Movie Adaptations Of Childhood Classics

Coppola is not the only auteur going after beloved childhood favorites for a big-time (if retooled and reimagined) feature. Elsewhere, Joe Wright is tackling the world of Peter Pan with his already slightly problematic Pan (interestingly, he was also rumored for this Little Mermaid gig), David Lowery is penning his own take on Pete’s Dragon, and David Gordon Green is working on a big screen version of “Little House on the Prairie.” Although it’s dead easy to bemoan that such new films are destroying precious childhood memories, when such skilled and accomplished talents are the ones behind said new films, it’s hopeful to assume that the final product will be worth it. If you love Laura Ingalls Wilder and her, well, wild tales of life on the prairie, why wouldn’t you want someone like Green to bring it back to the big screen?

– from Film School Rejects

I’m a big fan of the Little House series, and so I’m interested to see Green’s adaptation. However, I would also recommend the 2005 miniseries from Disney, which has just the right amount of tension (for a five year old, anyhow).

Regarding Peter Pan:

“When students know Peter Pan through Disney, they know a pretty scrubbed version,” Smith says. “The characters in J.M. Barrie’s play don’t know if Peter’s adventures are real. In the novelized version, he often went out alone and they never knew whether he had had an adventure because he might have forgotten about it, and they would go outside and find a body. This is a very jarring moment for them. I ask what does Walt Disney’s adaptation of Peter Pan say about how we view childhood now, as opposed to how it was understood in the early 20th century when Peter Pan was popular on the stage? You can’t fight Disney. You have to let him in.”

– from Children’s Literature Not As Simple As It Seems


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