Thanks again to Blogs of a Bookaholic for creating this challenge. 😀
This question brings back painful, painful memories of one of my favourite book series: The Guardians of Ga’Hoole and the subsequent butchery of afore-mentioned series.
I found the book series so enjoyable and addictive that when I moved to France (having read only the first half of the series) and joined the town library, those were the first books I borrowed (in French- and reading childrens’ books in foreign languages terrifies me more than reading any other genre as the vocabulary tends to be entirely different from the one I’m used to using on a daily basis-) as I just had to finish the series and find out what would become of Soren, Gylfie, Twilight and Coryn.
For the sake of my sanity (and that of everyone around) I prefer to regard books and films as distinct works of art. The best example of this is the Lord of the Rings series. Jackson’s trilogy is one of my favourite film series of all time: it draws fairly heavily on the original material, is well acted, has a great script and lots of time’s been spent on the little details. It’s a beautiful adaptation that I still marvel over every time I watch it. Nonetheless there is another Middle Earth in my head and it’s just as vivid to my mind as the one that appears on my screen whenever I insert the DVDs and press play. Both are distinct worlds that doubtless differ from those of other readers but are, in their own ways, utterly perfect as they’re created with love and care and attention to detail.
So… my main issue with the film version is that… it killed the books. With many painful stabbing motions. (Not really but it may as well have). As the target audience had been changed they altered the dialogue (a key part of the book series), leaving it to limp along. Gylfie was changed from a Hermione-like character to a shadow of herself. Twilight became a terrible poet and figure of fun, which would have worked if the new plot had contained a little more to appeal to the younger viewers for whom it purported to be made.
The final straw for me (after the rather anti-climatic last battle) was when a young female owl fluttered her lashes at Soren, who then blushed as she sauntered past, sticking out a surprisingly well-endowed chest (for an animated owl in a PG-rated film). Until that point, Soren had been portrayed as a young owl. About 10 years old by human standards… Just… no! It felt as though the script writers were trying to add extra bits that didn’t fit with the characters they’d created in the film.
But it’s not all doom and gloom: apart from the breast-age, the graphics were amazing- feathers swirled and the elements battered down on Ga’Hoole. Sadly they did not manage to distract from the hollowness of the plot without the other elements that made the book series such a compulsive read.