home | school | life

Book-Movie Match-Ups

Everyday Homeschoolingamy sharony2 Comments

You don’t have to choose between the book and the movie in these terrific adaptations—enjoy them both. We’ve rounded up some book-and-a-movie combos perfect for cold weather marathon sessions.

National Velvet
By Enid Bagnold
National Velvet
Starring Mickey Rooney, Donald Crisp, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Revere, Angela Lansbury

The film version gets the full Hollywood treatment (star Elizabeth Taylor definitely doesn’t have book-Velvet’s cottony hair and buck teeth), but it manages to hang onto the story of one stubborn girl’s determination to win a horse race.

 


The Borrowers
By Mary Norton
The Secret World of Arrietty
Starring Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Moises Arias

Though it wanders from the book’s storyline, Studio Ghibli’s adaptation captures the sheer visual magic of the Borrowers’ tiny world with gorgeous animation.

 


Pygmalion
By George Bernard Shaw
 
My Fair Lady
Starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys Cooper

Shaw’s play may feel like heavy going to readers new to his style, so take advantage of the delightful musical adaptation to appreciate its nuances—and to kick off the never-ending argument of what a happy ending to this story would actually be.

 


The Little White Horse
By Elizabeth Goudge
The Secret of Moonacre
Starring Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, Natascha McElhone, Juliet Stevenson, Dakota Blue Richards

Maria’s quest to save her family from an unfortunate curse is the crux of this fantasy book and movie combo. (The book was J.K. Rowling’s favorite as a child.)

 


The Blue Fairy Book
By Andrew Lang
Tales of the Night (English Dubbed)
Starring Julien Beramis, Marine Griset

Though not a literal adaptation of the classic fairy tales, this inventive film about the enchantments of imagination, set in an abandoned theater, channels the same storytelling spirit—and may inspire some living room reenactments.

 


The Iron Man
By Ted Hughes
The Iron Giant (Signature Edition)
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jr. Harry Connick, Vin Diesel, James Gammon, Cloris Leachman

Really, this animated film—about a boy who teaches a warmongering robot how to love—should get more respect than it does—and Hughes’ lyrical storytelling is as memorable as his poetry.

 


The Great Mouse Detective
Starring Vincent Price, Barrie Ingham, Basil Rathbone, Val Bettin, Susanne Pollatschek

Sherlock Homes sometimes used the alias Basil, so it’s no surprise that’s the name of the Sherlock Holmes of the mouse world, who—accompanied by his biographer/assistant Dawson—solves baffling crimes.

 


A Little Princess (Puffin in Bloom)
By Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess
Starring Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, Liesel Matthews, Rusty Schwimmer, Arthur Malet

The action moves to New York and there are a few other changes in this lavish adaptation, but it slow-paced, dreamy filmmaking and a terrific Sara Carew make this movie a must-view.

 

This list was originally published in the winter 2016 issue of home/school/life. Because apparently winter is when we need lots of movie breaks.