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Smithfield: 2. The Movie or the Book?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 , Posted by Sandy Fussell at 11:49 PM

Whenever one of my favourite books is made in to a movie or a television series, I can’t decide whether to watch it. I don’t mind if the director changes the story a bit – but not too much. I liked how Paul Jennings short stories were made into the first two series of Round the Twist. Even though the characters in the individual short stories weren’t related, in the television series they were. That was okay with me but I don’t like it if whole chapters get changed or new main characters with new roles are added.

A year ago one of my favourite books, The Tale of Despereaux (which is about a mouse) was made into a movie. Just in case you are thinking a book about a mouse doesn’t sound exciting, don’t forget Stuart Little. Before the movie, there was the book by E B White who also wrote Charlotte’s Web. And if you are looking for a really exciting mouse story, you should read the Redwall series. Those mice live in an Abbey and have heaps of weapon-filled adventures! Guess what? I went to find a link for the books and here I found it has been made into an animated TV series!

When I saw the pictures of Despereaux I was worried. He looked too cute. I had a different image in my head. Then the reviews of the movie came out and everyone hated it. And everyone I knew who saw it hated it. So I didn’t go because I didn’t want to see my favourite book turned into an awful movie. Here is the movie website if you want to take a look.

Have you ever been to see a movie or watched a television series that was based on a book, or comic? What was it and which did you like best – the movie or the book?

Here are some of the movies I’ve seen that were based on book: The Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderman, Lord of the Rings, Lockie Leonard TV series, Bridge to Terabithia, Harry Potter (all of them!), Round the Twist TV series, Stuart Little
….. and lots more.

Sometimes I even see the movie first and then find out later there’s book. Then I have to read it to see which one I like best. Sometimes I even like the movie best. That’s how I felt about The Never Ending Story. Which do you think should come first – reading the book or seeing the movie? I visited a website devoted to the Never Ending Story and found this comment which is really relevant to what we are talking about today:

There have been three movies based on Michael Ende's novel [The Never Ending Story]. Many people complain that these movies don't live up to the novel, and it's true. The novel goes so much beyond the stories and themes of the movies, but that's the inherent nature of novels and movies. It should be noted that the movies have sparked the imaginations of millions, and as Mr. Coreander says to Bastian, "There are many doors to Fantasia, my boy." Getting to Fantasia is more important than how nice the path is.

That's a very important point. Whether we read the book or see the movie, we are still experiencing the magic of the story.

Has anyone seen the Deltora Quest cartoon? I love Deltora Quest and I love anime but I don’t think that style is quite right for Deltora Quest. I really like the illustrations by Marc McBride in the books and I wanted the characters and monsters to be in that style. What do you think? If you haven’t seen you can preview it here:




What book would you like to see made into a movie? One of my favourite books is The Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson and I think it would make a wonderful movie. She’s an Australian author and the book was Book of the Year in 2004. Dragon stories are my favourite (even more than mouse stories!) Anyone know any good dragon stories?

Currently have 14 comments:

  1. Anonymous says:

    Erico: When i read this i immediately thought of the golden compass. The book was awsome yet the movie was a bit confusing.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rostom: to be honest i haven't actually read a book that has been turned into a movie, but i have read the diary of a wimpy kid which soon will be shown as a movie.

  1. Anonymous says:

    David; hey, sandy i have read TWILIGHT and its alright and i have saw the movies TWILIGHT AND NEWMOON.
    bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. Anonymous says:

    merna
    hi i like the book inde kidd

  1. Anonymous says:

    amity:
    i liked the book indie kid.

  1. Anonymous says:

    amity:
    i like the book indie kidd

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear Sandy,

    The book Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire was a fantastic book! The movie was was also good but in some parts they weren't very descriptive.

    From Sonali

  1. ERICO, I was very interested to read your comment because The GOLDEN COMPASS (in fact the whole DARK MATERIALS trilogy) is a favourite of mine and the movie is on my 'DVDs to watch' list. Even though the movie was a bit confusing, would you still recommend it? Or should I just stick with the book?

  1. ROSTOM, I have read all the WIMPY KID books! Lucky we don't have to wait much longer for the movie - coming next month, hey? Have you seen this trailer for the movie on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZVEIgPeDCE&feature=player_embedded
    After you see the movie don't forget to drop back in and let me know how you thought it compared to the book. Rodrick in the trailer looks nothing like I imagined but I think I am going to enjoy the movie. Lots of humour.

  1. AMITY & MERNA, oops I will have to admit I have never read an Indie Kidd book - even though there are a lot of them. I think I should read one because they are published by the same publisher as my books. Which one should I start with? Do they have to be read in a certain order?

  1. SONALI, I think the Harry Potter books work equally as a book and a movie - although sometimes things in the movie didn't look the same as what I had imagined. I forget which movie it was but I loved the quidditch scene. I guess that's one of the differences between books and movies - books leave more room for our own imgainations.

  1. DAVID, I haven't seen the movie or read any of the TWILIGHT books. But I do intend to. I just waited until some of the fuss died down. I am thinking I will read the book first and then decide if I want to see the movie. Is that the order you would recommend?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tiana;

    I have read new moon and i have watched the movie of New Moon the book is better because the book has a lot of details in it and the movie does not have as much detail as the book New Moon

  1. TIANA, Thanks for that feedback. It helps me answer the question I asked David. It sounds like it is definitely better to read the book first in the case of the TWILIGHT books/movies. So that's how I am going to do it!