Beloved classic children's books being made into hollywood movies
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It saddens me when I hear that yet another famous classic children's book is being made into yet another hollywood blockbuster movie.
It is a well-known and very evident fact that movies fall short (sometimes hard on their faces) when interpreting written work into visual form. There are exceptions of course, many great book-adapted films have been made, but the risk is always there, and even still, how often have you heard someone say "The book was better."? Besides the money-making aspect (which is only there because people are already fans of the book), I don't understand why so many film-makers take the risk. More and more, I am beginning to feel that it's actually fundamentally wrong to do this, especially when it comes to classic children's books! Here I will list the problems I see (some can be applied to book-adapted films in general):
1. Children's books are (usually) designed to A. encourage children to READ, and B. use their OWN IMAGINATION.
2. With the above in mind, if the movie is seen before reading the book, it will inevitably influence the readers imagining of what he/she is reading because everything was "pre-imagined" for them by the movie-makers.
3. As already stated, movies (being visual) cannot possibly include everything that's in a book so they are forced to leave out A LOT.
4. Due to the time factor (squashing everything into a few hours of viewing) they are forced to leave out a lot.
5. In order to be marketable, they will often alter the story/characters/theme of the book, often producing something that is very different from what the author originally intended.
6. Classic literature is supposed to be our heritage. Like a world heritage sight, it should be left untouched.
7. Books are just better. Film-makers (especially in this day and age) are fully capable of making something new and original.
I believe that books should be made into movies, if the author wants them to be.
Children often enjoy movies because it's often hard to translate what they are reading into a visual, so at a young age, it's a lot easier to learn and understand by watching a movie. Also, not allowing children to watch television and movies will bore them, so it's better to let them pick and chose between movie and book.
Yes, the books that you are frustrated about because they are being made into 'bad' movies can still be classics, and still be cherished, but take Shakespeare for example. (Not exactly a children's writer, but still a good example.) He created plays and poems over 400 years ago, and his work is still being altered and adapted, and many historians and professors are okay with that. When a book, poem, etc. is being referenced or altered into something new, it's a good thing. Their work has inspired.
So, honestly, I think children's books SHOULD be made into movies. I have proven my point because it's a lot easier to understand, and the idea always sticks.
I don't think children should have a hard time translating what they read into visual (in other words imagining). The imagination of child is an amazing and powerful thing, but it needs to be nurtured, and given exercise. Bored children who don't want to do anything but play video games and watch television are a product of the today's society. It's unhealthy for both their mind's and bodies and it's been a major concern with parents basically since television was invented. Watching a movie is like being spoon-fed. Almost no effort is required from the viewer. No offence but it's a poor excuse to say that movies are just easier to understand than books for children. Crawling is easier than walking for a babies but they have to learn and are better off for it.
You made a good point bringing up Shakespeare though, I agree that the great classics have the ability to stand the test of time, even bad movies ;) I'm not really bothered by adult literature being adapted though, more the children's classics.
Unfortunately, I think that many of the great children's authors would turn in their graves if they knew how film-industries like hollywood (...actually probably only hollywood) uses their books to create (in most cases) soulless money-making franchises.
To augment my point, here is a quote from Christopher Tolkien, the son and custodian of the works of JRR Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and many other amazing children books, regarding Peter Jackson's adaption of Lord of the Rings:
"They gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk."
JRR Tolkien himself, while he was still alive, was apparently greatly disturbed about how his books and ideas were being treated by pop culture. If I'm not mistaken, he explicitly did not want any movie or any visual representation to made of his book for the very reason I have stated. He wanted children to use their own imaginations.
Movies stimulate the brain and imagination. As a child, a movie will get their minds running and will help them grow.
Books are almost always made into movies when they're popular. It's part of the entertainment industry, and movies are a great thing for the whole family to enjoy.
Even if a child watches a few movies growing up, they won't necessarily become a couch potato or such as you mentioned above. Watching movies is a part of growing up, and it sticks throughout life.
Also, making big-hit movies out of classic books makes the producers and the author lots of cash, so in the end, it's really doing them a favor to adapt to the story written.
To close my argument I would just like say this.
When I was about six years old, my mother read the Hobbit to me (and after that, the Lord of the Rings), just a chapter or two every night before I went to bed. I was young and she had to explain a lot as she read, but I understood everything well enough and I will thank her for the rest of my days for it. It took a long time to read (far, far longer than the all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies put together) and it was a purely magical, amazing experience that I will always cherish! It took a bit of practice (learning to use my imagination) but soon enough, every night, listening to my mother's voice, I was transported, through my imagination, right "into" the story. I wasn't just watching things unfold on a screen, I was right there besides the characters, actually experiencing the adventure in my mind! Everything seemed almost real to me. This is the power of the imagination and good literature. Later on in life I read those books myself and had just as much fun, and it helped me to do the same thing with others books. I was very very lucky that I had mom who had the time and energy to read to me when I was young. Not everyone is so fortunate, but I highly recommend that every parent does this with their children. It's so much more mentally engaging and memorable than watching a movie. I really can't say if the experience would have been better or worse if I'd seen the movies first, but I do believe that I would have been greatly influenced by them. All I know is that I am very glad that I didn't see them and I wish for children in this generation to have the same amazing experience that I did.
That's it. Thanks, I enjoyed this discussion! :)
I think when you are very young, and don't understand much, and aren't fluent in reading, a movie is the best route for a parent to take in stimulating their child's brain.
In the long run, I think movies are a great way for everyone to have fun and often times, learn. Classic books are still something that can be loved and celebrated, but people also have to realize that movies will also be just as fun.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by datGUUYY 2 weeks ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Just because I put an opinion in my votes I must be clear: I am specifically against adaptations, not cinema nor movies in general. It's just that they so often fall flat on their faces. It's a good thing already, and it doesn't need to be changed, so leave it as it is. I'd say the same about movie to book adaptations or game to film or film to game adaptations, or anything like that. Points three four and five of the initial debate got me, because, well, have you seen the Percy Jackson series? I mean, not specifically children's books... Anyways that was off track. Anyways, con had longer statements, and pro seemed more interested in defending movies as a whole than debating children's book adaptations. Con argued against movies, but that wasn't her only argument. I'd go into detail on that if I had time, but I don't, so I'll just say con won this one in terms of argument. I saw a typo in con's argument (mind's and bodies) so pro wins grammar. No sources or conduct violations.
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