Books and Films

Over Christmas we watched a number of film adaptations of books and also enjoyed a trip to the cinema. I'm not usually a great film fan, I prefer to read books, but there is something about the Christmas period which absolutely demands favourite films are watched, together with a fine glass of wine or pot of coffee! And who are we to fight against this....

Our Christmas film selection included Little Women, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Bridget Jones' Diary and The Amazing Mr Blunden and our trip to the cinema was to see Saving Mr Banks. As I chose all of these films, I realise that I prefer films adapted from favourite books.This set me off thinking about some of my favourite films and, by association, my favourite books.

Time slip novels are amongst my favourite, hence the reason why I love The Amazing  Mr Blunden, Tom's Midnight Garden and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, although this novel was originally published as two books: The Magic Bedknob and Bonfires and Broomsticks. The excitement of the clock striking thirteen, the broomstick sweeping over the bonfire or the ghosts appearing out of the mist is intoxicating.

Whilst I love Disney films watching Saving Mr Banks caused me to realise how much the animation and "dancing penguins" , to quote P L Travers, detract from the real story and the novel from which the film has been created.  P L Travers disliked the Disney version of her novels so much that she refused Disney access to any of her other books. The same is so true of the adaptation of Mary Norton's books. The film bears scarcely any resemblance to the books.

In The Magic Bedknob, Carey, Charles and Paul find prim Miss Price injured by falling off her broomstick. For their silence, she bespells a bedknob to carry them where-ever and when-ever. In Bonfires and Broomsticks two years later, they bring necromancer Emelius Jones to visit. But his neighbors want to burn him at the stake for disappearing in the Great Fire of London. The film of  Mary Norton's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is almost unrecognisable when compared to the books.