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Daily Book Talk: Movies to Books

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Showing 1-16 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 13, 2012 7:15:15 AM PDT
I watched the movie A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Import, All Regions) and loved it. So when I found out it was based on the book of the same name I naturally read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (P.S.). And loved it even more.

I often find that I like seeing a movie and then reading the book it was based on rather than the other way around. Most movies don't do justice to a good book not because they don't try, but because a book has the opportunity to expand on the characters and story more than a movie can.

But to see a movie and fall in love with the story and/or characters and then find that you can go into greater depth by reading the book I find to be a wonderful experience.

What movies have you seen that lead you to read the book? Did you find it a more rewarding experience after having seen the movie?

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 8:19:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2012 8:37:06 AM PDT
I almost always read the books before I see the movies, but I did watch The Spiderwick Chronicles with my daughter and we liked it enough so that I then read some of the books to her (she wasn't a very good reader then.)

It was interesting to see the differences, but overall I liked both. I'm not as picky as many people who say they are usually disappointed in movies after reading the books. I love movies so much I'm willing to accept some changes as long as the characters seem to be cast right, and there aren't huge additions to the plot (The Percy Jackson movie-bleh)

I'm getting off topic, here, aren't I? :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 8:22:06 AM PDT
No, you're not off topic. It's interesting the way different people view books made into movies. :)

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 10:35:31 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2012 10:35:52 AM PDT
I'm one of the people who are invariably disappointed if I see a movie after I've read the book. As you said, Anna, it's the nature of the two for a book to make the story richer and full of more detail. With the exception of movies based on comic books. I've seen and enjoyed all of the Marvel comic book based movies and am chomping at the bit to see The Avengers! Yay! Samuel L. Jackson playing Nick Fury! Whoo hoo!!! I'm all over that! Can you tell I'm excited?

Off the top of my head I can't think of too many movies that prompted me to read the book. As a child I saw the movie Old Yeller and then read the book. I still can't figure out why I did that. The movie made me cry. The book made me sob buckets. I mean the face turns red, eyes swell, and mucous drips from your nose type crying. Jurassic Park is another one and boy was the book different than the movie. It even had a different ending. Because of the outstanding special effects, I think seeing the movie first enriched the reading experience. On the other hand I saw The Exorcist and NEVER want to read the book. If the movie scared me so badly I didn't sleep for months, I would probably pee my pants reading the book!

Great topic, Anna!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 4:05:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 13, 2012 6:45:56 PM PDT
Agnes says:
I read Wendelin van Draanen's Flipped and enjoyed it but was surprised when the movie came out years later. And this is one of those instances where I think the movie actually did the book justice; I can't think of anything that was left out. My one complaint is that the young actors picked to play the two main characters did not do as good a job of acting as I hoped.

I also thought the film adaptation of Holes really brought Louis Sachar's book to life. Not only this, but I'd like to think that it steered some kids and young teens to the book after seeing the movie. Right after seeing the movie, I read the book and wasn't disappointed.

Ella Enchanted - I read Gail Carson Levine's book first (and loved it). I'll admit that I was not excited when I heard that Anne Hathaway would be playing Ella, but the whole movie just butchers the book. I don't know what the director was thinking, or even what the author was thinking, seeing as how she was supposedly on the set giving pointers.

On another note, I am still surprised that Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries was turned into a movie. I didn't really like the movie, and later went back to read the book. Let's just say that I don't know why anyone wanted to make that book a movie. From the 'protagonist' making fun of a cancer survivor (who also happens to be her father) to her being too greedy to be happy with earning $100 a day for her favorite charity (and very little actually being told about the princess aspect of the book), it was very bad - I think this is Meg Cabot's worst book for teens.

I really loved The Incredible Journey and the newer version called Homeward Bound (and featuring the voice of Michael J. Fox) when I was a kid. Upon trying to read the book both are based on, The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, I never expected to have such a strong dislike for the book.

Anne of Green Gables, though leaving some things out is an excellent book to film adaptation that captures the nostalgia of the story and it also helps matters that there is a great cast. Megan Follows is just wonderful as Anne and Colleen Dewhurst just nails Marilla. I watched the film first and wasn't disappointed when I read the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 13, 2012 5:12:19 PM PDT
I listened to the audiobook of Ella Enchanted and really enjoyed it. I'll stay away from the movie. Thanks for that info.

I loved the adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables series. Megan Follows was just perfect as Anne. In fact everyone was wonderful. I think the essence of the characters and the stories was captured very well, too. I love L. M. Montgomery's writing. I think I've read everything she wrote.

Posted on Apr 13, 2012 6:16:28 PM PDT
The Anne of Green Gables miniseries was wonderful. I also loved the books, or at least the first books, by the last book I was done.

I liked the Chronicles of Narnia miniseries that played on PBS in the late 80s/early 90s? I re-read the first book and read the rest at the same time, although my favorite of the series (The Magician's Nephew) never got it's own movie treatment. I saw the recent incarnations of LWW and Caspian, but can't say they were my favorites.

The movie Return to Oz (where Dorothy starts out in a mental institution) made me want to re-read the Wizard of Oz, and then I went on to collect all of the other OZ series books (my grandma ended up having quite a few old copies in a box in her garage). An instance where a movie very loosely based on elements from the books made me get into the series.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 9:15:51 AM PDT
Wayward says:
I actually enjoyed the film adaptation of Ella Enchanted. It was very different from the book; but it flowed quickly and still made the same points.

Movies that led me to books: Last Unicorn (I like the book better, but still love the movie); Neverending Story (I can't decide...), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknob and Broomstick.

And I, too loved the first 2 Anne of Green Gables movies. The final one was so different...Very disappointing.

Posted on Apr 14, 2012 6:34:16 PM PDT
Sl Nelson says:
I actually like to read the book before I see the movie. I like to imagine what all the characters look like myself. I refuse to see the Hunger Games until I have a chance to read the book.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2012 6:41:10 PM PDT
Are you ever disappointed by how a movie portrays the characters you have imagined?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2012 9:12:53 AM PDT
Sometimes - I was very disappointed in the Percy Jackson film with how they changed Hades. And other things. I just really disliked the whole adaptation.

Most of the time I can seperate the book from the movie fairly well - I know they have to be different.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012 6:08:38 AM PDT
DeeG says:
I've had trouble liking some of the BBC's adapatations of Jane Austen in terms of the casting of the characters. I just tried to rewatch the Mansfield Park series and the casting in that didn't particularly didn't really work for me. Same with the movie version of Emma. It's my least favorite Austen book, so maybe I was inclined to be critical, but the actor who was cast Mr. Knightley didn't fit the image I had of him at all.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 5:28:25 AM PDT
Cobra N says:
Not so much a movie, but one of my daughters favourite books was made into a special animated feature, 'The Gruffalo'

Very clever and followed the art style and story very well.

Was made by the BBC so not sure how available it was in the US, they did the follow up the following year, 'The Gruffalo's Child'

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 7:42:39 AM PDT
I checked my library and they have The Gruffalo in the book and movie versions, so I will check that out. Thanks, Cobra.

Posted on Jun 26, 2013 8:12:44 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 26, 2013 8:12:52 AM PDT]

Posted on Jul 12, 2013 6:24:34 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 12, 2013 6:24:39 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Apr 13, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 12, 2013

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