Awesome Adaptations: An Awesome Adaptation with Puppets!
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: An Awesome Adaptation with Puppets!
Title: The Storyteller: The Three Ravens
Adapted From: The Six Swans collected by the Brothers Grimm
Blurb:“Based on the early German folk tale, The Six Swans. After the queen dies, an evil witch ensnares the king, and turns his three sons into ravens to rid herself of her rivals. The princess escapes and must stay silent for three years, three months, three weeks and three days in order to break the spell.”
I absolutely love Jim Henson and his puppets. When I was younger I used to imagine some day I would grow up and be a puppeteer. One of my favorite series was called the The Storyteller in which lesser-known folktales and fairy tales were adapted with puppets!
I think the success of this series was that it left me wanting to read and find out more about each of the stories it adapted. I love each of the various episodes in different ways but one of the ones that sticks out in my mind was The Three Ravens.
The story itself is a really sad and touching tale and it is brought to life brilliantly in the series. The puppets are used brilliantly to bring the action to life and they match the tone of the story perfectly, working to create a dark and creepy atmosphere. I also love John Hurt’s performance as the narrator for the Storyteller. He has a wonderfully dynamic voice that adds to the drama of the story.
If you love fairy tale retellings and adaptations I highly recommend this series!
Title: Muppet Treasure Island
Adapted From: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Growing up I had an abridged reading of the Treasure Island story that I would often listen to as I tried to fall asleep, finding its colorful depictions of the sailors and pirates fascinating. There was something about the idea of maps showing the way to buried treasure and life aboard a ship that sounded quite thrilling, keeping me gripped, arguably defeating the purpose of listening to the tape in the first place (fortunately I found the other tape, Kidnapped, much less thrilling at the time).
Though I had outgrown my childhood interest in pirates by the time this film came out, I immediately fell in love with it and it remains my favorite of the Muppet pictures to this day. The blend of action and adventure with a cast of colorful characters made for an ideal fit for the Muppets and their brand of anarchic and absurd humor. It also contained some wonderfully silly musical numbers that still get stuck in my head for days each time I watch it.
Best of all though it cast Tim Curry, an often larger than life actor anyway, in the film’s major human role of Long John Silver. His performance is pitched perfectly for the film, campier than the Long John of the novel yet still managing to be quite charming. Plus he gets his own, quite marvelous musical number!
Though there are other adaptations that I think capture much more of the tone of the original, I easily find this to be the most entertaining and still regularly rewatch it!
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 Musical Adaptation! Check out the schedule for the rest of the year here.