I went on a mission in 2019 to read books I’ve already seen the movies of.
I started simple with my childhood & fairytales. Many of these are Disney since that is much of what I consumed as a child.
I haven’t achieved reading all that I want but I’m a mood reader and I’m rarely in the mood these days for classics.
On this journey I’ve discovered that one is not more or better than the other. They are two separate forms of storytelling and thus offer a different way to interpret the messages and themes.
The question shouldn’t be which is better but which do you prefer.
The verdict for me is …
This comes as no surprise to me. I have always gravitated towards books over movies and TV.
The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum
Watching this movie was an experience & reading it was no different.
I really like the small changes in details because I think it made all the difference to the movie. i.e. bringing in the Wicked Witch from the beginning. In the book she doesn’t show up until over halfway.
There is inconsistency in the book.
Tin “The Woodcutter” Man, (my brain kept correcting it Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, if you know you know) is very sensitive over stepping on a bug but within the next scene has cut off the heads of 50+ wolves & that was just ..fine?
Same goes for Dorothy who rightfully doesn’t want to kill the wicked witch because she’s 13 and doesn’t know how to go about that task. However, after the disembodiment she wakes up to piles of headless bodies and bodiless heads and asks, “What’s for breakfast?” like wat??
Glinda is noted as the most powerful yet sits on her ruby throne while many are enslaved to the wicked witches. Not the definition of a Good Witch.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I have read a ton of retellings without ever having read the original. I do regret that now after having read the first. This is mostly because I couldn’t appreciate the retellings since I only had the Disney frame of reference and they don’t go as dark as the original. For Disney to not want to keep the darker elements from his movies he still played to the ugly racists stereotypes of Natives. The book did no better in that department either. I really didn’t enjoy the book overall.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
One year when I was 6 or 7 I watched this movie everyday for that entire year. I just wanted another adventure with Alice in Wonderland. It would be some time before I ever made my way back to Wonderland. I eventually made it. So was it worth the trip? Maybe. I think a lot of my problems stem from having high hopes and expectations. I totally see why its beloved even if I don’t feel the same. I say it’s a me situation and not the story because there isn’t anything wrong with it. I just thought it too trippy and scattered for my brain to keep up with.
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson
This was sad in numerous ways not only was she rejected by the prince and she can’t go home again. She is given access to heaven by being in a foam state?? You can’t act in sin if you aren’t human, so… I personally really didn’t like the religious tones. In order to be rewarded for heaven you must first be punished in a life of solitude. Honestly this book made me appreciate the Disney version so much. Strive for what you want take chances, live your life how you see fit.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
It’s a rare find to enjoy both book & movie about the same. Similar yet different enough to feel like they’re two separate entities. Full of magical wonder that’s enchanting off the page on the screen. I did find Howl way more annoying & childish in the book.
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
I hated this movie as a child and still do. I think it’s the only Disney movie I detest. I had low to no expectations for the book. The beginning of the book with the scene of the two old gramps duking it out and one of them getting their wig snatched was the best part of this whole experience. The book I believe is worse than the movie. It beats you over the head at every available opportunity to tell you and kids to always listen to the adults. Pinocchio is literally the worst. Should have just let him stay a jackass.
Like I said I haven’t made a huge dent in my goals. I’d like to get to Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tarzan, Beauty and the Beast, to name a few.
What’s your favorite? Are there any you suggest I read next?