Where I Illustrate How Much I Like Books
Our plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. We are also including an audio discussion for each of the films we discuss! Here is a calendar of which films we are looking at and what dates we will be posting them, if you are planning to participate please message me so I can link up your post!
Adapted From: The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Synopsis: A fairy tale set in Jazz Age-era New Orleans and centered on a young woman named Tiana and her fateful kiss with a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again. (From IMDB)
The Adaptation: The Disney movie is based on a children’s novel by E. D. Baker, The Frog Princess, which is in turn a reworking of the classic fairy tale The Frog Prince. The novel twists that story and instead of the Princess lifting the frog’s curse, she finds herself turned into a frog too. Though the film alters the main character’s personality and the setting it remains true to the structure of the original in which the two frogs work together and slowly become friends (and fall in love) as they try to find a way to break the curse.
I remember when I first heard that Disney was doing another 2-d animation being really excited and thrilled at the prospect. This film did not disappoint my expectations, I loved it when I saw it in the theater and I have re-watched it several times since. The thing I love the most about it is how positive of a female character Tiana is, she is intelligent and hardworking. I love that instead of being born to privilege Tiana has to work hard to get the things she wants in life and that her aspirations are larger than just finding love. As well I love the setting of New Orleans during the Jazz Age and the flavor that it gives this film. The songs are really fun and catchy, I find myself frequently humming ‘Almost There’ after watching this film. As well if features a fun set of comical characters including an adorable Alligator whose aspiration is to some day be a Jazz musician. This is one of my favorite Disney films and I enjoyed taking another look at it this week.
This film really reminded me of why I loved Disney films so much when I was growing up. It features charming leads, lively songs, a little romance, a striking villain and lots of humor (though I agree with Alisa that Ray the Firefly is more miss than hit). I remember being really taken with the twisted fairy tale idea and excited that it felt both traditional and modern at the same time.
Reading the original novel it is based on has only added to my appreciation of the film. They take that novel’s wonderful concept and run with it, keeping the sense of danger and a little of the ick factor while adding a strong villain and some more outlandish supporting characters. The decision to make Tiana a tougher, more self-sufficient character was a smart change though they keep the bickering that made the novel so entertaining to read.
One little tie-in project that we are working on as we watch all of the films again is that we have been making some ‘trading cards’ based on some of the most important characters from each movie! We assigned scores to each of them based on how dreamy, charming, intelligent, musical and stylish we think they are! We also came up with a silly ‘special skill’ that each one has! While we are only making these for our own use, I thought it might be fun to share them so you can see what we’ve been up to!
Okay, this week I am a featured blogger! SO excited and thrilled
Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?
You know I am actually not that much of a seasonal reader, though I do like to read darker books around October because it is my favorite month of the year. I do have a couple of books that I am looking forward to reading once I am on summer break, which is about a week from now! Huzzah! These are some books that I really have wanted to read but just haven’t had enough time to do so.
Thank you for coming to visit! I love meeting new book bloggers and getting great new book recommendations! If you follow me I promise to visit your blog and follow back!
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…
We thought it might be fun to start a series of bookish discussions related to the books I’ve been reading. This week we’re talking about books that feature death and, as a result, we end up talking about quite a few Neil Gaiman novels!
This week we were joined by Jami Zehr from the Absurdly Nerdly blog.
We would love to hear your thoughts on our choices – let us know what you’d recommend in the comments below!
Our selections for this week are:
|Good Omens-Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman||Our Mutual Friend-Charles Dickens||The Graveyard Book-Neil Gaiman|
|Death – The High Cost of Living (Sandman series)- Neil Gaiman||The Pardoner’s Tale –Chaucer (Canterbury Tales)||Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye- Victoria Laurie|
|Everbound- Brodi Ashton||Mort- Terry Pratchett||Death’s Daughter- Amber Benson|
Awesome Adaptations is a weekly bookish meme, hosted at Alisa Selene’s books blog, Picturemereading.
Each week I will be writing about an adaptation of a book that I think is worth seeing and I have challenged myself to come up with suggestions to match a category. Any format (television series, film, web series, etc.) is acceptable as long as it is based in some form on a book. If you’re playing along, just mention this blog in your post. Let us know what adaptation you’d pick and why it is worth watching. Oh, and don’t forget to share the link to your own post in the comments for that week’s challenge so that everyone can read your thoughts!
If you don’t have a blog yet though you can still play along, just leave your answer in the comments thread for each week’s challenge.
This week’s challenge is to name: Awesome Adaptation with Impossible Romance
Adapted From: Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
The Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey series of mysteries have been one of my all time favorite series for many years. I have mentioned my love of Lord Peter Wimsey as a detective before; he is an aristocrat who wears a monocle and many ways seems entirely unfit to be a detective but he has a sharp mind, a perceptive nature and a charm that makes it possible for him to solve crimes others can not. My favorite of the series of mysteries Sayers wrote were the ones that feature not only Lord Peter but also Harriet Vane, a crime writer who he he falls madly in love with in very unusual circumstances. In fact he falls in love with her during her trial for murder and instantly resolves to do anything he can to save her from the gallows.
I really love the miniseries of episodes starring Edward Petherbridge as Lord Peter Wimsey – he matches exactly how I imagined the character in terms of his look, voice and personality. Even more brilliant is the casting of Harriet Walter as Harriet Vane who not only looks the part but manages to show all the nuances of the character. The interactions between the two actors throughout the course of the story sparkle with chemistry and you truly cheer for them to get together at the end of the story. I don’t want to spoil how it ends but it is bittersweet and is definitely an awesome adaptation worth watching which will make you want to pick up the next two in the series!
Title: A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
Adapted From: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I suppose I should be upfront and acknowledge the weakness in my selection this week: Sydney Carton’s feelings for Lucie, the story’s heroine, are never returned making this an unrequited love. While I think this definitely checks the impossible box there is an argument to be said that this is therefore not a romance. Regardless, I think the story is a great one and this adaptation starring Dirk Bogarde is my favorite of the various versions I’ve seen.
While it is not the most ambitious production in terms of its production values what I appreciate most about this is the quality of its cast. Bogarde is a perfect fit for Carton, finding the right mix between his legal brilliance and self-destructive behavior. The character has one of the most rewarding arcs in literature, culminating in that classic line as he heads to the guillotine, and I think this film portrays his evolution perfectly.
Dorothy Tutin is very solid opposite him in the role of Lucie, the woman he loves who has her heart set on another, and the two play off each other well. Though I think the character is not the most satisfying of Dickens’ heroines, she does capture the character well and it is clear why Carton would be drawn to her. Paul Guers completes the love triangle as Darnay and fits his role well.
In addition to the three leads however the film boasts a number of strong performances, several of which come from familiar faces. Cecil Parker, Leo McKern and Donald Pleasance all do a good job with their respective small parts while the film also features an early film performance from a young Christopher Lee who, it turns out, is quite excellent playing a villainous type!
As for the production, I think it does a good job of capturing the character relationships and the themes of the original novel. The script inevitably makes some changes to fit the running time and add focus to Carton’s relationship with Lucie but I think those changes work well and make the story all the more powerful on screen.
So those are our choices, how about yours? Link to your blog post in the comments below and let us know what you’d pick.
Next week we’ll pick an An Awesomely Stylized Adaptation! Check out the schedule for the rest of the year here.
Title: Masque of The Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Published: April 24th 2012
Blurb:Everything is in ruins.A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for? Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club–in the depths of her own despair–Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does. And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for–no matter what it costs her.
After reading this book, I sat down with my husband Aidan to record our thoughts:
I hope you all had a great week! So I had plans for next weeks review that have changed, I started Lady of Ashes and I just struggled to read it. I really was expecting an exciting mystery read with an unusual main character but instead it is full of long paragraph’s describing the British involvement in the civil war which were slow and I felt tedious to read about. So I ended up DNF’ng for the first time my main review of the week and switching instead to ‘Masque of The Red Death.’ Feeling like I am in a bit of reading slump because I haven’t read a book I absolutely loved in awhile, but hopefully over the summer I will pick up some fun books!
Also Happy Mother’s Day to the moms out there! Thank you as well for all the awesome comments on my book club extra this week, my Mom was really happy that people listened to and enjoyed her contributions
On the blog this week:
Book Blogger Highlight:
The Hopeful Heroine- Did a great Mother’s Day post about reads that make her thankful for her mother
Quinn’s Book Nook- Is doing a May 2013 just because giveaway, check it out!
2. The Masque of The Red Death- I originally was going to read Lady of Ashes but I DNF’ed so for Monday I am switching to this book which I have wanted to read for awhile.
3. Graphic Novel: Maus- Another graphic novel with serious content and I hear it is a classic.
4. Etiquette and Espionage- This sounds really cool!
5. Graphic Novel: Fray- I like Joss Whedon and I have wanted to read this one for awhile!
As regular blog readers will know, I enjoy watching and discussing movies based on books and thought it would be a good idea to have an occasional feature where I talk about adaptations currently in the theaters or recently released on DVD.
Title: The Great Gatsby (2013)
Adapted From: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Blurb: A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.
Book overview: This is a book I really loved from when I was younger. I always found it to be a really compelling story and I love the jazz age setting. I was really looking forward to this adaptation of one of my all time favorite books.
Things that were changed:
Things I liked:
Things I disliked:
Overall I was incredibly disappointed in this film and the quality of direction it was given. I have liked previous Luhrmann films but I feel that this is one of his least successful artistic endeavors. Everything about this film is over the top in a bad way, the music, the acting, the costumes, the scenery. I could see where you could get that idea of this book based on reading in a very literal way the text by Fitzgerald, however I feel the story is much more than that, that the heart of it is really Gatsby’s character arch and development throughout the story. I felt the story was just an excuse for what the director thought would be really exciting visuals, but in the end it just feels like a retread of all of his previous films with very little true innovation. I think this is a case of style over substance and I sadly can’t recommend either as an adaptation or a film.
<div align="center"><a href="http://picturemereading.wordpress.com/" title="Picture Me Reading"><img src="http://picturemereading.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/pmrbutton.jpg?w=148" alt="Picture Me Reading" style="border:none;" /></a></div>