Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Peter Pan

How smart do you feel when you're sitting around with friends, talking about a movie, and you say, "Man. That movie was so good. It would have made a great book." And then everyone stops talking and stares at you. And once you realize the movie was, in fact, already based on a book, you try to save face: "I mean, it would have made a great book series. So there could be another movie. Based on the book. Like this one was."

Confession: I didn't know that all those Peter Pan movies were based on a book, rather, the book, by J.M. Barrie. Since the Disney movie was my first introduction to the boy who never grew up, I just assumed it was the creator as well. Like Pirates of the Caribbean and the theme park ride. (No book there, right? Right?)

Recently, Brenda at work introduced me to the classic, saying she's read it at least twenty times, written extensive analytical papers on it, and memorized full sections. And I'm sitting there thinking, huh. It was a book first?

But what a book. I just finished reading her copy (she was scandalized to think I'd never read it--I didn't dare tell her the whole truth), and now I'm looking forward to buying my own. It's a wonderful book.* Funny. Exciting. Quirky as can be. That J.M. was quite a character. As I was reading, I kept thinking how fun it would be to read to my own children someday. The older ones, mind you. That Captain Hook is a real scoundrel, you know.

If you haven't read it, you really ought to. Do you have any books-turned-movies to recommend (or that you were surprised to discover)? Or have you ever heard of a really good book that was based on a movie? Is a TV series always the last stop on the totem pole?

*Its one downfall: There's no lost boy named Rufio. ("Rufio. Rufio.") TriStar Pictures totally made him up. So disappointing.


Judy said...

Didn't you ever see Finding Neverland w/ Johnny Depp about the AUTHOR of Peter Pan? Maybe that was during your Hungarian sojourn. I'm glad you're enjoying the book ... any other children's classics you might want to put on Santa's Christmas list?

Shar said...

I was just about to leave a comment saying exactly what Judy just said. I have the movie - want to borrow it? Oh, you will cry.
I'm trying to think of any other books you should read that movies have been made from...winnie the pooh is on my list to read. Have you read that one?

Shar said...

Oh - and which came first, the book or the movie of The Princess Bride. THAT one is confusing to me...

Shannon said...

I am surprised that you were unaware of Disney Peter Pan's origins. You seem like such an educated person. ;) I have never read the J.M. Barrie book, but now I think I'll check it out. Didn't you see "Finding Neverland" with Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp? It's all about how J.M. Barrie writes Peter Pan based somewhat on this woman and her children's lives. Great movie if you're looking for something to rent.

Erin King said...

I love that you posted this! I read it for the first time a year or two ago and loved it, too. It adds such a different dynamic to the Disney movie... Peter's almost like a tragic figure in the book-- kind of sad. Totally worth the read! :) Alice and her Adventures in Wonderland is another one to check out if you haven't already. Totally kooky (sp?) but fun.

Elisa said...

huh, I'll have to add it to my to-read list. That list is really too long these days... I'm not even making a dent.

Alexis said...

Lease! You don't remember the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens? It was put there because J.M. Barrie lived close to the park!

I guess we just better go back to London and see it again. :)

The Never Fairy said...

Ah, yes, and what a book it is, as you said. I bet it's a lot more bittersweet, dark and complex than you first imagined.

If you want more, there is a novel that's based on J.M. Barrie's own idea for more adventure! Click my name to see.


Sarah said...

That is sooooooooooo funny! I was laughing so hard. HAHAHA! I love you. Love your save too. Smooth move dude. I love it when people admit their silliness and mistakes openly..it's awesome. Also makes me feel so much better and I realize we are all in the same boat...of being fools at times. And-it's okay! It makes me feel better for the plethora of times I use the wrong word or mess up idioms. I'm so smooth. Back to the topic at hand...isn't Back to the Future and aren't many other time travel movies based on original books that are definitely classics for all human kind? Time travel movies are so high quality. They make total sense.

lisa said...

@judy/mom: definitely. we'll talk.

@shar: yes, please! I've heard so many good things about the movie, but totally missed it. Have you read Princess Bride? I really want to, along with Stardust--another Brenda recommendation. I love both movies, and I hear the books don't disappoint.

@shan: To give you a hint of how unawares I can actually be, I didn't even know johnny depp and kate winslet were IN that movie.

@erin: I love that book! Peter Pan actually reminded me of it, and I think it's because the authors don't pretend to take themselves too seriously. I'd love to write like that.

@elisa: Do! It's a quick read, so it'll make you feel like you're flying through your list :)

@lex: holy crap, you're right! I have a picture in front of it even. Thank you for proving to everyone here that I really was educated once upon a time--just a little forgetful.

@the never fairy: Are you for real? Sprinkle some dust on me, and let's go.

@sari: LOL. Agreed. There are never any holes in time travel movies.