I recently had to write a University essay on film adaptations and it inspired me to make a blog post on my favourite films that were adapted from books, so if you enjoy the film, you can go try the book out!
So once again, in no particular order…
Author: Neil Gaiman – Director: Henry Selick.
Much like a lot of entries in this list, I saw the film before I read the book because honestly, I’m not a big reader so I kind of want to be invested in a story before I read it? I know a lot of people will disagree with me on that. A few things were added/taken away from the book into the film but most of the story is quite similar, if anything I’d say that the book is actually scarier than the film, which makes it even more of a rewarding read! As I said earlier I’m not a big reader but I have actually re-read Coraline around 3 times!
Watch the trailer for Coraline here
Horton Hears A Who
Author: Dr. Seuss – Directors: Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino
I’m actually a fan of many Dr. Seuss film adaptation from The Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas but haven’t fully read all of the books, I guess they’re usually short and for young children but I would love to own the book collection one day, I’m a sucker for rhyming stories! A lot of the stories taken from Dr. Seuss do receive a lot of altering as the books are usually quite short, I chose Horton Hears A Who as it’s the one that manages to make me laugh the most.
Watch the trailer for Horton Hears a Who here
The Hundred and One Dalmatians
Author: Dodie Smith – Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wolfgang Reitherman, Hamilton Luske + Stephen Herek
As all 3 of you regular readers will know, I’m a big fan of 101 Dalmatians so of course I’ve read the book and seen every film adaption. I read the book a long time ago so honestly I don’t remember every detail, I know however that the 1961 animated adaptation left a lot out from the original novel and the 1996 live action film is more of an adaptation of the animated film rather than an adaptation of the novel. Again, I read the book after loving the films from a young age.
Alice in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll – Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske + Tim Burton
There’s a number of different adaptations of Alice in Wonderland, from films to video games, stage shows and more. In this case, I’m talking about Disney’s animated adaption released in 1951 and again, Disney’s live action adaptation released in 2010. Now I haven’t read all of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but I know that different film adaptations include more of the original story than Disney’s 1951 film so if you’re looking for a film that has the most similar story line it’s best to watch as many film adaptations as you can! There are also so many presses of the original Lewis Carroll novel seeing as it was originally published in 1865.
Author: Chris Van Allsburg – Director: Joe Johnston
I actually only recently found out about the Jumanji book which is in fact, A picture book! I can’t say that I’ve looked through the picture book though so I couldn’t tell you if this is a true adaptation but regardless, the 1996 film is worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before! it’s great fun and stars the ever so wonderful; Robin Williams.
Watch the trailer for Jumanji here
How To Train Your Dragon
Author: Cressida Cowell – Director: Dean DeBlois & Chris Sanders
I don’t think I express enough how much I love the How To Train Your Dragon films, I’m such a fan of both films and both directors! I have however not read the original books… My sister however has! As she is also a big fan of the franchise, I asked her if there are any clear differences and she mentioned a few characters were added/taken out for the film, some of the relationships are different and some of the themes within the story were changed for the film. I feel like the books were written for a slightly younger audience than the film was written for but both are good and both should be appreciated! My sister and I are both very excited for How To Train Your Dragon 3 in 2019.
Watch the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon here
When Marnie Was There
Author: Joan G. Robinson – Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
I actually wrote my University adaptation essay on this film as I love both the film and book so much. The cool thing about this adaptation is it’s an English novel by an English author released in 1967 and was adapted into a film by Japanese animation studio; Studio Ghibli in 2014. This adaptation is pretty close to the original text, a few things were changed due to cultural differences eg: English names to Japanese names, English locations to Japanese locations, etc. but you wouldn’t miss out on a lot if you only read the book or only watched the film, both are worth your time though.
Watch the trailer for When Marnie Was There here
Night at the Museum
Author: Milan Trenc – Director: Shawn Levy
Another adaption that I’ve only recently found out about is Night at the Museum! Again, this was actually a picture book before it was turned into a film and again, I haven’t read it as I believe it’s intended for a younger audience. Like the Jumanji entry on this list, I wish I could say more but I can’t comment on the similarities as I haven’t seen the picture book. However all 3 films in the Night at the Museum franchise are brilliant and you should definitely watch them if you have the chance.
Watch the trailer for Night at the Museum here
The Iron Giant
Author: Ted Hughes – Director: Brad Bird
Once again, I’m a poor person to write this list as I haven’t read The Iron Man but I do love The Iron Giant! It’s film equivalent, Brad Bird is one of my favourite directors! I believe this is a pretty similar story?? but sadly I couldn’t say, I do know a fun fact though, Obviously Iron Man was already taken by Marvel so when it came to the film adaptation; The Iron Giant was chosen instead and the main character of The Iron Giant; Hogarth Hughes got his surname from the author of The Iron Man; Ted Hughes. I wish I could say more about this great film but alas, I should have read the book.
Watch the trailer for The Iron Giant here
Bridge to Terabithia
Author: Katherine Paterson – Director: Gábor Csupó
I watched this film a lot as a kid, even though it makes me cry every time without fail, even now! About a year ago I bought the book but still haven’t got around to reading it, like I said! not a big reader… from what I’ve read and can remember though, the two are pretty similar! I’m going to make it my mission to finish this book, this summer. It’s actually not that big of a book, it looks pretty thin to me, I think it’s mostly aimed towards younger readers though, around the 10/11 year old mark but I enjoy reading book that have been adapted and I don’t think it’s dumbed down in anyway so you could read it at any age!
Watch the trailer for The Bridge to Terabithia here
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold – Director: Peter Jackson
This film is rough at parts, pretty heartbreaking but none the less, a good film. Again, (i’m so sorry) I haven’t read the book, BUT I do want to so I might have a look on amazon after writing this post. I’m going to guess though that it’s a pretty close match as the book was pretty famous before the film, I think? Perhaps the film is a little less gruesome, I’m not sure. All I know is that Saoirse Ronan is a wonderful actress and I don’t like seeing Stanley Tucci in this role, I don’t want to be creeped out Stanley Tucci.
Watch the trailer for The Lovely Bones here
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Author: Lemony Snicket – Director: Brad Silberling
To get a few things out in the open; I started reading the book series as a child but never got past The Bad Beginning, my attention span was even worse as a child. I know the film is based on more than one book and I am yet to watch the Netflix original series, PHEW, now that that’s out the way! I think this film is great, it’s so funny and Jim Carrey is wonderful as Count Olaf, I can’t say how close the books are to the film because I don’t remember the book honestly! but I know a lot of kids read the books when they came out so a lot of you are probably aware of the similarities.
Watch the trailer for A Series of Unfortunate Events here
Author: Cecelia Ahern – Director: Christian Ditter
Where The Rainbow Ends aka Love, Rosie to the film world is a film and book I’ve seen AND read!! well… I never actually finished the book but I’M TRYING. The cool thing about Where The Rainbow Ends is the entire book (I think the entire book, I mean I didn’t get to the end) is told through text and email exchanges between the main characters and each text/email finishes with “Love, Rosie” hence the film title. The film is a typical RomCom but it really is funny and I find myself really sympathising with the characters, they’re just so likeable. A few changes from book to screen that I can remember off the top of my head is the book is set in Ireland however the film is just set in England and the film isn’t shown through texts and emails, it’s told like a normal film but there are some text and email exchanges!
Watch the trailer for Love, Rosie here
Author: Shauna Cross – Director: Drew Barrymore
I actually started reading a preview of this book when I started researching for this post and I have to say, I enjoyed reading it! It paralleled the film pretty well and even when scenes came up that I expected to be different, they weren’t! It looks like the film makers behind Whip It, really did their research! This film has a great cast and it makes me want to try Roller Derby! however, I’m not as tough as the girls that do Roller Derby, I’m a bit of a wimp in comparison so I probably wouldn’t be able to take Roller Derby!
Watch the trailer for Whip It here
Marley & Me
Author: John Grogan – Director: David Frankel
I know, I know; Tears. I actually read the whole book as a kid! My mum got me the children’s adaptation as I was (and still am) obsessed with dogs as a kid, so it was practically the same but maybe it had easier to read words? I can’t remember, I think I was around 10 years old but I remember crying my little 10 year old eyes out at the end of the book regardless and the film! it’s a great film and I want to re-watch it but I always go years and years in between views because it upsets me so much! I know a lot of people know about the book but it’s worth a read if you’re brave enough.
Watch the trailer for Marley & Me here
Author: Michael Crichton – Director: Steven Spielberg
Me being the ignorant person I am, actually didn’t know that Jurassic Park was a book prior to a film until I started researching this topic! even though it literally tells me that it is in the end credit of the film! I read a plot synopsis though and I get the impression that it’s pretty similar but I know there will be at least one person out there reading this getting upset at the fact it’s totally different and I don’t know anything about the Jurassic Park book (sorry!) So obviously I haven’t read the Jurassic Park book, that doesn’t mean I won’t and that you shouldn’t though!
Watch the trailer for Jurassic Park here
Taadaah! here is yet another movie list for my blog! I want to try to get out of the habit of writing lists but I know more people are usually interested in reading lists and I always seem to think of topics that will be easier to read in list form, we’ll see if I ever get out of this habit. I’m sorry for being so useless and not reading any of the books on this list, I have tried, but as I said before, I’m just not a big reader! but I will try to make more of an effort to read, I do like reading, it’s just sometimes my attention span won’t let me, I’m going to look up some of the books on this list on amazon now!