Having watched Eleanor’s secret (which, don’t forget you can win a copy of here) I got to thinking about other films which are about reading, the power of stories and/or storybook characters coming to life. With the help of friends on Twitter I came up with this list:
I haven’t watched all of these so can’t vouch for their quality. Several are not suitable for kids, but I’ve included them here for the grown-ups amongst us to explore! If you’ve seen any of them, do leave me a comment so I and others can find out more
As well as feature length films, I came across a whole slew of animations from the 1930s and 1940s which feature book characters which come to life. It seems to have been quite a popular theme in the inter-war years! Here’s my list of animated shorts, just bear in mind you might wish to view these without kids first to check whether you’re happy for your kids to see them – some of them contain racist characterizations.
Beauty and the Beast – A gem of an animation – very funny, good quality copy, great singing, and a cheeky bare bottom or two!
Three’s a crowd – Jekyll tries to kidnap Alice in Wonderland but Tarzan and others rescue her.
Good Little Monkeys Rather unpleasant interpretation of Black Beauty, but great fun to see the Devil using peanuts as maracas.
Speaking of the weather The version here is in Russian, but is perfectly enjoyable even if you don’t understand Russian. Rather than characters from books coming to life, in this fun animation images in magazines come to life. Look out for the tongue sandwiches!
I Like Mountain Music Again, characters from magazines rather than books come to life in this animation. Look out for the iceskating on a mirror with talc snow, and the blowing of raspberries! We thought this one was lots of fun.
A Coy Decoy Some groan-worthy jokes in this one, and again Black Beauty is depicted a buxom black woman (this animation is also available here in black and white rather than a sort of sepia).
Shake, Mr. Shakespeare This is a little different as it is not an animation, but rather a film with actors. You can see an excerpt here.
If you could conjure up any character from a book you’ve read, invite them round to tea or out to play, who would you bring to life? And what do you think about holding a film festival with all of these – wouldn’t it be a fun addition to a book festival such as Hay or Edinburgh?
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