Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time & other books-turned-movies

I've been a bookworm as long as I can remember. I've also loved movies as long as I can remember. I have passed down an enjoyment of both mediums to my children. I particularly like children's books that have been turned into movies, but only if they are well-made!

I'm not sure which would be my number one choice, so I'll give you some insight into movies I have enjoyed with my children (particularly my older boys - 8 & 10 because they just have seen more movies and read more books than my 2yo daughter).

There are many stories turned into movies that are beloved by myself and my children - Beauty and the Beast (animated and not), Cinderella (animated), um... really, most Disney movies (at least older ones). But one book/animated movie that I just hold dear is Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. This is a wonderful tale of friendship, bravery, and the difference words can make. As a self-proclaimed word nerd, that last part is truly important to me. I remember an elementary teacher reading this book out loud for us in my younger years and I enjoyed reading it several years ago to my sons. As for the movie, I prefer the animated version (I don't like the animals in the Dakota Fanning version). I just love the character of Charlotte - she's brave and kind and doesn't mind what others think of her. She uses her intelligence to lift Wilbur up! Just the kind of personality I wish my own daughter will inherit.

I also have fond memories of The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary being read to me in elementary school. I truly think teachers reading out loud to their students is an important part of a public school education (that's all I've had so I cannot speak to other types of education). I believe this really grew a a love of reading and teaching in my heart at a young age. Now, The Mouse and the Motorcycle movie (and sequel) may not be to your liking. It's an odd type of animation (not really animated but I am not sure what other word to use) but my boys liked it - it's very 80s! Again, I love the personality of Ralph S. Mouse - how brave he is and the friendship he strikes up with Keith.

In junior high I read The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. What a tremendous piece of literature. It means a great deal more to me now, as a follower of Christ, than it did as a child but I really appreciated how beautifully C.S. Lewis painted a mental picture of Narnia and its inhabitants and the Pevensie children. I admire qualities in each of the children but most of all, I admire Aslan the Lion. He sacrificed himself for Edward in his sins, just as Christ did for us. What a beautiful analogy to Christ for our children to see. We have enjoyed watching the Disney version of this film and its sequels.

Matilda is one movie I prefer over the book; perhaps because I saw it first. The film version, starring Mara Wilson, is adorable! She was just the epitome of cute in her day. I think the film very convincingly brings to life the Roald Dahl characters, may they be Matilda's family or her teacher, Miss Honey (who I really, truly always wanted to be like when I grew up). There were just a few scenes in the book that I thought the movie did better, but I may be biased. I don't know. My boys really enjoyed the book and the movie.

Now, The Peanuts Movie is not really based on a book but a comic strip series by Charles Schulz. I really love this because it's appropriate for our wide age-range for children. Golly, who doesn't love Charlie Brown and Snoopy? My boys loved the action that the WWI Flying Ace provided and didn't even mind the love story plot with the Little Red Hair Girl. Catchy music, great animation, super plot. We have enjoyed getting anthologies of The Peanuts comic strip from our library, too. Those are great fun to read through, especially if you get ones spanning decades!

My latest favorite film adaptation of a children's book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I listened to the audio version of the book a few years back as I painted my sons' room. As a mom of a child with special needs, I strongly believe ever child should be read this book. My boys are old enough to read it themselves but I still plan to read it to them and watch the film together. They haven't seen the film (although they will like that Miss O from Odd Squad is in it), but my husband took me while it was in theaters. I bawled my eyes out. I understand how important friendship is. I understand how hard it is for children with special needs. And the affects of special needs on a household (parents and siblings!). Probably the best movie I've seen in forever and I love that my kids could watch it with me! You can't find that often anymore. The characters and actors are fabulous!

There are others we love: Harry Potter (just started reading them to my boys, no movies yet for them; the illustrated versions are beautiful, Jim Dale is awesome on the audio book), Diary of a Wimpy Kid series (not everyone's cup of tea but we enjoy them, especially my two-year-old and this song), to name a couple. But we are all excited about A Wrinkle in Time coming out in theaters. I've never read this book and may not get a chance to before we view the movie, but the movie looks phenomenal! I love when a movie is made and brings back excitement over a semi-forgotten book (I know it's a classic but I never read it in school even).

From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic that takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light, good versus evil and, ultimately, the triumph of love.  The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and Storm Reid as “Meg Murry.” A Wrinkle In Time is in theaters.

image via Grace Hill Media

I've seen trailers and pictures and I follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram; the hype is there to make this movie awesome. I surely hope it lives up to its potential. You can watch the trailer below: 

Doesn't that look amazing?! Such big power names in it behind a classic novel. I think my boys want to take me to the movie for my birthday! 

image via Grace Hill Media

Maybe we'll see you at the movies!

Disclaimer: I will receive a gift certificate to be able to see this movie myself. I'm excited anyway! Have fun at the movies and if you dislike any of my likes, sorry. :) 

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