Movie vs. Book-Inkheart

I just finished watching Inkheart with my younger kids. I really love the kids movies and books that involve the imagination of the characters as an active part of the storyline.

Inkheart should have stayed on the pages of the book, though-my imagination did a better job than the filmakers. There are other great kids movies, just recently, to watch-Bridge to Terebithia, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe & Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium for instance. Or older ones like A Little Princess or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (personally, I’ll take the old version but you can pick your poison).

I’m not sure what the difference was between them and the film version of Inkheart but I think it might have something to do with the difference between a book you notice reading every time you turn to the next page vs. a book you are so engrossed in that you don’t have the sensation of reading the text or even of time passing. It seems to me the they told the words of the Inkheart story but they never went inside the Inkheart story themselves.

I noticed my kids, as they were watching, asked questions and talked about the characters throughout the movie. They liked the effects and idea so much they talked about how the filmakers did this or that thing- how they created a unicorn with text printed on it, and why the girl had to be dressed like she was headed to some creepy wedding at the end. But, if they’re talking about how the film was made, then they’re not willingly suspending reality as is required by any movie watcher or book reader. They never put aside this world for the world in the movie. That’s the difference between a good movie and one not worth the time- can we put aside our world and then, after a couple of hours, return to it with a slightly different outlook because of the story we were just immersed in?

Inkheart was definitely a no. So if you like the idea of someone who can read characters from a story into existence in our world and the havoc they can cause- read the book; it’s worth the extra time.


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