Books on the Big Screen

Jennifer Signore
May 27, 2009

This week at the Savvy Source, we are talking about kids videos, especially ones that are based on children's books. These videos are some of my kids' absolute favorites. In case you are looking for new video ideas for those lazy summer evenings when you want to just curl up with your kids and relax, here are the top five book-based videos from our collection.


Shrek was the first video my son actually enjoyed and asked for again and again (at the time he called it "Monster and Donkey").  It has become the go-to video in our house. I love the vibrant animation and clever reference to so many classic fairy tales. If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? This pick is sure to engage every person in your household. As an added bonus, the soundtrack will have you singing along (we have the CD because it's just that good).

Curious George

Who can resist that clever little monkey? In this cartoon, we see a rendition of how George and the man in the yellow hat (in this pic called "Ted") initially meet.  We also get a humorous take on why, exactly, Ted wears that bright yellow suit and hat. George's character will capture the hearts of both kids and parents (the way in which they have animated his behavior to mirror that of any given toddler adds wonderful character to the movie).  And, again, the soundtrack is great (can you tell I like music?). 

The Jungle Book

This classic Disney cartoon is a must-see for every family.  What child doesn't imagine him- or herself wandering around the jungle interacting with the animals? After watching it, my son proceeded to march around like the elephants for months on end counting out just as they did. You know you want that level of cute in your house, too. 

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web was one of the first chapter books I read by myself, and I think I have now read it at least 100 times. To see it on screen is a real treat. I admit that I have a soft spot for the original animated version of the story, but the live-action movie from a few years ago did a nice job of staying close to the story line.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I think I have read almost every Roald Dahl book and enjoyed them all. For movie adaptations, though, I am partial to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the original starring Gene Wilder. True, the special effects are a bit more low-tech, but the story is much more true to the book.  I have seen other screen adaptations of Roald Dahl stories, like James and the Giant Peach, but I really did prefer the book on that one. I think it might be my aversion to bugs, though, and preferring to imagine them in my mind versus see them "live" in front of me on the screen. 

What are your favorite kids' books gone Hollywood?

From the Parents

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