Wednesday, June 20, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 20: Movin' to Media (The Dark Side)

Day 20: What is a book turned into a movie and completely desecrated?

I had a mental list for this question almost immediately. As mentioned before, most movies are worse than the books. There are only a few, however, that are completely ruined. One of them is Ella Enchanted, which was my first answer, but since it's already been used here, I decided to mention an equally (but in a totally different way) appalling one:

All I can say is...ugh. gross. nasty. I received a beautiful edition of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates from my grandparents for Christmas years ago, and read it immediately. I fell in love with the sweet, humble tale of little Hans and Gretel Brinker, the outcasts of society in Holland, growing up with a strong, hard-working mother and a father who has been insane almost as long as little Gretel can remember, after falling one stormy night whilst working on the dikes.

Written in the front: "To Sarah ~ Christmas 1999
For your 'permanent'
library...a classic
children's book...because
you enjoy reading so much.
Grandpa Jack & Grandma"

In spite of - or perhaps because of - this tragedy, the Brinkers are a tightly-knit family, and one feels inspired to better love one's own family when reading of how well the mother, brother, and sister looked out for each other. Stated boringly, Hans Brinker is the story of preparing, looking forward to, and racing for the prize of silver skates, but it's really much more than that... You learn to love Annie, Hans and Gretel's friend, and Peter, the kindly boy who gives no favors to Hans but is always on the lookout to do him a good turn, and Hilda, and others, and all the grand adventures of life that they go through together.

Gretel the Goose-Girl

Skating Expedition
But this movie completely, totally, desecrated the tale!! First off, they turned it into a musical. Now, let me not be mistaken I love musicals - My Fair Lady, Singin' in the Rain, Sound of Music, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and on and on and on - but if you've read this book, you know how totally wrong it is to turn this into the sweet, cutesy sort of tale a musical can't help but create. Secondly, all the "children" in the story are teens, Hans goes with the boys on their several-day-long skating trip (which he refuses to do in the book, since he needs to take care of his mother and sister), and the whole story is turned into a poor-boy-rich-girl love story between Hans and Annie (and Annie, while better off than the Brinkers, wasn't even rich!). Since we had read the book together as a family, Mama and Daddy got the movie for us kids the following Christmas, and even though we were all under ten, we instantly denounced it for being so "disgusting" compared to the book!

Do you have a movie you just can't stand to watch after reading the book?


Lynnae said...

That's too bad...I hate it when a movie doesn't follow the book! Ania is reading that book right now and loving it :)

Lauren said...

I love that book, and now I'm glad I've never seen the movie! Your copy of the book from your grandparents is so sweet!

Mikaela said...

The fact that that book is in any used bookstore testifies to its immense popularity not long ago! Let's see...that one version of Scarlet Pimpernel--disgusting! Thankfully, there is the good version to make up for it. And An Old-Fashioned Girl--not a complete loss in the amusement it afforded, but certainly a hilarious disappointment. ;-)