Kidoinfo: 2009 Fall films for kids: Read, Watch, Discuss

Posted on | September 29, 2009 | Add Comments

Read the book. Watch the film. Talk amongst yourselves…

Guest author: Anisa Raoof

where-the-wild-things-are-bookI prefer reading the book before watching a movie adaptation because I don’t want the film’s scenery, characters or revised storyline to cloud or diminish my personal experience with the book. I try to have my children follow this same rule for the same reasons but I may also postpone their watching certain films that may be too scary or advanced for them. This year my sons read The Spiderwick Chronicles and the first three Harry Potter books before seeing the films. They loved both the books and the films but were amazed at how the movies differed from the books they read, for better or for worse and sometimes for no apparent reason at all.

I admit I do not always follow my own rules, as my son Flack was quick to point out this summer when I rushed out to see Julie and Julia without having read the books. Okay, I never said I was perfect, and some rules should be flexible.

Three films being released this fall, geared towards kids, are all based on well-known children’s books. I suggest you share the original books with your children first and then see the films.

I wonder how these short books will be adapted to fill the time and space of a feature length film (and fear these beloved classics may be tarnished or altered in the process).  I still plan to see them all—for the animation, cast of voices, directors Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson, and plain old curiosity.

After my kids and I have reread the books and watched the films, we can discuss them both over dinner. Popular dinner conversation in our house.

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