5 children’s books that Disney should make into movies

Disney has 19 remakes of its animated films slated in the coming years.

In English, it means that from here on out, it’s going to be the same old stuff from the same old Disney. There are, apparently, no new stories to be told, and thus, Disney has to go back and remake their old films.

Notice the sarcasm.

There’s a lot that can be said about Disney elsewhere, but for now, I have a suggestion on how Disney can tell new stories without jumping off the deep end. Disney should base their movies off books. And since they’re so concerned with appealing to children, they should make movies based off children’s books.

Really, it’s a win-win situation for them. They don’t need to write a new story, just a script. Furthermore, these books already have fans, and thus, simply by announcing a book adaptation, the marketing process would be well under way.

I guess, without further ado, I present the five books that I think should be turned into Disney movies.

Wintersmith (Terry Pratchett)

Cover courtesy of Doubleday

If Disney was looking for a new and refreshing “princess” character, they should look no further that Tiffany Aching, the protagonist of Wintersmith. Loaded with common sense and comic relief, Wintersmith follows Tiffany Aching’s journey to become a proper witch. It’s a story that is simple enough for children to grasp yet complex enough to entertain adults.

Besides that, there are two other great reasons why Disney really should adapt Wintersmith for film: first, its protagonist is a girl, which, overall, is Disney’s thing. Second, her supporting cast includes the Nac Mac Feegles, a hilarious bunch of six-inch tall pictsies (not pixies) who can be described as a cross between Smurfs, Scots and Minions from Despicable Me. Basically, a veritable gold mine of comedy.

The Witches (Roald Dahl)

Courtesy of Penguin

Despite what Cinderella and other Disney movies might suggest, families do watch out for each other, and although this Roald Dahl classic has already been adapted into a movie at least once, I think it deserves another go. The Witches depicts the conflict between a group of witches and a boy (and his grandmother). While it is dark at points, overall, the story is one of hope, and of how families can save the world.

The Silver Chair (C.S. Lewis)

Courtesy of HarperCollinsIt’s kind of a cliche that if anyone needs to be saved in a fantasy story, it’s the princess. The Silver Chair turns that upside down, and this time, it’s a prince needs saving. However, there are no knights in shining armour to come and save him, and instead, the task is handed to two British schoolchildren who are just as confused and lost as any children chucked into another world could be. Packed with adventure, and, of course, one of the most entertaining sidekicks of all time, Puddleglum the marshwiggle, the story will be sure to entertain.

Nation (Terry Pratchett)

Courtesy of DoubledaySay goodbye to Moana and say hello to Nation, Terry Pratchett’s self proclaimed magnum opus. It follows the story of two children, Mau, an aboriginal native of the island called the Nation, and Ermintrude (Daphne), who, by accident of pandemic, is now second in line to the British throne (the first being her father. Yes, that means she’s an actual princess. Hooray).

On the surface, its a meaningful coming of age story that kids would connect with; but underneath that surface, there’s a panoply of themes to be found. Ranging from the conflict between duty and love to the conflicts between the advancing colonial powers and aboriginal peoples, the story poses many questions, and many themes, and will leave people thinking. And although this isn’t a children’s book, I read it when I was younger (maybe 12), and found that it did not hinder my enjoyment of the story.

Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)

Courtesy of Lois LowrySometimes the best way to teach kids that life isn’t all about rainbows and unicorns is to show them a historical example. Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars is a story told from the perspective of a young Danish girl about how the Danes, as a nation, worked to save the Jews in their country from the Holocaust. Powerful in its message of grace and beautiful in its message of friendship during tough times, Number the Stars was one of my personal favourite children’s books and if Disney wants a truly powerful and moving story that will resonate, well, this is it.

Well, that’s my main list of children’s book would like to see Disney (or really, any other studio) adapt for film. What other children’s books do you think would work?


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