This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is TTT Throwback (pick a topic we’ve done in the past that you missed out on, or loved so much you’d like to do again!). Since I didn’t start doing Top Ten Tuesday until about a year ago, I had plenty to choose from. But one idea stuck out the most to me and I decided to go with it: Best Book to Movie Adaptations. There are a lot of book to screen adaptations that are absolutely awful. But there are some that are faithful to the story and keep the spirit of the story intact, which I think is the most important thing with an adaptation. Here are ten adaptations that do just that.
Holes by Louis Sachar: By far, this is probably the most accurate book-to-movie adaptation I’ve ever watched. The dialogue is line for line from the book, and all of the events from the book remain intact. The only difference is that Stanley isn’t overweight at the beginning of the film because the movie makers didn’t want to make a teenage boy gain a ton of weight and then try to lose it over the course of the short filming schedule. That’s it. Also, the casting is A+ and I still quote it from time to time.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: While I wasn’t too keen about the adaptation of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire far exceeded my expectations. (In Francis Lawrence, we trust!) It kept most of the scenes, only leaving out a few things that didn’t seem as necessary, and it also adapted parts of the Panem world beyond Katniss’ point of view. I think they did an excellent job with it, and while I didn’t think they needed to split Mockingjay into two films, they did a great job with both of those movies as well.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: The Book Thief is a long book, and there was no way they’d be able to add everything from the book into a two-hour film. Still, they did their best, and I think the movie adaptation was wonderful. It kept the spirit of the book alive. The casting was absolutely perfect, the music even better (Bless you, John Williams!), and overall, it brought this devastatingly beautiful book to life. Gosh, I’m still not ready to talk about this book!
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: Just like with The Book Thief, some things were left out of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Lord of the Rings. But honestly, I love these movies so much because the cast is absolutely wonderful and the special effects were so far ahead of its time that it still looks pretty great despite being 15+ years old. I will always love these films. (Plus, Return of the King won 11 Oscars.)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: Disney’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe blew me away. It’s honestly the reason I fell in love with Narnia and read the whole series. The sense of adventure I got while sitting in that theater as an eleven year-old kid was mind-blowing. The movie itself is gorgeous, and I absolutely love the casting choices. Plus, it’s a faithful adaptation.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: Based on the graphic novel, Hugo brought to life the story of a boy and his automaton. I love the setting and the color scheme of the movie along with the music. It definitely brought the atmosphere of the Paris train station to life. Not to mention the beautiful renditions of the George Méliès films. All in all, this is a wonderful adaptation that took the black and white illustrations of Selznick’s book and brought them to life.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones: I fell in love with Howl’s Moving Castle because of the Studio Ghibli animated film. It is beyond gorgeous. The art style, the design of Howl’s house, the characters and voice acting… I love it all. I think it made me appreciate the novel even more, and I really need to watch more Studio Ghibli films soon.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: I’ll admit that even though I read Anne of Green Gables when I was younger, the reason I know the story is because of the TV movies. I mean, Gilbert Blythe is so adorable and Megan Follows as Anne is impeccable. It was after I rewatched all the movies that I decided to read through all the books in the series. I also like the Netflix show, Anne with an E, because it tells Anne’s story in a different light and from a different view than the others, but the original TV movies will always be my favorite. (I mean, Gilbert, guys.)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: My favorite adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modern retelling told through a series of Youtube videos and at the time various social media accounts. This adaptation made me fall in love with the story of Elizabeth and Darcy all over again. The uniqueness of the storytelling paired with the relatable modern day references drew me to my computer twice a week for a least half a year (and then another year when they did the five year anniversary rewatch recently). My favorite think about this adaptation, though, is that it truly encompasses the entire book. All the events that happen in the book are shown in the show, which isn’t often in an Austen adaptation (with the exception of the mini-series). And the way they adapted certain aspects (like Charlotte becomes Mr. Collins business partner instead of marriage partner) were impressive and creative. It’s truly one of the greatest adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and it’s free to watch on the Internet right now!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett: I grew up reading this weird, black and white picture book in my grandma’s basement. It was always intriguing because the pictures of the food coming from the sky always looked delicious enough to eat. So when they made it into an animated film, I was curious. The book was maybe 15 pages long. There wasn’t a main character or main plot. But the movie was great. It had humor and food and a wild explanation for the food weather. It even went into how the food became too big and the residents had to flee. While it was definitely different than the book, I think it was a fun adaptation of the story.