How many great books have been adapted over the years into films or series only to fall flat in so many ways? I can’t even count. And children’s books? Oh, that’s never a great idea.
The first two movies that come to mind when I think of bad children’s book adaptations are Eragon and Percy Jackson.
Eragon isn’t terrible…actually, but it’s nowhere near the par of the actual book and it doesn’t stay fully faithful to the source material. Eragon in the movie is seventeen, blond, and blue-eyed while in the book he was fourteen, dark-haired and brown-eyed. Arya, in the movies, is a red-haired dame but in the books she had dark hair. And there are plenty of other changes but most importantly, narratively, the film just isn’t as good as it could be, hence the reason there was never a sequel.
And Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is just despicable. Absolutely horrendous! I haven’t even dared to watch the second film they made because it’s too upsetting all around.
All in all, children’s adaptations usually end up becoming something you never want to watch again. So when I learned that Disney had adapted one of my favorite books of all time–The Mysterious Benedict’s Society–I was skeptical. At first I thought it was going to be a two-hour movie which I felt would be a mistake. I soon discovered that no, it was actually an eight-episode, nearly eight-hour series that turned out to be the one of the smartest, best-written series of the year!
It was so faithful to the book on a weekly basis with its beautiful set designs, costume designs, and faithful casting of each and every character. As the weeks passed, I found myself loving the show more and more and the season finale yesterday practically almost made me cry from sheer joy.
It’s the best adaptation since Harry Potter and I’m not even exaggerating. I hadn’t read the book in so long I forgot what happened but each episode reminded the storyline in delightful ways.
I’m very, very hopeful there is a Season 2 because it totally deserves it. The cast and crew bringing this complex yet fascinating story to life and the critical-acclaim is resounding across the airwaves.
If you haven’t watched it yet give it a look. It really is enjoyable.
All episodes are currently available on Disney+.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.