The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

5 Children’s Movies You Never Knew Were Books

March 23, 2015

Illustration of a Family at the MoviesIf you’ve ever seen a movie that was based on a book, you’ve probably said, “The book was better” at least once. Why? Maybe you visualized the main character to look or act a certain way, and the actor portraying him or her just didn’t stack up. Or perhaps the movie took some liberties with certain chapters of the book that you may have loved as they were originally written.

On the other hand, there may have been movies you’ve seen that you didn’t even know were books. Don’t believe us?

Here are five children’s movies that are also books:

1) The Brave Little Toaster – Written by Thomas M. Disch in 1980, this book was originally published in the August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The story went on to win numerous awards, including a Locus and a Seiun Award.

2) Babe – Before it became a beloved film in 1995, Babe was actually written by Dick King-Smith in 1983. Published originally as The Sheep-Pig, the children’s novel relied heavily on the experience of its author, who was a farmer in England for two decades.

3) Mrs. Doubtfire – Featuring Robin Williams and Sally Field, Mrs. Doubtfire received critical praise when it was released in the United States in 1993. If you were living in England in the late ‘80s however, you would have heard of Anne Fine’s story about a father disguising himself as a nanny before it ever hit theatres.

4) Shrek – Even your child’s favorite ogre starred in a book before he ever starred in a movie. In 1990, William Steig wrote and illustrated Shrek!, which would win a Publishers Weekly award and go on to be adapted into four feature films.

5) 101 Dalmatians – Admit it: You didn’t know this one was a book. Written by yet another English author, Dodie Smith, in 1956, The Hundred and One Damlatians would serve as a basis for the original 1961 Disney film. Although Smith would write a sequel, entitled The Starlight Barking, it did not influence any of the Disney movie sequels.

One of the great things about finding movies based on books is that it can be a great way to get your child excited about reading. After reading the book, you and your child can watch his or her favorite characters come to life on the big screen and discuss interesting differences you may have noticed.

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