Randomosity: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

We were going to do a serious post about world-building and research, but since we have ALL THE FEELS about it, it's going to take a while to put the post(s) together. Plus, it's Friday and I feel like Friday should be FUN DAY.

So here's our fun post for Friday while we work on being serious over the weekend.

Recently, I was thinking about Book-to-Movie adaptations because I'm currently reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which has a movie adaptation out this weekend! I never did read this book back when I was an actual YA/teen, but a few of my friends did and loved it. So I've been meaning to read it and am now doing so before I go see the film.

Here are a few other Book-to-Movie adaptations we enjoyed, some more faithful to the book than others but all enjoyable. Oh and we left out big/popular adaptations like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Harry Potter series because they're the obvious choices (and we loooove them).

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle - The book is a delight of wistfulness and magic with effortlessly gorgeous prose. It's one of Krispy's forever favorite books, and before she ever knew it was a book, she was in love with the movie. The animated movie features one of the most beautiful unicorns ever to grace the hand-drawn screen, and has a lovely soundtrack.

*Krispy & Alz: read and watched.

The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern/William Goldberg - Swashbuckling, swordfighting, poisons and death and love and betrayal and weddings, all with wit and humor and self-awareness. You can't get much better than the movie, except for the book. Or maybe you can't get much better than the book, except for the movie. In either case, read this book or watch the movie and you'll realize the source of so many pop culture in-jokes. "Inconceivable!" "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

*Krispy & Alz: read and watched.

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand - A riveting account of the lives of 3 lost men brought together by a horse no one believed in. A true story of underdogs and the Great Depression and one truly remarkable horse. The movie is just as good - well acted and beautifully shot - playing like a highlight reel of the book. Oh and it features some of the best and most intimate horse racing segments in film, thanks to innovative race choreography and filming techniques.

*Krispy: read and watched. Alz: watched.

Our local track & for real HQ of Seabiscuit.  Still from blu-ray.com

Big Fish by Daniel Wallace - A moving collection of tall tales that together form a picture of a man, who lived larger than life. The book is whimsical, nostalgic, romantic, and introspective - all the things I (Krispy) love. It's also a book about the power of stories. The movie differs slightly in tone, emphasizing the son's estrangement from his father, but it captures the spirit of the tall tales perfectly. And the imagery is fanciful as only Tim Burton could make it.

*Krispy: read & watched.

Also Ewan Mcgregor is in it, and he plants a field of daffodils
to woo his lady love because they're her favorite flower.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman - The movie is quite different from the book and I (Alz) have heard most people malign the movie as inferior, unworthy, and generally a piece of crap compared to the book. I think this is totally unfair since the movie is sort of Princess Bride-y in being in turns humorous and fairytale-ish and fun, while the book is very Neil Gaiman-y in being more serious and subtly humorous. Treat it as a separate entity from the book and you'll be fine. (Krispy: Also in the movie, there's Ben Barnes. Just sayin...)

*Krispy: watched. Alz: Read and watched.

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones - Another movie adaptation that's very different from the book, but equally good--though many book-fans disagree and say that the book is infinitely better or couldn't enjoy the movie because it was so different. The movie is very Miyazaki, being full of flight and wonder and villains who aren't precisely villains. And the book, at least in some arcs, is very English. So a few things had to be combined and cut and changed in translation. Again, treat it as separate entities and you'll be fine.

*Krispy & Alz: read and watched.

What are your favorite book-to-movie adaptations?

Edit: Looks like other people have book-to-movies on their minds too. Check out some Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations at Pub(lishing) Crawl!


linda said...

Ooh, LOVE THE PRINCESS BRIDE! The book only slightly more so than the movie. But both are awesome.

Still have to read The Last Unicorn!

Hm... I watched Stardust first and liked it, and then read the book and apparently didn't think much of it, but I barely remember what happened in the book. Except I do remember liking the movie ending better.

I liked Howl's Moving Castle the book (favorite is Castle in the Air though!) and don't think I've ever seen the movie in its entirety.

Also, now my "OMG I'M SO EXCITED I GOT TO WATCH IT" rush is over, I have to admit that the Hunger Games movie wasn't that great. Also, I thought the first and second HP movies were awful. So I never finished watching them. Or reading the entire series, come to think of it. Hm. Which is strange considering I read all of LOTR and hated the experience. I am not fond of the movies either, except for the parts between Aragorn and Arwen (WHO SAYS I'M NOT ROMANTIC) (and yes my guy friends have totally made fun of me for how crappy, in their opinion, Linda's Cut of LOTR would be, but WHO CARES I'LL LIKE IT).

Also, I heard the Ella Enchanted movie adaptation was HORRIBLE. And from the trailers it certainly looked like it. Princess Diaries was better than the book, though.

Oh and the newer Narnia movies get me sooooo mad. The first one was ok, but they just keep getting worse and worse and I get so upset about how they're totally wrong that I can't enjoy the movies.

Yeah, I can't seem to think of a favorite right now. I can only remember the ones that made me mad, lol.

Connie Keller said...

I've never read The Princess Bride. I borrowed it from the library once, but one of my kids claimed it. Hmm. I'll have to read it.

I enjoyed the BBC adaptations of Emma and Pride and Prejudice. And I love the Amanda Root version of Persuasion (one of my favorite novels).

Katy Upperman said...

I can't wait to see WALLFLOWER! And THE PRINCESS BRIDE is one of my all-time favorite movies... Such a classic!

As far as great adaptations, I think the HARRY POTTER films were done very well. Of course with such lengthy books cuts had to be made, but overall, I think the movies really did the story justice.

Golden Eagle said...

I've never read The Perks of Being a Wallflower--it's definitely getting a lot of attention these days.

I really liked Stardust and Howl's Moving Castle; those are two of my favorite adaptations.

Angela Brown said...

The LOTR trilogy will probably be my forever-fave when it comes to movie adaptations.

I have yet to read Howl's Moving Castle. Since I've always found the books to be better than the movies - in most instances - I'm almost afraid to read the original. Not sure if I can handle having the written word tinker with my obsessive - erm - fangirlish adoration of all things Hayao Miyazaki :-)

Lydia Kang said...

I've heard good things about Perks, so I'm looking forward to reading it. also, love Emma Watson!

I also love the Princess Bride. It's embarrassing how many lines from that movie I have memorized.

I also loved the LOTR movies. Not perfect, but pretty well done.

Vanessa Di Gregorio said...

AH! I can't believe we both wrote posts on book-to-movie adaptations ON THE SAME DAY! Great minds ;)

THE PRINCESS BRIDE, STARDUST, and LOTR are my favourite book-to-movie adaptations! Though HARRY POTTER and THE HUNGER GAMES were well done.

I'm also a huge fan of BLADE RUNNER (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep), and APOCALYPSE NOW (Heart of Darkness), and THE ROAD! <3