Monday, October 8, 2012

Movies you might not have known were books, part 2: Children's edition

Everyone seemed to enjoy my last post on movies you didn't know were books, so I thought I'd do another one. This time, I'm focusing on the children's movies. Some of these you might have known about, but I know one in particular blew my mind when I found out it was a book first. That book is

1. Mrs. Doubtfire based on Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine

Who knew Mrs. Doubtfire was a book, and by Anne Fine no less? When I saw this at the library I work at, I was floored.

2. Shrek, based on Shrek! by William Steig

The book is pretty different from the movie, I have to say, but I still love William Steig. I'm pretty sure the only similarity is that it's about an ogre named Shrek who goes to look for a wife. Though the ending isn't as happily-ever-after as DreamWorks decided it should be. Still, I like both.

3. The Great Mouse Detective, based on Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

Who remembers this movie? Ah, the good old days. I kind of feel like I have to read this book now. Look at the delightful cover!

4. Jumanji, based on Jumanji by Chris van Allsburg

This one is probably much better known as a Newbery-award winning book, but some people still might not know. Again, the book is pretty different (alas, no Robin Williams character, who I just realized is making a few appearances on this post's list), but both are very enjoyable.

5. Fly Away Home, based on Father Goose: One Man, a Gaggle of Geese, and Their Real Life Incredible Journey South by Bill Lishman

I guess they figured no kid would want to see a movie about a guy who wanted to see what would happen if he tried to lead some Canada geese south, so they threw in Anna Paquin and made the geese orphans. Check out Lishman's Wikipedia article here, which kind of explains what he was trying to do.

6. Homeward Bound, based on The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Okay, okay, I know most everyone knows this is a book, but I figured I'd throw it on there for the hell of it. This movie has a pretty great soundtrack, by the way. Oh hey, one cool thing I just noticed in writing this post is the family that owns the pets are called the Burnfords, which is the name of the author. Also, look—it was a Disney movie in 1963 too.

There you have it, folks. Any that I missed? I love having my mind blown by stuff like this, so don't hold back.


  1. Mrs. Doubtfire was a book?! That is amazing! Also didn't know The Great Mouse Detective was a book; I thought it was just Disney playing off of Sherlock Holmes! Thanks for sharing these!

  2. What a fantastic post. I had no idea Mrs. Doubtfire was based on a book. I really like that movie. I also didn't know about The Great Mouse Detective, but now I want to read the book. That movie is awesome!

  3. Wow! I had no idea any of these were books before - but it doesn't surprise me! ;)

    Sierra @ Yearning to Read

  4. Wow! Blown away by all of these.... except I did know about Jumanji. We used to read it in my school's library all the time! :)

  5. The Never Ending Story was my Favourite movie as a child, when I discovered it was a book I read it, and that was when I realised that movies based on books are rarely the same as the book!Have to admit to prefering books over movies of them... thanks for you list, was interesting to read!

    1. Ah yes, The Neverending Story by Michael Ende! I did forget that one. I've never read it, but I do remember hearing it was translated, I forget from which language though. Glad to hear they are good!

  6. What a fun post! I know about Shrek (I've read this book in PJ Storytime before), Jumanji and The Incredible Jounrey, but I had no idea Mrs. Doubtfire was based on a book. Nor The Great Mouse Detective. Gosh, I love The Great Mouse Detective. :)

  7. I knew about Jumanji, The Great Mouse Detective, and The Incredible Journey (the original movie - not the one with the talking animals! - is an old favorite at our house), but the others were news to me.


    Great Books for Kids and Teens

    Book By Book

  8. I've always wanted to read 1 & 2. Anne Fine is a wonderful British author. The only one I didn't know about was Fly Away Home. The book sounds more interesting than the movie to me.

  9. Fantastic post!! I've seen a few of these titles but others were a complete surprise. Thanks for sharing.

  10. "Night At The Museum" ( one of my favourite books-turned-into-movies. Loved Shrek (the book), didn't know about Mrs Doubtfire!

    Also "Pirates, an adventure with scientists" (

    And, of course, The Princess Bride. But I'm not sure people will ever forget that book.

  11. Awesome list! I knew Fly Away Home was based on a book, but I could never find which one. I love that movie and I'm definitely going to have to check out the book! ^_^


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