talked before about why I like some book-to-movie adaptations, but
I haven’t talked about which adaptations I enjoy. Time to change that!
To narrow it down even more, I’ll specifically be talking about sci-fi fantasy
books to movies. There are plenty of contemporary adaptations, but I’ll try to
keep this list short-ish.
I will not be talking about: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
I think we can all agree that the former is excellent and the latter (casting
excluded) is terrible. Okay, maybe not terrible. Cringe-worthy, maybe? Yeah,
let’s go with that. LotR is a work of art in film and book forms, but
I’d like to focus on some other noteworthy stories today.
pros and cons listed apply to the movie adaptations, not their books.
Pros: CGI, stellar casting, general
plot accuracy, excellent character portrayals
Cons: ending inaccuracy, plot feels
rushed after reading the book
you ever have those moments where you watch the movie first and it makes sense,
and then after you’ve read the book, you re-watch the movie, and the film makes
less sense? I had that sensation with Ender’s Game. But as far as films
go, the movie still does a great job.
visual depiction of Battle School along with the battle simulations is
stunning. The imaginative portrayal in the movie really helped me where my
imagination fell short while reading the book.
only wish they would have delved more into Ender’s perspective. It started off
strong, but as the movie goes along, I felt it lost the connection to the
character in favor of wrapping up the plot. If you’re looking for more great
character development, I highly recommend the book as well as the rest of the
Ender: In the moment when I truly
understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that
very moment I also love him.
How to Train Your Dragon (1-3)
Pros: character and dragon designs,
intricate world building, characters, dragons
Cons: minor historical inaccuracies,
inappropriate references and some problematic relationships
haven’t actually read all the books yet, though from what I have read, they’re
incredibly different in plot and even some characters. From what I gather, the
movies have kept the general heart of the story.
being said, the dragons are awesome, the music is amazing, and Hiccup is
incredibly relatable. I really wish I could befriend a Night Fury. I
particularly like how the story blends a warrior society like the Vikings with
a compassionate intellectual like Hiccup. Then there’s the intricate world
building that just gets more dynamic with each film. I haven’t seen any of the
spin-off shows yet, but I’ve heard they’re great.
just don’t care for some of the side characters, especially the twins and
Hiccup’s cousin Snotlout. That’s right. His cousin. Am I the only one
who finds it disturbing in the third movie that Snotlout starts hitting on
Hiccup’s mom? And the movie never addresses it? Come on.
Stoick: With love comes loss, son. It’s
part of the deal. Sometimes it hurts, but, in the end, it’s all worth it.
There’s no greater gift than love.
John Carter of Mars
Pros: great themes, music, and
Cons: lack of xenolinguistics
know this movie didn’t do so well in theaters, but in my family it’s a
favorite. We could probably quote the entire thing. I especially like the
character development and the element where the girl saves the guy and vice
versa several times throughout the movie. Then there’s the dynamic cultures of
the “Red Men” and Tharks, and Woola the dog-like monster.
soundtrack is stellar, and I like to listen to it on its own. Michael Giacchino
is one of my favorite composers.
only complaint is that they skipped over the language aspect rather quickly
whereas the first book did not. I understand that viewers may not necessarily
want to read subtitles the entire movie, but you don’t just drink a magic
potion that helps you understand another language. That’s not how language
works, not even in the books.
warriors change their metals, but not their heart.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian (Disney,
2005 and 2008)
Pros: amazing music, great casting,
Cons: some inaccuracies, only three
adaptations of a seven-book series
not going to talk about Voyage of the Dawn Treader because I’m not
actually a fan of the film adaptation. When The Lion, the Witch, and the
Wardrobe first came to theaters, my dad took my brother and I to see it a ton.
I remember getting all giddy when the train would chug across England, and I’d
get swept away into the beautiful land of Narnia.
we didn’t watch Prince Caspian in theaters half as much, I was still in
love with the story. Growing up, I went back and forth between Prince
Caspian and The Silver Chair being my favorite books. I guess I like
the concept of returning to a fantastical world with characters familiar and
particularly liked the casting for Prince Caspian and only wish they
would have included Caspian’s nurse. The movie was less lighthearted than the
books. Trumpkin lost his sense of humor and didn’t get tossed in the air by
Aslan. There was no holiday at the end of the book. In that sense, I think the movie
seemed a little more grown up than the books had intended.
Lucy: I wish you’d all stop trying to
sound like grow-ups. […]
Trumpkin: I am a grown-up.
A Monster Calls
Pros: beautiful art, great casting,
Cons: will rip your heart out
can only watch this movie or read the book at certain times. It’s that intense.
But the way it combines CGI with live action reminiscent of the black-and-white
sketches in the book is just beautiful. So artistic.
story itself is so heartbreaking. It doesn’t always make sense, blending
fantasy with reality so sometimes they’re hard to tell apart, but it’s an
excellent story all the same. Intensity aside, I have no complaints.
Monster: […] humans
are complicated beasts. You believe comforting lies, while knowing full well
the painful truth that makes those lies necessary. In the end, Conor, it is not
important what you think. It is only important what you do.
Series of Unfortunate Events
Pros: important themes, satirical,
pokes fun at plot conventions
Cons: incredibly irritating, very
unfortunate to the point of being synonymous with 2020, unsolved plot points
referring to the Netflix series, not the stand-alone movie, which had too happy
of an ending if you ask me. I know the show is technically a series, not a
movie, but this is my blog so I do what I want. Each book in the series gets
two 40-minute episodes, so it’s like a full-length movie. Right? Maybe I’m just
writing in circles, which is a phrase here that means I should move on and
really be starting a new paragraph.
read the books in-between watching the episodes when they first released, so my
experiences of both are rather intertwined. The episodes follow the books much
closer than the initial film adaptation, the primary difference being the added
influence of VFD and all the Easter eggs like that stupid sugar bowl. Oh yeah,
and Lemony Snicket is twice as annoying in the show and not half as funny.
Maybe it’s because I’m more of a bookwyrm than a show fanatic and appreciate
the way the books poke fun at books themselves.
all the books/episodes, I really like book two (episodes 3-4) with Uncle Monty
(The Reptile Room). Being a bearded dragon mama, I could see myself one
day having a reptile room of my own. Though if I happen to take in some
orphans, I’ll be sure to listen to them and flee the country immediately.
Monty: Life is a
conundrum of esoterica.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Pros: CGI, compelling plot, great
Cons: playboy pursues the female
scientist (can we just kill this trope already?)
graphic novel series adaptation is actually one of the few where I enjoyed the
movie more than the books. While the books doubtlessly lean more on the
scientific aspects of science fiction, the movie did a much better job on
character development and storyline. If anything, the characters in the books
just annoyed me, and I got bored with the plot.
both the movie and the books, the world building is excellent. I also like how
the casting for the film defied the typical casting. Usually when the guy has a
deep voice like that, he’s a villain, not the protagonist.
only complaint is the romance. I know I usually complain about romance in
general, but I actually find the one in this story to be problematic.
Doghan-Dagui: We know how humans work.
Doghan-Dagui: They’re all so predictable.
Laureline: Clearly, you’ve never met a
to Terebithia, The Hunger Games, The Neverending Story, and The
chat! Have you seen any of these movies and/or read their books? What did you
think of them? Have any sci-fi/fantasy book-to-movie adaptations to add to the
posts: Are Book Dragons a Dying Breed?, 7 of my Go-To Authors, and Why This Bookworm Enjoys Book-to-Movie Adaptations