wow it has been a while since i had a Book VS Movie face off and as i have just finished my first book of my Classic Challenge, Peter Pan, i feel that this would be a great set of combatants to face off. The book is a widely regarded classic and has actually been made into 2 movies by Disney.Along with many films that stem from it such as Hook, Neverland, Return to Neverland and of course the slew of movies staring Tinkerbell.
now this leaves many options as to which movie to compare the book to. but really for me there is only one option. Disney’s live action Peter Pan has been one of my favorite films since it’s release and as i find it to be closest to the book it is the fairest comparison to make.
Now this is an odd comparison because while i did not overly enjoy the book (although i did give it 3.5 stars) what i LOVED about the movie is how close it stuck to the book in many places.
I came out of this book feeling that Mr Barrie was probably a little bit sexist… and hated children… which makes me wonder why he wrote a children’s book. Although if this book was published today it would not pass as one. this is the only children’s book i have ever come across that makes such casual reference to orgies. Most of the quotes I LOVED in this book, and there were quite a few of them, were actually included in the movie but the movie also took advantage of the fight scenes which play out much better on the screen than in this book. I think this may be the case mostly because this book was originally a play so the movie may actually be somewhat closer to the original text than the book.
The other thing I enjoyed much more in the movie than the book was the relationship between Peter and Wendy… I loved the romance in the movie but in the book she was an odd mix between mother and girlfriend with him sometimes caring and other times not. while the idea behind this was that they were playing pretend i still feel the movie captures this by Peter and Wendy being the “mother and father” of the lost boys.
the other thing is the movie removed the sexism from the original text. Wendy became a wonderful character who was strong and independent, and in the end it is Wendy who really saves the day, turning the damsel in distress stereotype on it’s head
the movie also in my opinion makes better use of “the hidden kiss” which was prevalent in both the movie and the book but unlike in the movie in the book the kiss is given swiftly in the beginning of the book with no real meaning. the story of the movie is that of a Tragic Love story while the book is merely about “heartless youth” the one thing the book had over the movie was the ending (which the movie cut out but did show a rough version in the DVD special feature). this ending is one of those beautifully tragic endings that had the book focused more on Peter and Wendy’s relationship probably would have been sadder than it came across, i know the movie version had me crying the first time i saw the “deleted” ending.
So this one goes to the movies… and I must admit I am a bit disappointed with myself because this puts the movies in front of the books… I should probably start putting up some of those movies that do a really bad job because I know there are heaps of them. What do You think?
Books Vs Movies