Books are almost always better than any movie based on them. Granted, there are exceptions, but the vast majority of movies simply fall short of the mark of a good book. I don’t blame them. They’re limited by time-space, budget, technology, and a hundred other factors.
That being said, there are certain movie adaptations of books that are, simply put, abominations. Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the worst book-to-movie adaptations.
Note: I can only evaluate an adaptation if I’ve read the book AND seen the movie. Therefore, there will be a lot of adaptations missing from this list.
Note 2: ranting ahead.
#4 The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader
Every time a movie tries to add content to a story already told in a book, I cry a little. Disney is no exception. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe was actually a good film, in my opinion. Prince Caspian was…acceptable. But 2010’s The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader completely ruined the beautiful story with that stupid green mist garbage and those stupid magic swords, which were never a part of the book and reduced the plot to unimaginative fantasy cliches. Disney, for the love of literature, please don’t make up your own junk to add to movies!
#3 The Black Cauldron
Not a lot of people seem to know that Disney’s 1985 film The Black Cauldron was based on a fantasy series of five books written by Lloyd Alexander. On its own, the film is decent (although very dark, for a Disney animated film). However, it fails to accurately represent the books. The movie mixes plot points from different books and completely changes certain characters. Given how phenomenal the books are as a children’s or middle grade fantasy series, it’s really too bad Disney didn’t bother to do a better job.
#2 The Hobbit
Peter Jackson…what happened?? The Lord Of The Rings movies were gorgeous. Why did you stoop so low for The Hobbit? P.J. took a beloved children’s fantasy story (barely a novel by word count) and turned it into nine (nine?) hours of dwarvish action-men fighting CGI…things. He shoe-horned in characters that either never appeared in the book (Legolas) or simply never existed at all (Tauriel). Not to mention the abhorrent ‘love story’, the ridiculously cheesy villains and dialogue…ugh. It was awful. The only redeeming factors, if you ask me, were Martin Freeman’s brilliant portrayal of Bilbo and Andy Serkis’s return as Gollum.
Not only was this movie the worst book adaptation I’ve ever seen, it ranks among the worst movies ever made, period. I don’t even understand how someone can take such a great book and absolutely murder it. Steven Fangmeier (the director; I had to google it) completely removed a handful of essential characters (Orik, the Twins, etc.), he made the Urgals look like fat, sun-deprived pirates, he disrespected the book’s character descriptions, he ruined Durza and Murtagh forever, and he had the brainless audacity to give Saphira feathers. The action was atrocious (Jeremy Irons excepted), the movie’s version of the plot was bland, and….and…well, you get the picture. The Inheritance Cycle deserves good movies based on it. Can we just wipe the archives of this filth and start over?
Rant over. If you disagree with me about this list, that’s fine. If you haven’t read the books, do yourself a favor and get them. If you haven’t seen these movies, spare yourself the agony. What are some of your least favorite book-to-movie adaptations?