Awesome Adaptations: An Awesome Adaptation of an Animal Tale
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 of an Animal Tale
Title: The Secret of Nimh
Adapted From: Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of Nimh
This film adaptation holds a special place in my heart and I think it is one of the reason I wanted to be an artist when I grew up! This animation tells a really touching story of a mother trying to save her child against what seems like insurmountable odds. There was something so magical about watching this film as a child, I truly felt I was being transported to a different time and place. The art is so wonderfully drawn, and for a children’s film it is surprisingly dark and stark in themes. I loved the underground world of the rats, it is a truly spectacular piece of artwork that I recommend everyone one at some point seeing.
As well the voice acting is really good in this, I love Mrs. Frisby she is really compelling and sympathetic. As well Derek Jacobi is amazing and magical as Nicodemus. Other stands out include Dom Deluise as the fun Jeremy who is obsessed with ‘sparklies’ and Paul Shenar as the menacing Jener! This animation really brought everything I loved about the book to life and I cannot highly recommend it enough!
Title: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Adapted From: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
I have to admit that I was somewhat apprehensive about seeing Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox when it was first released, not because of any inherent objection to the director’s work or style (he is actually one of my favorites) but because it was a film I had spent nearly twenty years hoping to see. After all, the novel had been one of my very favorites growing up and I knew that Anderson’s version would inevitably have to make changes to suit the feature length and make the material more accessible to an international audience.
Certainly Anderson does rework the material, fitting the story with a heist film structure and adding some more offbeat, humorous sequences. Though this was not what I had envisaged when I read the book, I appreciated that it didn’t lose the darker and weirder aspects of Dahl’s novel. After all, this is a story in which we’re rooting for the character who would normally be cast in the part of the villain! Still, though we are cheering on a poultry-killing thief, Mr. Fox’s charm and tenacity makes him easy to root for. He is, after all, an underdog compared to the three well-armed, vicious farmers whose livestock and produce he plans to steal.
While I do think that this film is ultimately quite a different beast from the novel, I do find it to be quite charming and I really appreciated that Anderson engages with the material, tweaking some aspects of the plot to suit the themes he is interested in without losing the darkly funny notes of Dahl’s original.
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 Awesome Adaptation of an American Story ! Check out the schedule for the rest of the year here.