10 Movies Nothing Like the Book

10 Movies Nothing Like the Book

We all know that book to movie adaptations have a wide variety of success. Some of them are perfect. Others you look at and wonder if the filmmakers even read the book. Today I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of the farthest from the book movies I've seen. Not all of them will necessarily be bad adaptions, just very different from the book.

1. How to Train Your Dragon

The Book: In the book, Hiccup is somehow even more pathetic than in the movie, but you root for him because of his ingenuity. Toothless is small enough to fit in his helmet, and the plot is completely different.

The Movie: They added a lot of characters, changed Berk to more of traditional Viking society, and made Toothless the most awesome dragon ever. Everything about the movie is big and epic, yet heartfelt.

Closeness: 2-3 of 10. They basically only took a few things from the book and left the rest. Both are good, however.

2. Dumplin'

The Book: I saw the movie first, and honestly, the book was a disappointment after that. It's basically about Willowdeen running around cheating on two boys and not really doing anything for the whole book, except enter a pageant for reasons that seem vague.

The Movie: In the movie version, Willow and all the other characters have sparks that they're lacking the book. There's also a strong body positive message for all body types, which I loved. It was a very powerful film.

Closeness: 6 1/2 of 10. It was kinda close, but I'd say just watch the movie.

3. The Lightning Thief

The Book: Percy Jackson, a twelve-year-old, learns he's a demigod and goes on a quest to clear his name so the gods don't start a war. It's a fun middle grade book that endeared itself to millions of people.

The Movie: As a disclaimer, I actually liked the movie, although it is very different. Percy and his friends are in high school, Annabeth is blonde, Grover is black (love his casting, though), and the plot is more loosely adapted. I enjoyed it, though.

Closeness: 5 of 10, mostly because a lot of the plot events were included, even if they were changed. The book is better, but the movie is still fun.

4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

The Book: Jake starts on a journey of discovery after his grandfather is killed by a monster. He discovers about peculiars, people with special abilities, and that he is one of them. There are lots of monsters and cool (read creepy) old black and white photos.

The Movie: I didn't have the highest hopes for the movie, but it was still a bit disappointing. Jake was great, but they switched Emma's powers. You can't just do that, filmmakers! The monsters weren't that scary, and it was a bit gross in places. Not a terrible, adaptation, but the end was completely changed.

Closeness: 4 of 10. I always get annoyed when the movie is close, then they change the whole ending. Plus, like I said, Emma's powers.


5. Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

The Book: A professor and his companions travel to Iceland and find a way to the center of the earth. If I remember correctly (it's been a few years since I read the book), they don't actually reach the center. It's a fun adventure.

The Movie: The characters are changed a bit, and they added an antagonist, a woman, and a goose. The plot is very different as well. But at the same time, it's a good movie and it made me laugh on several occasions.

Closeness: 5 1/2 of 10. Kinda close, kinda not.

6. The Giver

The Book: Jonas is chosen as the Keeper of all the people's memories about the time before everything was "perfect". It's a fairly classic dystopian tale of discovering that the world you believed in is built on a lie. In the end, Jonas has to escape with a baby and there are three more books following.

The Movie: Again, I think they made Jonas older in the movie. But the actor they picked for him very good. They also added a lot of subplots and other things you couldn't see in the book, since it's in first person, plus some action scenes. I do love the memory montages, though.

Closeness: 7 of 10. The plot is pretty similar and so are the characters. But they did add a lot.

7. Ella Enchanted

The Book: Ella is a girl "blessed" with the gift of always obeying every order given to her. She goes to school, runs away, and falls in love with the prince. It includes all the classic elements of the fairytale (Cinderella), but in a beautifully retold fashion. My favorite part has to be the end.

The Movie: This is another one of those movies that's practically impossible to compare. Ella is more outspoken and feminist, and there are lot of added characters. Plus the plot is practically all different. I like the movie, though, especially the world they built.

Closeness: 3 of 10. Barely the same at all.

8. The Hobbit

The Book: Tolkien's first forage into the world of Middle Earth. It's a classic that's been loved for decades. It follower the hobbit Bilbo as he travels with a band of dwarves trying to reclaim their homeland.

The Movie: Are the movies very different from the book? Yes, especially since they had to add so much to make three movies. But I still love them. I think most of what they added was good and worked well to show how Middle Earth was evolving at the time. The casting was especially good.

Closeness: 4 of 10. Movie one was the closest, then it went further astray from there.

9. Prince Caspian

The Book: Prince Caspian runs away from his uncle, who is trying to kill him, and joins up with the old Narnias. He calls for the Pevensies and they all fight his uncle. It's one of the slower Narnia books, but still great.

The Movie: Once again, everyone is older (what's with that?). They also add a lot of tension and plotlines that were never in the original book. I have to admit even though the raid on the castle was new, I liked that sequence a lot. I also like their Prince Caspian. And Reepicheep.

Closeness: 4 of 10. Some places weren't too bad, but most of it was pretty different.

10. The Little Prince

The Book: It's a very simple story about a little boy leaving his planet and traveling across the stars. It's hard to explain unless you've read it, but it's beautiful and about love and belonging.

The Movie: In the movie, they added a whole second storyline about a little girl being told the story of the Little Prince and it adds so much to the story. It's one of my favorite movie adaptations on this list. It keeps the beauty of the original story while giving it more depth and making it a little more understandable. (Plus it made me cry.)

Closeness: 7 of 10. The parts from the book are very close to the original and so beautifully animated.

What are some very different book to movie adaptations you like? Have you seen any on this list? Tell me in the comments.

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