", too! I think it will be great based on the previews and of course with those actors in the leading roles I'm sure it will be well acted.


message 12: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I also am looking forward to seeing Saving Mr. Banks!


message 13: by Grace (new)

Grace (grace_steinbach) | 4 comments I love Pollyanna! I didn't know there was a newer version. I love the Hayley Mills version. Oooo I love Paddington Bear! :D And I am a huge Mary Poppins fan, so I really want to see Saving Mr. Banks too. It would be amazing to see the whole Mary Poppins series adapted into films! Maybe fully animated. I love the books so much, they are so imaginative!
One of my favorite films of all time is The Secret Garden (1993). The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful and the film captures a lot of the essence of the brilliant book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I love her book A Little Princess too but neither of the films satisfy me although they are both good. As a child I loved the Shirley Temple version. But a film adaptation has yet to capture the book's brilliance and essence for me. Both versions sway a lot from the book and I think Sara's character is yet to be portrayed accurately. I also love the tv film of Anne of Green Gables. And the 1994 film of Little Women. I like it better than the older versions. I want to mention a little known Canadian film called Paperhouse that is based on a book. I actually haven't read the book it is based on yet, but I really want to! It's called Marianne Dreams. It is a very interesting film I watched years ago. I loved The Fantastic Mr. Fox! I also love the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, even though it strays from the book. And of course I love The Wizard of Oz. :)
I was disappointed by Disney's Frozen because The Snow Queen is my favorite fairy tale and I was looking forward to a Disney adaptation of it.


message 14: by Grace (new)

Grace (grace_steinbach) | 4 comments Oh I also want to mention the Swedish 1969 tv series of Pippi Longstocking! :D She is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and the series is so fun. I also liked A Series of Unfortunate Events, and it's sad that they didn't turn the film into a series. The books are so witty and unique! They deserve entire films.


message 15: by Grace (new)

Grace (grace_steinbach) | 4 comments Some other good films worth a mention:
I was impressed by 'Hugo', which I enjoyed more than the book because it was more uplifting. I love the film of 'The Polar Express', I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. 'Where the Wild Things Are' is a very unique film that is special to my heart although it is a lot different than the children's book. I don't know if 'Stand By Me' counts as a children's film but it is a great film. I enjoyed 'Aquamarine' although it has a completely different atmosphere than the mystical book, I still just enjoyed it as a happy bright film. As a child I loved 'The Neverending Story' and I really want to read the book. One thing that I realized this year is that I do not like any of the 'Winnie the Pooh' adaptations. I would like to see a more quiet reflective version that captures the British essence of the books and the style of the original illustrations more. I remember enjoying Disney's 'Tuck Everlasting' although the book is much better. I enjoyed 'Bridge to Terabithia' and want to read the book. I enjoyed 'Coraline' and wasn't expecting to because the visuals and style seemed so different than the book, which I pictured as more Victorian. I watched 'So Dear to My Heart' this year, a sweet little film that is based on a book. Many Disney films are. 'Bambi' and 'Fox and the Hound' are both based on books and they sound so sad. :( A film I completely recommend is 'The Tales of Beatrix Potter', which is a filmed ballet! :D I adore Beatrix Potter and it captures the essence of the illustrations so well. Another good filmed ballet is 'Nutcracker:The Motion Picture' (1986), with set designs by Maurice Sendak! The Nutcracker is my favorite story and I am very critical of all versions of it. This version is beautiful with some unique interpretations. 'The Black Stallion' (1979) is another great film. I loved it as a child. One of my favorite films is the Irish 'The Secret of Roan Inish', which is apparently based on a book. I highly recommend it!


message 16: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Grace wrote: "Some other good films worth a mention:
I was impressed by 'Hugo', which I enjoyed more than the book because it was more uplifting. I love the film of 'The Polar Express', I was surprised by how mu..."


Wow! Thanks for all the film suggestions. I have seen most of the films that you mentioned, but not all of them. You mentioned "The Tales of Beatrix Potter" ballet film which I have not seen. But I have seen "Miss Potter" with Renee Zellweger, which I am not sure is exactly a children's film, but it was so good! I loved the way they brought her little animal drawings to animated life.


message 17: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 08, 2013 10:47AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7228 comments Mod
Grace wrote: "Oh I also want to mention the Swedish 1969 tv series of Pippi Longstocking! :D She is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and the series is so fun. I also liked A Series of Unfortun..."

It really is too bad that aside from the Pippi Longstocking series, none of the other delightful Swedish tv series based on Astrid Lindgren's books have ever been released (in dubbed versions) in North America (in English); at least not to my knowledge (I have watched and loved many of these series, including the Madicken (Mischievous Meg), the Emil, and the Noisy Village series dubbed into German, but have never found them dubbed into English). I wonder if part of the reason for this is the fact that in many of these series, there are scenes (totally natural, totally child-friendly) of brief nudity, children bathing, children swimming and the like, and if yes, it is really both sad and frustrating (and rather anally retentive and annoyingly puritanical).

I have to admit that having read Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) in German as a child, I totally despised the movie version because it basically only covered the first part of the book (and also was not all that close to the original plot). However, maybe I would be less critical today than when I was a teenager and angry at the fact that the movie strayed so far from the book and only covered the first half (the fact that I was really looking forward to the movie and was then disappointed by what I was being shown was/is also likely a huge part of my animosity towards the film version of The Neverending Story).

The movie version of The Black Stallion was another film I found rather disappointing, mostly again due to the what I considered unnecessary changes to the plot. I know a film based on a book is never exactly the same (and probably should never be exactly the same), but I still don't really understand why in the movie they had young Alec on a voyage with his father (and killed off his father) while in the book, he was travelling with an uncle (I guess the film producers thought that having the father killed while the son survived increased tension and emotionality, but I have always thought that it did not really fit and was just gratuitous). In my opinion, a much better horse movie based on a book is the "Black Beauty" version from the 90s (I think), the one that starred Sean Bean as the farmer/owner of young Black Beauty (not completely true to the novel, but the most authentic version I have seen to date, including having the story told as a memoir, which is how Anna Sewell wrote the book, as a first person, or first horse, narrative). But if you don't like seeing horses suffering, this might not be the movie for you (same as with the book, which is a classic and was actually instrumental in getting people to consider that horses have feelings and must be approached with kindness and gentleness).

One of my favourite tv series is the 1986 mini-series of Anne of Green Gables (very authentic and as close to the original book as possible in my opinion). The sequel, while still interesting (and still what I would call in the spirit of L.M. Montgomery) did show some rather major changes from the book(s), and the third and fourth installments are not worth watching (unless you want to write a scathing critique), so different are they from the original stories.


message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy Latta | 13 comments I enjoyed "Horton Hears a Who" a lot more than I thought I would. Sure they added in a subplot, but it only served to help you care about the Whos and solidify the theme. One of my favorite adapted movies is "Frog and Toad Together" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOyI-k... We had it on tape and I watched it religiously growing up. That one and "Pooh Corner."


message 19: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Dec 08, 2013 02:46PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "Grace wrote: "Oh I also want to mention the Swedish 1969 tv series of Pippi Longstocking! :D She is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and the series is so fun. I also liked A Seri..."

Your reaction to The Neverending Story reminds me vividly of my son's reaction to the first Harry Potter movie (Sorcerer's Stone). He was furious with the various small changes made and the scenes that were left out, etc. I had to patiently explain to him if the movie had been word for word like the book, it would have been two months long! Or a television series.


message 20: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7228 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Grace wrote: "Oh I also want to mention the Swedish 1969 tv series of Pippi Longstocking! :D She is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time and the series is so fun. I a..."

It's not exactly the same because in the Neverending Story, the entire second part was left out. Now, if the movie version had been called the Neverending Story, Part 1 (or perhaps The Neverending Story, Fantasica in Peril or some type of similar title), I probably would not have been so disappointed (but the title made me assume that the entire story would be shown and not just the first part).


message 21: by Frederator (new)

Frederator Books (frederatorbooks) | 4 comments Kathryn wrote: "I just heard about a new version of Paddington Bear coming out next year. I hope it will be good. Colin Firth does the voice of Paddington and Hugh Bonneville is the father so it sounds suitably B..."

Whaaaat?! This like simultaneously fulfills childhood and adulthood dreams. How do I wait a year for this.

I liked "Holes," book and movie, when I was in grade school. Sigourney Weaver is kickass in it. And "James and the Giant Peach" was a favorite movie of mine when I was really little. Great animation.

I don't care what anyone says, "Matilda" scared the crap out of me.


message 22: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments I am interested in Enders Game with DS, but he gets scared easily. What is the name of that site that rates movie violence for kids? Thanks in advance!


message 23: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments My son hated Matilda. We stopped watching it midway. It was too dark for him.


message 24: by Fjóla (new)

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 260 comments Kirei, is it possible you may be thinking of the site Kids in Mind which does detailed reviews of kids/youth movies enumerating everything possibly objectionable. It's pretty neat, as it helps you better gauge how your child might react if you're already pondering whether he/she is ready for a particular movie. I also refer myself to Common Sense Media sometimes.


message 25: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephanieworkman) I had never heard of The Giver until I saw the preview of the movie. Very odd for me because I've always read Lois Lowry books. Loved the movie so I read the book. Loved it even more. I thought I would be bored because it didn't have the type of action The Hunger Games and Divergent had, but the lack of action actually brought more depth to both the book and movie. I truly enjoyed both.


message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan | 27 comments I saw the movie "Paddington" with my niece. We were a bit hesitant after seeing the trailer. But it turned out to be a wonderful adventure, very heart warming, and funny! I highly recommend it.


message 27: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I saw the movie "Paddington" with my niece. We were a bit hesitant after seeing the trailer. But it turned out to be a wonderful adventure, very heart warming, and funny! I highly recommend it."

I watched this movie on DVD recently as well. I enjoyed it, but the writers/producers certainly took a lot of liberties with the original story! While they did capture several scenes from the book, they added an entire plot that was not in the book. Still, the acting and CG were impressive, and the movie was fun.


message 28: by Susan (new)

Susan | 27 comments Beverly wrote: "Susan wrote: "I saw the movie "Paddington" with my niece. We were a bit hesitant after seeing the trailer. But it turned out to be a wonderful adventure, very heart warming, and funny! I highly ..."

It's true that the Paddington movie was quite different that the book, but it was still fun. :-)

I also watched "The Book Thief". I felt like it was quite condensed compared to the book, but I guess they had to cut it down to make it fit into a 2 hour time slot. I think the trimming helped to focus the story. I'm not sure, but I might actually like the movie better than the book. :P


message 29: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 3 comments I saw the movie dear dumb diary. There is also a book


message 30: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Ferrante (bonnieferrante) I just watched the Paddington Bear movie with granddaughters and laughed even more than they did. Funny and sweet.


message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan | 27 comments I watched the movie "Where the Red Fern Grows." It's a bit dated and hunting isn't really my thing, but it was okay.


LaughingLeopardPress | 19 comments Shannon wrote: "I saw the movie dear dumb diary. There is also a book"

I just started reading those books and loved them!...even though I'm an adult haha=) It's fun to re-live that time! I had no idea the series was made into a movie! I'll have to check it out!


message 33: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Blackwood (ellieblackwood) I just watched Catching Fire today. I know I'm probably the last person in the world to see it, but, you know. It was worth the wait :)


message 34: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
I saw "Divergent" some time ago, and watched "Insurgent" a couple of days ago. Divergent was good, but I was blown away by Insurgent. It was so good! Has anyone else seen these movies based on the popular young adult books?


message 35: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Blackwood (ellieblackwood) Yes, I've seen both Divergent and Insurgent. I liked Divergent (though not as much as I liked the book). I loved Insurgent, because it was WAY better than the book (and because Tris with her hair cut short looked suspiciously like my cousin ...). The Insurgent book was a bit "Meh", I thought, so I was really glad they took the film to a whole new level.

The Allegiant film next year has the potential to be really good, but they're going to have to make some MAJOR changes from the book.


message 36: by Susan (new)

Susan | 27 comments I saw the Divergent movie first and then decided to read the book. I thought the movie didn't match the intensity of the book, but I liked both of them. I am planning on seeing Insurgent soon. Should I read the book first?


message 37: by Ellie (new)

Ellie Blackwood (ellieblackwood) I think it's better to read the book first. That way, you know what's going on, AND the film seems way better (because the book wasn't that amazing).


message 38: by Harley (last edited Aug 19, 2017 12:27AM) (new)

Harley Bennett | 42 comments Some movies that may be more obscure than most of those that are listed; but are very entertaining:
1) Whale Rider
2) The Secret of Roan Inish (The Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry)
3) The Adventures of Occie Nash (A Flower Blooms on Charlotte Street)
4) Ballet Shoes - British, made for TV
5) Nim's Island
6) Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (Based on the American Girl books)
7) Mandie and the Secret Tunnel
8) Get A Clue (The Westing Game)
9) The Railway Children - British, made for TV
10) Nanny McFee
11) Standing Up (The Goats)
12) Tuck Everlasting
13) The Great Gilly Hopkins)
14) Race to Witch Mountain (Escape to Witch Mountain)

Happy viewing!


message 39: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Of those listed above, I have seen 9:
Whale Rider
Secret of Roan Irish
Ballet Shoes
Nim's Island
Get a Clue
The Railway Children
Nanny McFee
Tuck Everlasting
Great Gilly Hopkins

All terrific movies.


message 40: by Emily (last edited Aug 18, 2019 10:26AM) (new)

Emily Thevenin | 33 comments I thought the film Because of Winn Dixie was just as good as the book, same with the 1987 Hallmark Hall of Fame version of The Secret Garden. I'm still a sucker for the 1970's cartoon version of Charlotte's Web. I really should check out the version that came out a few years ago. The 1908's version of Bridge to Terabithia I really enjoyed as a kid. Also like The Great Gilly Hopkins and The Book Thief. I wouldn't recommend, though that a kid under 12 reads or watches The Book Thief.


message 41: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1494 comments some that haven't been mentioned

My nieces (10 and 8) enjoyed Mary Poppins Returns. It's a little scary and dark for younger children.

Coming up for the holidays
Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig and starring her feminist muse Soarise Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep. The trailer is out now.

In 2020
The Secret Garden starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
Artemis Fowl directed by Kenneth Branaugh

2021
Pinocchio

Others I don't see mentioned
Walt Disney Aladdin (based loosely on the Persian tales from 101 Arabian Nights)

How to Train Your Dragon series. Books and movies are popular with tweens

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (There are now two feature length films and one animated special.)

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Secret of the Realms: An Extended Novelization VERY odd adaptation of Nutcracker. Nieces were dying to see it but didn't say much about it.

Christopher Robin based on Winnie-the-Pooh. Nieces and nephews liked it but they were too loud to let me enjoy it when we tried to watch it together. It LOOKED cute. I haven't tried again without them. Netflix is hard to hear. Must wait for TV.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I like the animated Disney movie but the story is too weird for me. Same with
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Like the movie, don't like the book.

I DID enjoy the movie Bedknob and Broomstick but the book wasn't as appealing. Much like the Mary Poppins books and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Borrowers There are a couple movie adaptations. They didn't capture the charm of the books for me as a kid.

The American Girl movies are not so awful but not so great as I had hoped.
They had TV/DVD movies for
Samantha, Felicity and Molly, some of the Girl of the Year characters : Chrissa, Saige, Isabelle, Grace
a theatrical movie for Kit
Amazon movies for Maryellen, Melody, Julie & Ivy Good Luck, Ivy, and contemporary character Z Yang. I think.

The ONLY book to movie adaptation I truly love is
Anne of Green Gables (1985 only all other remain unacknowledged). The Road to Avonlea was well-done, in the beginning anyway, The Story Girl. It spawned novelizations of the episodes.

Runner up is Alfonso Cuaron's beautiful WWI set A Little Princess.

I liked the 1993 Disney Channel adaptation of Heidi

Brian Selznick's graphic novel hybrids make good, family friendly, fun films. I really really liked Hugo The Invention of Hugo Cabret).

I've seen some of A Series of Unfortunate Events Box: The Complete Wreck. I didn't like the movie but the Netflix series is well-done.

The best Pollyanna adaptation is a Disney TV movie set in the segregated American south of the 1960s. It stars Cosby kid Keisha Knight Pulliam and her TV mom Felicia Rashad.

The Railway Children and The Children of Green Knowe are both nice adaptations of little known British classics.

My nephew really liked the movie adaptation of A Dog's Purpose. It's not specifically a children's book but the movie appealed to a 7 year old boy. He told me his sister cried.


message 42: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1494 comments The One and Only Ivan

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Holy bagumba! How can I get my nieces and nephews to read actual books if they can just turn on Disney+ and watch the movie? *sigh*

The Witches (both of them) did not get a good review from niece #2 so I suppose she'll never read the book and there's a new graphic novel version I wanted to get her.


message 43: by Fjóla (new)

Fjóla (fjolarun) | 260 comments Has anyone seen the Ivan movie? I'm really curious as to how that book transfers to the screen, because I found the voice of the narrator (Ivan in this case) to be so unique and touching. I mean, the whole book is sort of this interior monologue?


message 44: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1494 comments My mom bought The One and Only Ivan for her mother who has Alzheimer's. My mom thought it was cute. I didn't get to read it before she sent it off to the assisted living home so I haven't seen the movie. Movies are almost never as good as the books. I'd set my expectations low and then you only have to go up from there. I can ask the kiddos in my life if they've read it and see the movie.


message 45: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2333 comments Mod
Fjóla wrote: "Has anyone seen the Ivan movie? I'm really curious as to how that book transfers to the screen, because I found the voice of the narrator (Ivan in this case) to be so unique and touching. I mean, t..."

Have not seen the movie yet. I read the book several years ago.


message 46: by Cheryl is busier irl atm., Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) | 6248 comments Mod
Jasmine has left the group and is no longer monitoring this thread. Reorganizing to make it easier to discourage promotional comments and to find particular movies... post new comments here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...


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