Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The book's always better than the movie

From Dan: The kids and I went to see the movie City of Ember tonight. Abby was excited to see it because she'd read the books. Riley was excited because he loves a good movie. We had a great time. The movie was pretty good, too.

One of the previews we saw was for Inkheart, which is another movie made from a book we've enjoyed--in this case as an audiobook on one of our long family trips. It's remarkable, I think, how many wonderful works of children's literature are being made into movies. A lot of our favorites have already been done: The Dark is Rising, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ella Enchanted, Eragon, Narnia, the Golden Compass, Despereaux and of course, Harry Potter.

I don't remember all of my favorite stories turning into movies when I was a kid, but I think it's kind of cool to first experience a tale as only words and then as moving images. Riley and Abby agree that sometimes the images your mind creates when your reading or listening to a story are better than what a movie can create. But the movie condenses and sharpens the story in interesting ways--some of which are not deemed acceptable. Ask Abby, for example, how many plot points the movie of Prince Caspian got wrong and you'll likely get an earful.

Abby says she'd like to see Hollywood adapt the works of Tamora Pierce or the Mysterious Benedict Society. And, we're still holding out hope for the The Subtle Knife and The Hobbit.

In the meantime, Riley's hoping that the folks in Wisconsin Dells will build a City of Ember waterslide like the one in the movie. "That was totally awesome!", he said.
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