I spent a lot of time reading old books for our latest Babble list, 10 Kids Movies That Were Better Than the Book, only to realize there are a lot of kids movies based on books . . . which I never read.
Chances are, most of you haven’t either. So to go along with the other list (which you should totally read – hint, hint), we’ve got a list of the books which you probably haven’t read . . . made into movies you probably saw.
1. The Rescuers/The Rescuers Down Under: One of my favorite Disney makeovers, the story of brave mice Bernard and Bianca was spun out into two films (the 1977 original and a sequel in the nineties), but British author Margery Sharp’s Prisoners Aid Society (renamed the Rescue Aid Society in the films) series featuring Miss Bianca predate the first of the films. The first, The Rescuers: A Fantasy, hit shelves in 1959, and Bernard got his own book the year The Rescuers hit theaters.
2. My Dog Skip – Maybe I’m the only one out there who didn’t know this was a book, but I doubt it. The based-on-a-true-story cryfest was actually based on a memoir by the late Willie Morris. The former editor-in-chief at Harper’s wrote boyhood just right with the tale of his terrier and growing up in a small Southern town.
3. Apple Dumpling Gang – Remember this one? If you’ve been going through the Disney classics to share with your kids like I have, you found the fun story of orphans in the gold rush rushed you back to childhood. But we would never have experienced Tim Conway and Don Knotts at their best without Jack Bickham’s book of the same name.
4. Pollyanna – Another old favorite, and one that coined a phrase for happy people everywhere, the girl synonymous with Hayley Mills shining face appeared in thirteen different books beginning with the first eponymous children’s novel from Eleanor H. Porter in 1913. Another orphan girl, she was spunk on the page, and we’re happy she’s around.
5. Mrs. Doubtfire – It may be stretching it a bit to lump this PG-13 flick in with the kids movies, but it’s certainly one of the tamer ones out there. And as it’s heavy on the parental themes, what the hey. The wise-cracking, cross-dressing nanny is best known as a reason none of us ever need to see Robin Williams in a padded bra again, but Mrs. Doubtfire was born Madame Doubtfire, a young adult novel by British author and former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine. It covers the same topics – divorced parents, dad who wants to see his kids, dad who dresses as nanny. . . you get the idea. It all comes down to two parents who both love their kids, nuff said.
We’ll be back with more, we promise.
In the meantime, let us know – did you read these books? Before or after the movie?
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