Best Children’s Movie Adaptations, Ranked


As George RR Martin once said, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” This quote is as true as it gets: a great book is capable of taking the reader on a journey into a different world, introducing fascinating characters that the reader becomes attached to, and even stirring up all kinds of emotions. Books are sources of thought, knowledge and entertainment – everyone loves a good story. All of this is enhanced during childhood, as children look to storybook characters as their role models, imitating their adventures and re-reading their stories over and over again. In fact, the books we read in our childhood are, as pointed out Wiredlargely responsible for making us who we are today.

However, there is something much more exciting than reading a book: discovering its cinematic adaptation after the fact. The thrill of discovering the story of the characters page after page in a book takes on new meaning with a movie. The films allow us to look at the characters, each with their unique appearance, whether or not they resemble the reader’s imagination, and to revisit — and relive — the story through the audiovisual media. Of course, there have been adaptations that failed to live up to readers’ expectations and ended up being a failure, as was the case with the 2004 film. Around the world in 80 days. This film was inspired by the world-famous novel by Jules Verne but, unlike the book, it received very poor reviews and was poorly received by fans. Nonetheless, there are many successful book-to-film adaptations, especially in the children’s genre. Here is a ranking of eight of the best films adapted from children’s books.

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8 Shrek

Shrek is one of DreamWorks Animation’s most successful franchises, featuring four movies, several TV specials, a spin-off franchise, and even a stage play. The films featured an international cast of actors voicing the characters, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas, and told the story of Shrek, an obnoxious ogre who lives alone in his swamp until he be invaded by fairy tale creatures. driven out of the kingdom by Lord Farquaad. This invasion forced him to take matters into his own hands, going down a path that transformed him into an ogre he could never have imagined. One thing not many people know is that the story is inspired by a children’s book of the same name by William Steig, published in 1990. Indeed, the first concept art for the film was, according to Screen Rantheavily inspired by the illustrations in the book, though eventually the character’s design was changed to the ogre known today.

7 where the wild things are

where the wild things are is a children’s book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, published in 1963. It follows young Max, a rebellious boy whom no one understands and who dreams of becoming a terrifying monster. One night, after committing several pranks, he is sent to his room, pinned to the ground, but something had changed: all of a sudden, his room turned into a giant jungle, then a vast ocean emerged, through which Max sailed on a boat to where the wild things were. There he encountered a group of monsters who turned him into their leader. The film adaptation arrived in 2009, directed by Spike Jonze and starring Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo and Pepita Emmerichs.

6 How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Jim Carrey had to endure long hours in the makeup chair to become the Grinch, the particular main character of the 2000 film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This production was an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ book, but it was not the only one: in 1966 and 2018, two films based on the story were also released, but used animation. The book tells the story of the Grinch, a bitter character who lives in a cave on the outskirts of Whoville, a quaint little Christmas-loving town. Oddly enough, the hermit Grinch hates Christmas, and after a failed attempt to join the mob in town, he decides to hatch a plan to ruin the town’s holiday. Along the way, however, he learns a few things that will change him forever.

5 The witches

Roald Dahl was a writer known worldwide for his children’s stories, although he wrote for adult audiences and other literary genres. What’s interesting about his stories is that many of them have been adapted for film – and more than once. Specifically, The witches was a children’s novel published in 1983 that followed the story of a little boy and his grandmother in a world where there are terrifying, child-hating secret societies of witches ruled by the Great High Witch. Luckily, the boy’s grandmother is a retired witch hunter, so when they both discover the Grand Witch’s evil plan, they decide to step in to stop her once and for all. This story has been adapted for the big screen twice, first in 1990 with a cast led by the great Anjelica Huston, then again in 2020 with Anne Hathaway as the Grand Witch. This first adaptation had an excellent reception from critics and the public, which unfortunately was not the case with the 2020 adaptation.

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4 Charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the chocolate factory is another excellent children’s novel by Roald Dahl adapted for the big screen. The book, published in 1964, tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a very poor boy whose fate changes when he meets Willy Wonka, the owner of the biggest chocolate factory in his town. This story has been adapted for the cinema twice, in 1971 and 2005. The first starred Gene Wilder, and the second, Johnny Depp under the direction of the great Tim Burton. Both were well received by audiences and became children’s classics. It was recently announced that a prequel to the story titled Wonka will be produced, focusing on the life and story of Willy Wonka before becoming the quirky character as we know him today. The film will star Timothée Chalamet and is slated for release next year.

3 Coraline

This 2009 film was the first production by animation studio Laika, and it was inspired by Neil Gaiman’s 2002 book of the same name. In this film, the audience gets to know Coraline, a curious little girl who, after moving into a boring old house with her parents, discovers a passage to a parallel world where everything is much more fun, including her parents. However, things are not what they seem, and the young girl finds herself on a mission to escape this incredible but deceptive reality. A curious thing about the film is that, although it was aimed at a younger audience and was much less scary than the story in the book, it frightened many children, to the point that at the time from the premiere, many families had to walk out of movie theaters because of the fear of their children.

2 Harry Potter

Harry Potter is one of the quintessential film franchises. It features eight films that follow the adventures of Harry, the Boy Who Lived, throughout his time at Hogwarts, as well as his best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, his teenage years and his subsequent battle with Voldemort, the evil wizard. who murdered his parents in his quest to control the wizarding world. It is already well known that these films were inspired by a series of fantasy novels, seven books that had children all over the world excited to read, even if they had never been interested in reading before. Although the films are not entirely faithful to the books, the author was heavily involved in their production.

1 Matilda

Matilda is probably one of the best kids movies of all time for a number of reasons. Chief among these is its plot, inspired by Roald Dahl’s 1988 book of the same name and featuring Matilda, a clever little girl who was unfortunate enough to be born into a family that not only didn’t value her not, but didn’t care either. on his education. From an early age, Matilda discovered the magic of reading and with it, added to her powers of telekinesis, she was able to overcome all obstacles to finally reach her happy ending. The adaptation of this book for the big screen took place in 1996, directed by and starring Danny DeVito, child actress prodigy Mara Wilson, who had risen to fame three years earlier with Mrs. DoubtfireRhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz and Pam Ferris.

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