Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hollywood, stop messing with my childhood! Part 1

It seems that Hollywood is determined to ruin many of the fond memories I have of books from my childhood. They keep making movies and remaking things and doing a hatchet job on them.

That's not to say they haven't done a couple of things right lately. I'm actually a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. It's true to the books, it treats its source material with respect, and it's just a great story. It's a bit of a shame that the Religious Right adopted it in such a priggish manner, but maybe they'd read ahead and were trying to act like Eustace. Prince Caspian wasn't as good, but again, it was faithful to its source material; I just didn't like that book nearly as much. It also looks like they will be making The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, contrary to one rumor I heard. So I'm happy, since it is my favorite of the books.


I honestly doubt they'll go much past those three. The Silver Chair and A Horse and His Boy barely has the Pevinsies in it and The Magician's Nephew not at all. They have to get the movies made before the actors grow up too much to be believable, unless they do them out of order. The Last Battle seems doubtful to me. Would you really make a children's movie where the protagonists realize they're dead at the end of it? "Hey kids, lets go watch a movie where all the characters you grew up with actually die!"


I have to say that I am a fan of the Harry Potter movies as well. Again, they dealt with the source material faithfully, insofar as is reasonable for two-hour adaptations of pretty big books. (David, I can hear you rolling your eyes.)

In dragged on a bit in later acts, but Sci-Fi's recent OZ miniseries wasn't half-bad. I'm not sure if that counts in this list, since I was first introduced to Oz via The Wizard of Oz, as I suspect most of us were, but I did read several of Baum's books. The miniseries really was more of a reimagining, like the recent Battlestar Galactica, rather than a retelling of the original story. It didn't surpass its source material like BSG, but I think it retained the sense of steampunk wackiness and actual danger that I remember from the books.

Wow, after checking Wikipedia, it looks like there have been a lot more books made into movies than I was aware of: How to Eat Fried Worms, A Ring of Endless Light (thought I didn't read the book), A Wrinkle in Time, The Westing Game, and there was even a Neverending Story III. It looks like most of those adaptations sucked.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post, but it's taken me so long to get here, it's going to have to wait for another day.


Gamera said...

Hahaha...nice warm-up. :)

moon-grrl said...

My thoughts:

The movie is never as good as the book, period. For me, it's because I hate being told by some director and casting agents how the characters look and sound. Of course, there are a few exceptions-the BBC adaptation of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" that played on PBS' Wonderworks (Anyone else remember that show? It was the program on which Megan Fellowes' "Anne of Green Gables" premiered.) back in the, uh, I want to say early nineties.

There was a cartoon adaptation of "How to Eat Fried Worms" that played on ABC's Saturday Afternoon Movie regularly back in the mid to late eighties.

I haven't though of "The Westing Game" in years. What a great book!

You never read "A Ring of Endless Light"!?!?! For shame.

David said...

I would have to roll my eyes really hard in order for it to be audible.

And I'm not anti-Potter. I'm just ambivalent. If you're talking buff, sexy, naked Harry Potter on Broadway... that's another matter entirely.

Fig said...

That Anne of Green Gables adaptation was fantastic and very faithful.

The Neverending Story adaptation is one of the worst things I have ever seen. I would pay money to unsee it.