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From Bookshelf to Big Screen – 5 Children’s Book Movies That Captivated Audiences

Have you ever wondered how books come to life on the silver screen? It’s a magical experience seeing how your favorite childhood books have been transformed into captivating films. 

You’ll notice the difference in your imagination from the ones of the directors and producers who’ve made the movies. For example, you may have imagined a dragon looking a certain way, but in the movie, it has different facial features, teeth, and horns. 

If you want to see what your favorite childhood books are like in real life, then perhaps you’ll enjoy the following five movie adaptations. We talk about classic books like The Hobbit and the thought process behind Coraline and more. 

  1. Coraline 

Coraline is a horror fantasy book written by Neil Gaiman, who is also responsible for adult-themed books like American Gods and Good Omens. The story follows a little girl named Coraline who moves into a new home with her parents. 

The little girl discovers a mysterious door in her home and finds herself in an idealized version of her less-than-desirable home life. However, the alternate world she walks through has a sinister secret that starts to unfold the more Coraline visits it. 

There are some distinct differences between the Coraline book and the movie. For example, the little girl is more reserved and pragmatic in the book, but in the movie adaption, she’s feisty and outspoken. Her features in the movie are also different, as the creators gave her bright blue hair and an iconic yellow raincoat. 

  1. Hoodwinked 

Hoodwinked is a comedy animated movie that’s for children but also a favorite amongst adults. All the characters are inspired by classical fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretal. 

In Hoodwinked, all magical creatures live in a small town and go about their daily lives. But there’s a disturbance at Granny’s house that prompts two critter cops to investigate what happened. 

It follows the adventures of Lil Red, The Big Bad Wolf, and Woodsman, who also get interrogated to find out what really happened to Granny. The movie is filled with iconic lines and funny plot twists that make the movie a classic amongst adult fans. 

The Big Bad Wolf story has been brought to life in many ways, including Little Red Riding Hood-themed games, all of which is down to the enduring legacy of the original tale.

  1. Harry Potter 

Harry Potter started out as a children’s book and turned into a 7 part series that captivated the hearts of children, including their parents and grandparents. The first movie adaptation was released in 2001 and became a worldwide hit.  

The story is about a little boy named Harry Potter who becomes an orphan after a dark wizard kills his parents. He’s left in the care of his aunt and uncle, who keep his true identity a secret. It’s then revealed to Harry that he’s a wizard and is invited to study magic at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Directors like Chris Columbus and David Yates brought the Harry Potter books to life so children could see what magical creatures and spells look like on the big screen. 

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a fantasy book written by the late and legendary Roald Dahl. The story is about a young boy named Charlie who lives with his parents and grandparents. Charlie and his family are extremely poor but soon get invited to visit a famous sweet factory owned by Willy Wonka after the boy finds a golden ticket inside a bar of chocolate. 

The first movie adaptation came out in 1971, and Willy Wonka was played by Gene Wilder. But the second movie, directed by Tim Burton, is the one that became popular. Charlie is played by Freddie Highmore, and Willy Wonka is played by Johnny Depp.  

  1. The Hobbit  

The Hobbit is a classic novel written by J.R.R Tolkien, who also wrote the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Hobbits are small people that reach a height of about 2 to 4 feet. They live in small holes in the ground. One hobbit gets invited to go on an adventure with a wizard and a group of dwarves to help take back their homeland from a fire-breathing dragon.

Peter Jackson is the mastermind behind turning The Hobbit into a three-part movie. It involved an extensive and complex filming process. The elaborate costume designs, hair and makeup, filming angles, and locations encapsulate the magical world J.R.R Tolkien described in his book. 

Final Thoughts 

Movies can portray scenes, characters, and settings in a way that engages your senses. Through cinematography, special effects, and production design, filmmakers can create a visual experience that enhances children’s stories. Movie productions can immerse viewers in the world of the book, as you can see from the novels we’ve mentioned in this post.

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