Children's Books discussion

203 views
Themes, Topics & Categories > Favorite Books Made into Movies--Good, Bad & Ugly

Comments Showing 1-50 of 53 (53 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Ronda (last edited Dec 21, 2008 08:45AM) (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Ok. I know that usually a book made into a movie can be a bone of contention. Was the book better than the movie? Was the movie better than the book? Were they both great even if they were different? Regardless of how you feel about a book's movie interpretation, one thing that I've noticed, in both public and school library work, is that, when a movie comes out, the circulation of the book increases. What I would like to see is a discussion of some of your favorite books that were made into movies--and which you did first--read the book or saw the movie. Just realized, I need to set up a display for "Seen the movie? Read the book."


message 2: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Saw the Disney cartoon first, loved it. The movie led me to the book. Love it too.

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

Saw the old Disney movie first, which led me to the book. Read it, loved it and then saw the re-make. My son and I both loved that one.

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Saw the movie as a child which led me to the book. The movie was not my favorite, but as it led me to the book--I was happy to see it.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Read the book and loved it. Too many of my students, ones who read the book THEN saw the movie, HATED the movie--so I haven't bothered to see that one. Oddly enough, students who saw the movie first, THEN read the book, were ok with the movie. Funny how that works.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Saw the movie first and loved it. It led me to the book, which I also loved.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Read the book first and loved it--the descriptions of the witches and their itchy scalps still gives me a chuckle (and shiver). The movie was fun too, but I'll say I got more out of the book.

Spiderwick Chronicles by DiTerlizzi and Black

My son and I read the books (the first series) first and loved them. When we went to see the movie, my son was totally disappointed b/c they'd changed so much. I thought the movie was pretty fun, BUT not if you were expecting it to be true to the books.


message 3: by Ronda (last edited Dec 26, 2008 08:14PM) (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) I didn't know there was a movie for Nimh. I'll have to look up a copy. Black Stallion stays checked out at my K-5 library.

Abigail wrote: "The first two movies I ever saw in the theater, as a young child, were The Secret of NIMH and The Black Stallion, both based on children's books.

I loved The Secret of NIMH, although Robert O'Brie..."





message 4: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Do any of you remember an old movie of The Phantom Tollbooth? I have a vague recollection of it as a movie.


message 5: by Sara (last edited Dec 28, 2008 06:10AM) (new)

Sara (sarajchurchill) You can buy the Nihm movie on iTunes right now for 4.99. It's a good deal. I agree that I love it, but it's probably colored by nostalgia. That's a great way to say it. You can purchase the Phantom Tollbooth movie too. I had a teacher who read the novel and showed the movie last year. The kids seemed to enjoy it o.k.

I think the Harry Potter books have been done very well so far. I was equally pleased with Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. I wasn't as happy with the Series of Unfortunate Events movie. Trying to cram three books in one movie. I understand why, but it did not translate the books well I don't think. I'm about to go take my son to see Tale of Desperaux. We'll have to see what I think. =)


message 6: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Sara wrote: "You can buy the Nihm movie on iTunes right now for 4.99. It's a good deal. I agree that I love it, but it's probably colored by nostalgia. That's a great way to say it. You can purchase the Pha..."

Thanks for the info. Our entire 5th grade went to see Tale of Despereaux right before the holidays. Reviews from the kids were mixed. I wonder if it's kind of like Spiderwick was for me and for my son. Had we not read the books, the movie as a standalone would have been easier to like--but having read the books, and coming in with certain expectations--my son hated the movie. I enjoyed it, but had to separate the movie from the book in my head. If you see Tale of Desp., please share your thoughts.


message 7: by Sara (new)

Sara (sarajchurchill) I saw Tale of Desperaux and enjoyed it. I have to put a caveat with it that I read the book five years ago when it first came out and haven't read it since. It's been so long that I'd even forgotten the part about the soup.

But I enjoyed it quite a bit. I want to reread the book now though to compare it. My three-year-old wasn't as enthralled as I had hoped, but he wasn't bored out of his mind either. (I have a feeling that if we had gone across the hall to Madagascar 2, he would have been ecstatic.)


message 8: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 44 comments Over in the website thread, a link was posted to the Horn Book site. I clicked on it and noticed a link to "Despereaux movie" which had a very nice review of the film including a comparison with the book.


message 9: by Ronda (last edited Dec 30, 2008 09:58PM) (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) One one of the other threads, someone mentioned Coraline. The book by Neil Gaiman is popular with my 4th and 5th graders who are wanting something spooky. I haven't read the book yet, but plan to do so before I see the movie. Any of you read the book yet? What'd you think about it?


message 10: by Ronda (last edited Dec 30, 2008 09:58PM) (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Old Yeller. One of my 5th grader teachers reads the book to her kids every year and I have a wait list for the book now. There are at least 2 movie versions--the older one is rated G (which made the teacher ecstatic--we could get it for our collection to go along with the book reading).


message 11: by April Ann (last edited Dec 31, 2008 11:04AM) (new)

April Ann (bloomer) I loved the cartoon version of "Charlotte's Web", but the recent movie left me....well...meh...

"Anne of Green Gables" was very good, I keep waiting for a remake.

How could I forget "National Velvet"? Loved the movie!

Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia movies, were excellent.



message 12: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 44 comments Ronda, I really liked Coraline. It was just creepy enough without going too far. I have also recommended it to quite a few students who have read all of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Double Dare to be Scared, etc., and are looking for another "scary" book to read. Nearly all of the students who have read it have said they liked it a lot.


message 13: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Luann wrote: "Ronda, I really liked Coraline. It was just creepy enough without going too far. I have also recommended it to quite a few students who have read all of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Dou..."

I've got to read Coraline. I get so many kids who ask for scary stories or ghost stories and the Scary stories to tell in the dark series is always circulating.


message 14: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Oh! I heard the City of Ember is supposed to be made into a movie (has been made?).

I forgot about Holes too.

For YA readers there's

Blood and Chocolate I have neither read the book nor have I seen the movie--but my high school kids who loved the books were excited about the movie.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I've even got 5th graders who are reading their older sibs' copies of this book. I thought the movie was ok--better than I expected it to be.

Speak based on the book by the same title by Laurie Halse Anderson




message 15: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) The first "Charlie and the Chocolate" factory is my favorite.

How do you make italics and underline here, for some reason I can't figure it out, and I'm not exactly puter-stupid.


message 16: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments City of Ember is out and is probably on DVD by now.


message 17: by Lisa (last edited Dec 31, 2008 03:20PM) (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments April, There are all sorts of ways to do it. I do it manually.

Before what you want in italics or bold or underlined put

< i > or < b < or < u >

then with no spaces before or after put your text then after (still no spaces) put

< / i > or < / b > or < /u >

I've done bold and italics this way. I assume it also works with underlining.


Edit: It does. And using spaces does not stop it. ;-)

Edit again: There: That should work. No spaces with the i, b, u codes.


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments It didn't work for me at first either, but did when I put in spaces to stop the actual formatting. ;-)


message 19: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) ooohhh I tried to do it manually like this: [i:] [/i:] I get it now, thanks all!


message 20: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Morrill Ronda wrote: "Oh! I heard the City of Ember is supposed to be made into a movie (has been made?).

I forgot about Holes too.

For YA readers there's

Blood and Chocolate I have neither read the book nor ha..."


Ronda wrote: "Luann wrote: "Ronda, I really liked Coraline. It was just creepy enough without going too far. I have also recommended it to quite a few students who have read all of the Scary Stories to Tell in..."

The movie for "Blood and Chocolate" is terrible. The only thing that is the same as the book is that some of the characters have the same names and there are werewolves. The plot and outcome of the story are not even remotely the same.


message 21: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Jennifer wrote: "Ronda wrote: "Oh! I heard the City of Ember is supposed to be made into a movie (has been made?).

I forgot about Holes too.

For YA readers there's

Blood and Chocolate I have neither ..."


It's frustrating when there's a popular book that gets made into a movie--but badly. Most of my students who read Eragon first HATED the movie. Then there was the move that was SUPPOSED to be based on Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising. I noticed they changed the name of the movie after a while--glad they did. The movie might have been ok in its own right, but it was very different from the book.


message 22: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) THere's an animated movie based on Roald Dahl's The BFG. Haven't seen it yet, but the kids at school seem to enjoy it when the teachers show it after they've read the book.

Some more I'd forgotten about:

The Golden COmpass book by Pullman, controversial movie AND book

Howl's Moving Castle book by Dianna Wynne Jones, animated movie--haven't read the book but hear that it's VERY different from the movie.


message 23: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) If you were going to buy movies for an elementary school--good books that have good movies--what books/movies would you recommend? Teachers can use the movies as a treat after a class finishes the book, but also as a lesson as to how books can be adapted and story versions created/changed, so even if the book and movie are very different, it can be a good educational opportunity. To make it harder, in elementary school, the movie needs to be rated G.

I haven't gotten feedback from my teacher who requested the Old Yeller movie yet--but I know that I can't keep the book on the shelf. I also can't keep The BFG on the shelf.


message 24: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Morrill Ronda wrote: "THere's an animated movie based on Roald Dahl's The BFG. Haven't seen it yet, but the kids at school seem to enjoy it when the teachers show it after they've read the book.

Some more I'd forgot..."


I've seen both movies and read both books. The animated BFG is not far off from the book. The other giants can be a bit scary for younger children.

Howl's Moving Castle the movie was a bit different from the book. They left out my favorite character....but it wasn't horrible.

It's funny what you say about Eragon. My mom got the movie on Netflix and was saying how good it was. I Said, "you've got to be kidding." Then I asked her if she had read the book, which she hadn't. I hated the movie...and then even more because I liked the 2nd and 3rd books. They destroyed it so badly that they can't make a 2nd movie. I was yelling at the TV and my husband told me he wasn't going to watch movies with me where I have read the book anymore. :)


message 25: by Jennifer (last edited Jan 04, 2009 02:47PM) (new)

Jennifer Morrill Ronda wrote: "If you were going to buy movies for an elementary school--good books that have good movies--what books/movies would you recommend? Teachers can use the movies as a treat after a class finishes the..."

Shiloh, Newberry award winning book and half-decent movie
Charlotte's Web, Newberry award book and animated and live action movie.
Misty of Chincoteague, Newberry award book, own the movie, but haven't seen it yet.
Ella Enchanted, Newberry book, Movie a bit off from the book, but still funny.
Frog and Toad Together, Newberry award book, older movie...kind of almost a claymation style, but it sticks exactly to the book
Bridge to Terabithia, Newberry book, not sure what the movie is rated though.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Newberry Winner, have the movie but haven't seen it. It has Lauren Bacall in it.
Island of the Blue Dolphins, Newberry award winner, not sure about the movie rating.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM, Newberry book, animated movie...one of my favorites as a kid.
My Side of the Mountain, Newberry award...99% positive there is a movie for this.
The Tale of Despereaux, Newberry book, one of my favorites, movie just came out in theatres
A Wrinkle in Time, Newberry winner, haven't seen the movie, but I'm pretty sure there is one.
Matilda, great Roald Dahl book, think the movie is PG.
Stewart Little, great book, movie is ok, but I think it is G.
A Series of Unfortunate Events, books 1-3 in the movie, movie might be rated PG pr PG 13.
Inkheart, older reader, movie in theatres.
Harry Potter series, but I think most of the movies would be too scary.
Ummmm....I know I can think of more. I'm really into the Newberrys...I'll keep thinking.



message 26: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Jennifer wrote: "Ronda wrote: "If you were going to buy movies for an elementary school--good books that have good movies--what books/movies would you recommend? Teachers can use the movies as a treat after a clas..."

GREAT list!!! Thanks for sharing. I know my teachers will be happy about this (I certainly am!) Are you, by any chance, a librarian?


message 27: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Morrill Ronda wrote: "101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Saw the Disney cartoon first, loved it. The movie led me to the book. Love it too.

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

Saw the old Disney movie first, which led me to..."


I totally agree with each of your assessments.


message 28: by April Ann (new)

April Ann (bloomer) I prefer to see the movie first, I'm always disappointed if I've read the book and then watched a movie about it.


message 29: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Morrill Ronda wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Ronda wrote: "If you were going to buy movies for an elementary school--good books that have good movies--what books/movies would you recommend? Teachers can use the movies as a t..."

Not a librarian, but I taught at a private school that had a poor library and I helped the librarian stock up the shelves. I am an avid reader and I have two young readers at home so I read a lot of children's books as well. With my oldest daughter we are going through the Newberry's along with her personal selections, and with my youngest we are going through the Caldecott's.

My kids can't live without our weekly trip to the library. You would think they had no books at home, instead of the overflowing shelves.


message 30: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Abigail wrote: "Ronda: regarding #29, I have always been passionately devoted to Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising sequence, and I refused outright to go see the movie. The idea that they would transplant the story fr..."

I tried to watch the movie and didn't get through it. I loved the Dark Is Rising series so much as a child that I was thrilled when I heard about the movie--at first. I'm just glad they renamed the movie b/c--I don't know that I would even say it was "based on" the book--more like "inspired by"? I think film makers have an obligation to the authors AND readers when they choose to make a film based on a book. I'm usually more excited about a movie when I hear that the film makers are actually consulting with an author--and actually listening. It's ok for the movie to be different--it's a different medium--but I do expect a movie to be true to an author's vision if it's going to be "based on". Interesting. I've never tried to put that into words before.



message 31: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) April Ann wrote: "I prefer to see the movie first, I'm always disappointed if I've read the book and then watched a movie about it."

Maybe I should start doing that more! I am almost always disappointed in the movies if I've read the books first--unless, as in another comment--the movie makers have really worked with the authors. Seems like that doesn't happen often enough.


message 32: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6023 comments Mod
Has anyone else heard about the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie to be released this year??? I'm really curious about this one--not really sure what all they are adding to the story to make it into a feature-length film. I loved the book and illustrations, and certainly it is ripe for the imagination of Hollywood costumers/CGI-designers, but I'm not really sure how well it will translate... I think it needs to be in the right hands, for sure.


message 33: by Ronda (new)

Ronda (thebookdragon) Kathryn wrote: "Has anyone else heard about the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie to be released this year??? I'm really curious about this one--not really sure what all they are adding to the story to make it in..."

I hadn't heard about this yet. Thanks for sharing (and ditto the feelings about them getting the right people to do this).


message 34: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I really liked both the movie and book of The Tale of Despereaux, and I can't WAIT to see Coraline. I also loved The Secret of NIMH when I was little, but that was before I even knew a book existed (I think the movie might have come out when I was still a baby, or at least a toddler). I read the book last year and loved that too.


message 35: by ☼Bookish (new)

☼Bookish in Virginia☼  (ren_t) Tahleen wrote: "I really liked both the movie and book of The Tale of Despereaux, and I can't WAIT to see Coraline. I also loved The Secret of NIMH when I was little, but that was before I even knew a book existed..."

Hi Tahleen. We went to see Despereaux yesterday and I wish we had waited for the DVD. My kids thought the pacing was too slow -- I judge by their fidgeting. And I disliked how it deviated from the book. I mean what was the veggie guy all about?

Glad you enjoyed it though. And I agree that Coraline looks good.




message 36: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen Hahaha oh yeah I forgot about the veggie man... not sure what that was about either. I actually thought about this today, I read the book so long ago that I forgot if he was in it or not. I just kind of ignored that part.


message 37: by ☼Bookish (last edited Jan 18, 2009 03:29PM) (new)

☼Bookish in Virginia☼  (ren_t) Re: the delicious veggie man

Nope, not in the book. Neither was there a sailing ship, or the rat amphitheater.

And I can understand why they would have to change some elements from the book, but I have to say that I don't understand not the direction they took things.

And Chandra, I think you are right on the button. There wasn't enough character development. I felt the king's sorrow more than the princesses, for example.




message 38: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I thought they did a lot with Roscuro, personally. But I always had a soft spot for him.


message 39: by Tahleen (new)

Tahleen I actually think that is the biggest reason why I enjoyed the movie so much. I remember being disappointed with how little Roscuro's good side came out in the book; you knew he had a good heart, but I felt like it didn't really come out too strongly in the book. I read it a few years ago though, so I might be wrong. That's just what I remember.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I enjoyed the spiderwick chronicles, Narnia and the Harry potter series. I'm really looking forward to the movie Inkheart.


message 41: by Emily (new)

Emily | 61 comments Ronda wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Has anyone else heard about the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie to be released this year??? I'm really curious about this one--not really sure what all they are adding to the sto..."

My brother just sent me a link to the Wild Things trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--N9kl...). Not to sway anyone's opinion before they watch it, but I'm less than impressed . . . :(




message 42: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Has anyone seen Inkheart? I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and am now reading the book. It is following fairly closely.


message 43: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 27, 2009 07:24AM) (new)

I am a HUGE fan of book to movie productions, simply because I think stories that are books orignally, have the best plots.

I was so stunned at Narnia: LWW. I thought it was an amazing adaptation that not only covered every aspect of the book, but added MORE to it. It has an advantage because the book was only about 100 pages and a standard screenplay is 90 pages. When you're working with books like Harry Potter: GoF then it takes some more planning.

I love the HP movies also, don't get me wrong. I always get a bit miffed when people complain that they "took too much out". Well, you try taking 600+ pages down to 90! Haha.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 27, 2009 07:37AM) (new)


Now that I'm thinking about it... the new version of Charlotte's Web was amazing. I think it far exceeds the cartoon feature that I grew up watching.

City of Ember was OKAY. I think I was mostly dissapointed by the performances of the young actors.

Indian in the Cupboard (1990s-ish) was a great adaptation!

Holes is a wonderful, wonderful film. They did an A+ job with that one.


message 45: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 27, 2009 07:40AM) (new)

Abigail wrote: "I'm always both saddened and confused when film-makers take an excellent story and butcher it... I understand that they are different mediums, and that some change is inevitable - but to add unnecessary elements, or willfully change the basis premise, really irritates me. At that point, you should just write your own story, and film it..."


That is basically what they do.... hence the small subtitle usually splashed into the trailer "BASED on the beloved novel", or some form of the same.

It's like how the horror films always say BASED on a true story. Based is the key word. As in, at SOME POINT, SOMEWHERE there was POTENTIALLY a little girl who COULD HAVE had a mental disorder that MIGHT HAVE been MISTAKEN for a possession. BAM! True story ;]


message 46: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6023 comments Mod
RE: INKHEART. I saw the movie and found it entertaining but I was not overly impressed, I'm afraid. I felt that they left out or condensed a lot from the book and, while I agree that this usually must be done for movie adaptations, I was more annoyed with how the FEEL of the film seemed different. It was, and I hate to say this, more "childish" in my opinion. Basta and Capricorn were more one-dimensional, typical villains. Mo seemed rather secondary, much as I love Brendan Frasier and was so excited to see his portrayal since Funke based her character of Mo off of him anyway! I thought they got Meggie right, at least, and Dustfinger was good. But, they changed aspects of his character, too and the ending is different!!! I don't want to include any spoilers for those who haven't seen the film or read the book, but there were just lots of little details missing... :-( It was still a decent and entertaining film, I just wanted something... More. My husband, who saw the film with me, enjoyed it and it prompted him to listen to the audiobook version, which he really liked. Now that he's "read" the book, though, he is annoyed with the movie in retrospect, haha! :-p He was especially annoyed when the book ended and it was not the same as the film!!! Anyway, just my two-cents but I would still advocate seeing the movie, just beware it leaves out a lot in terms of style and feel compared to, say, Harry Potter adaptations which, even though they had to abridge for the film, I felt captured the feel overall from the books (with the exception of Azkaban--don't get me started on that one, Alfonso!)


message 47: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Mar 27, 2009 12:06PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6023 comments Mod
Yes, the last HP book will be two films. That should be... interesting! I'm curious to see where they'll "end" the first installment.

I LOVED Azkaban the book and felt that the movie missed out on so many points (especially the humor) of the book--it was so dark and added needless things, like the weird talking-shrunken-head! :-x I felt that at least Thewlis (sp?) did a good job with Lupin even if he didn't look quite how I'd pictured him in the book.


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi guys! Because I loved this topic so much I started a group dedicated to it! Take a look and join!

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/1...


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathryn wrote: "Yes, the last HP book will be two films. That should be... interesting! I'm curious to see where they'll "end" the first installment. "


I've heard they'll end part 1 right after Ron walks out on Hermione and Harry.



message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Abigail wrote: "It is as if the script-writer and film-maker want to "leave their mark," and do something a little different, and don't really care if the choices they make adversely effect the integrity of the characters or story. Like I said, at that point you should just dream up your own story"


You're absolutely correct, which is why all we can do is hope for a producer and director who want to be faithful to the book.



« previous 1
back to top