Top critical review
20 people found this helpful
Book - GREAT! Movie - HUGE disappointment! Skip the movie.
on April 19, 2009
My 6 yr. old son and I read this book and loved it. He is Inupiat Eskimo. I am from Michigan. We had a lot to talk about while reading the superb book - from following along the map to the different reactions of those that saw Paddle.In the book, people carve on the bottom wherever he stops so you can see right where he's been. He has really cool and exciting adventures. This made it real. I thought the movie would be a no-brainer, it was nominated for an Oscar, right ? I know the movie was done in 1966, and I know all about "artistic license" and so forth, but...the movie SKIPPED the saw mill scene, the sled dog ride to the Sault, the trip to Chicago, virtually all of Lake Michigan...and had Paddle going from Superior to Detroit in five minutes or less and then out to sea! No wonder it didn't win an Oscar. The only part we all liked was the first ten minutes - where the boy is carving and then places Paddle on the snowy hill...and then he goes downhill. Unfortunately, so does the movie. Literally and figuratively. Nothing more than a Reader's Digest condensed version. This DVD is going in the next yard sale. Even my 6 year old was visably "bummed out". Don't be thinking "oh kids gotta have blood and guts these days" like one reviewer wrote when she read other bad reviews - but they do need a STORY and the movie omitted the real story and instead made it out to be some sort of 60s evironmental "message", while ignoring the Native message which was in the original story. In the book, the news of Paddle making it to sea comes back to the boy, who is now older. He listens to white men take credit for putting it in the sea but it matters not to him because the knowledge that Paddle made it was enough. In the movie, by contrast, Paddle's journey never ends nor is there a tie back to the Native boy who made Paddle. Yuk. It was so bad it made me angry.