Do You Know the Literary Influences of These Animated Films?

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Animated films enchant audiences of all ages, often weaving together colorful visuals, gripping storylines, and memorable characters. However, what might sometimes go unnoticed is the depth of literary influence behind many of these beloved movies. Here’s a look at some animated films and the literary works that inspired them.

Firstly, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a tale as old as time, with its roots stretching back to the French fairy tale written by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve in 1740. Over the years, the story has been abridged and rewritten several times, with Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s version being the most famous. Disney’s 1991 film adaptation pays homage to this classic while adding its unique spin to the enchanted world.

Moving to modern literatures influence on animation, Pixar’s “Up,” released in 2009, was substantially influenced by James Thurber’s short story “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” which explores themes of adventure and escaping mundane life. Although “Up” follows an original plot, it shares the dreamy escapism of Thurber’s tale through its elderly protagonist who seeks adventure by flying his house using balloons.

Not only do classic fairy tales inspire animations; Shakespearean works also find new life in animated form. “The Lion King,” another Disney masterpiece released in 1994, has often been compared to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Both stories revolve around a young prince dealing with the death of his father along with family betrayal and feature themes of power struggles and reclaiming one’s rightful place.

“The Little Mermaid” revitalized Disney animated films in 1989 and can trace its roots back to Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 fairy tale. Andersen’s original story was much darker and poignant than Disney’s version, but it laid the foundation for Ariel’s enduring story that continues to captivate audiences.

Similarly, “Howl’s Moving Castle” from Studio Ghibli is an adaptation of British author Diana Wynne Jones’ novel of the same name. This 2004 film under Hayao Miyazaki’s direction maintains many elements from Wynne Jones’ narrative while also infusing it with anti-war sentiments unique to the film.

Lastly, J.K. Rowling’s phenomenon “Harry Potter” series manifested not only in a sequence of successful live-action films but also inspired an animated derivative – “The Lego Harry Potter” movie series. Though not direct adaptations, these LEGO movies capture the magic and essence of Rowling’s wizarding world through a comical and brick-built lens.

In conclusion, animated films are rich tapistries combining visual artistry with profound narratives borrowed from literature. Whether they adhere strictly to their source material or take creative liberties, these films prove that books are not just bound pages but wellsprings of inspiration for imaginative storytelling across generations and media formats.

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