No, But I’ve Seen the Movie

With Tin Tin in theaters, famous writers were asked about the best and worst children’s book-to-movie adaptations, and which they’d like to see. A few favorite thoughts:

Lois Lowry: “I think [movie adaptations of books] are pretty uniformly disappointing, with some (“Tuck Everlasting”) spectacularly worse than others. My only real favorite is the obvious “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which was not published as a YA book (though if it had been written today, it would have been).”

Sherman Alexie: I think “Howl’s Moving Castle” has to be the best film adaptation of a young-adult book. The book is terrific but the movie is better. I know that’s blasphemy for a writer to say, but the imagination of the filmmakers — the images they create — are better than anything that I created as I read the novel. The filmmakers became my imagination. My two sons also think this is the best adaptation ever.

Jane Yolen: “Three that I would like to see made are Shannon Hale’s “Goose Girl” and the books that follow it, Patricia C. Wrede’s “Enchanted Forest” books, and Bruce Coville’s “Magic Shop” books. I know that’s cheating because I would be getting multiple movies out of a choice of three, but nobody says these kind of choices are fair.

Love all these choices. There are a lot of other fantastic suggestions* (click through to see!) After seconding most choices in the famous author list, I’d add:

The Good: The 2010 version of True Grit, which was very true to the book and a YA novel at heart.

The Bad: Any Madeleine L’Engle related movie. A Ring of Endless Light is not about saving dolphins from an evil corporation!

The Hopeful: I’d love to see a miniseries based on Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness. (Hell, any of Pierce’s books, but the Alanna series are near and dear to my heart.)

What children’s book movie adaptations are on your best/worst/wish lists?

*On the other hand, R.L. Stine liked the Golden Compass movie, which I thought was a very watered-down version of an amazing book. (Granted, the polar bear scenes were awesome.) A friend of mine has suggested that only Miyazaki could do a worthwhile version of His Dark Materials and I’m inclined to agree.

0 thoughts on “No, But I’ve Seen the Movie

  1. sarnaj says:

    I think that making a movie based on a book is a fairly hopeless quest. Movies, by their general nature, can never be as good as books. There is a point at which an advanced level of failure can be achieved, however. The producers of Eragon provide evidence of that.

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