5 Perfectly Good Books that Hollywood Ruined…and 5 Books Hollywood Got Right

Executive Editor Book Buzz

It seems that Hollywood’s favorite scripts these days are all comic books or books.  Hollywood loves an already established audience and fan base so it has been producing movie versions of books, particularly middle grade and young adult novels, right and left.  With the Oscars just around the corner, it only seemed right to re-visit where Hollywood went wrong…and in fairness, where they got it right.

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5 Perfectly Good Books That Hollywood Ruined

There are a lot of poor adaptations and bad castings out there, but we tried to focus on the ones that would make deceased authors roll over in their graves and the still-living authors want to check-in to the cemetery.  The following movies are in no particular order of horrid-ness:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine  It was unclear what the producers were thinking.  Was it an attempt to make the story into a Shrek look-alike?

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo  The story was so mutilated as to be unrecognizable.  Hollywood missed it all…the themes, the point, the tone.  It was a complete disaster.

Eragon  by Christopher Paolini  Again, this is a movie that strayed so far from the book that it frustrated the original fans.  The filmmakers didn’t even try.  What is the point of making a movie into a book if you are going to change essential parts?

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan Ditto the above comment on Eragon.   This is a movie that the review team mentioned a lot so it made the list.  Trying to combine characters with different personalities from different books, making Percy more of a sixteen year old than a twelve year old, focusing on action rather than the plot, weak acting, straying from the book, straying from Greek mythology–these are some of the complaints the fans of the book have had.  (The second movie, Sea of Monsters, also suffered from the same flaws.)

Cat in the Hat  by Dr. Suess  We don’t even want to talk about it.

5 Books That Hollywood Got Right

 

 

The Lord of the Rings:   The Fellowship of the Ring  by J.R.R. Tolkien Peter Jackson translated from page to screen a world that generations had only dreamed of.  Rivendell looked exactly like we had always imagined it.  Although Mr. Jackson has since gone adrift, that first installment was spot-on.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis  Visually breathtaking with phenomenal casting made this movie a success.

The Princess Bride by  William Goldman This may be the most re-watchable and quotable movie…ever.  The movie is better than the book in the opinion of some.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie  The 2003 movie version captured all the magic of this classic story.  Forget the animated version and go with this one.

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery Okay, this 1986 production isn’t technically a movie so much as a TV series.  Perhaps that is why they nailed it–the director just had more time to work with.  Megan Follows, the actress who played Anne, is superb.  One can never tire of her cracking her slate over Gilbert’s head!

 Happy reading and hopefully happy watching!

– Cindy, Editor