Good Book to Movie Adaptations #1*

There are a lot of great books that get made into movies. Many of those movies are TERRIBLE. Two, off the top of my head because Jen reminded me of them on Twitter the other day, are Ella Enchanted and The Westing Game (movie’s called Get a Clue). Both books are FABULOUS. Both movies SUCK.

One movie I’ve seen recently again is actually better than the book, in my opinion.
The book:

The movie:

I’m a little afraid Amber’s going to disown me for this, but I didn’t think the book was all that fantastic.  BUT, I did read the book AFTER I saw the movie, so maybe that’s why.  The movie really expands on the plot of the book in a really great way.  Also the film features voices from a lot of big-name movie stars:  George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, and a Schwartzman brother (not that one, the other one).

Possibly the thing that makes the adaptation so good though is how funny the dialogue is.  Wes Anderson who directed and co-adapted the screenplay did such a fantastic job.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“There are a lot of attitudes going on around here.  Don’t let me get one.” – Ash, the quirky son

“If what I think is happening is happening…it better not be.” – Mrs. Fox, trying to lay down the law to her husband

“They’ll kill the children!” – Mrs. Fox
“Over my dead body they will.” – Mr. Fox
“That’s what I’m saying!  You’d be dead in that scenario!” – Mrs. Fox, in a moment of panic

And my all-time favorite…
“What the cuss?” or “Are you cussing at me?”, several times in the movie……..They use the word cuss in place of a cuss word!  Genius.

Has anyone else seen it?  Am I crazy for liking the movie better than the Roald Dahl book (sorry, Amber!)?

– Jill

*I’m thinking about making this a series, so stay tuned.  🙂

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7 Responses to “Good Book to Movie Adaptations #1*”


  1. 1 ngtjennifer April 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    First of all, I will say that I am not entirely opposed to the Ella Enchanted movie…(*prepares to be bludgeoned*). I was not a real big fan of the book, and even though I know that Ella Enchanted is not a GOOD movie, I can’t help but enjoy watching it. I think it is the singing that makes me happy.

    But I do really want to see Fantastic Mr. Fox. I have heard so many good things and I am fascinated by that type of animation.

    Also, I think we should make “not that one, the other one” a running joke on our blog. Good call, Jill.

  2. 2 Abby April 4, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Well, first of all, I loved the book (which I listened to on audio). And, while I did see the movie, it was at the library when I was showing it for a program, so between helping kids get more popcorn and cleaning up spills and keeping track of attendance, I wasn’t giving it my absolute full attention. So, I’ll say that I liked the book more than the movie, but I am not the biggest fan of Wes Anderson either.

  3. 3 ngtlindsay April 4, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I totally agree about Ella Enchanted – the book is amazing (Jen, I am convinced you need to read it again…or listen to it). The movie was just way too campy for me (but not so campy that I totally didn’t buy it!).
    And I totally agree with the Schwartzman Bros. joke!
    As for Fantastic Mr. Fox. I cannot remember the book for some reason. Although I’m pretty sure I read it. But as for the movie, I felt like it was a little too long for me. I loved the animation, I loved the characters, but I think maybe I went into it thinking it was a children’s movie and it totally wasn’t. I think a lot of people felt the same way about Where the Wild Things Are too.
    *I like the idea of this as a series. You know what translated well onto the screen? Emma – the one the BBC just did with that one girl from the Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights movie. That was awesome. Another DVD I need to go buy. 🙂 This is a long reply! Time to write a post!

  4. 4 Amber April 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Hahaha! You guys! Just because I lurve Roald Dahl doesn’t mean EVERY SINGLE ONE of his books is my favorite! Like Lindsay, I haven’t read this one in a while so I don’t really remember it, but since I didn’t reread it was prolly not my favorite so trash talk all you want 🙂 (for your info, my favorites are Matilda, The Witches, Boy, and The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar so DON’T YOU DARE MESS WITH THOSE jk jk!)

    As for the movie, I haven’t seen it yet bllaaahhh–Mr. Steve was all “I hate going to the theater, lets wait for it to come out on DVD” and THEN HE WENT WITHOUT ME WITH ONE OF HIS FRIENDS while i was out with the girls! I KNOW! so I am on like a million long holds list at the library but will hopefully get to see it soon.

    Soooo my comments really aren’t helpful at all to the discussion….

  5. 5 ngtjill April 4, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    @Amber – Comments don’t have to be helpful. I love them just the same.

    @Lindsay – Is Emma the movie you and Jen have been lovin’ since it came on tv lately? If so, I need to see it. Also, I agree that Fantastic Mr. Fox has a lot of moments for adults (like the “cuss” aspect) and was a tad long. Toward the end at one point I remember thinking “really? more?” But I still love it. 🙂

    @Abby – If you ever have a chance and feel like it, I’d suggest trying it again when you can give it more attention. I haven’t seen too many other Wes Anderson movies (at least lately), but I would guess that this one is along the same lines as his others.

    @Jen – Ok, I give you the singing in Ella Enchanted. At least the “Somebody to Love” song. It’s almost as good as the Glee version. 🙂

  6. 6 ngtjennifer April 4, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    Yeah, I love “Somebody to Love.” I also totally dig the song and dance at the end. Every movie should end with a musical number!!!!

  7. 7 Diana April 5, 2010 at 1:16 am

    I’ve never read the book Fantastic Mr. Fox, but I loved the movie. I usually like Wes Anderson’s movies, so it wasn’t that big a surprise, but it was pretty cool to see him do something so different. The music in the film was great, too.


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