Breaking Book News: “Mr. Popper’s Penguin” Movie

September 2nd, 2010 by

Okay, so remember how I posted a while back about how Hollywood executives don’t seem to have any new ideas because all their films are based on books? Well, I still think it’s true β€” but now I’ve decided it’s a good thing.

Before, I was like, “Can’t they have some original ideas?” But now that I think about it, children’s books are AWESOME. So it’s great that there are lots of movie adaptations of children’s books, right? Because that way, we get to see our favorite stories come to life!

The only problem is that sometimes the adaptations are not very good. And I gotta say, I’m little bit worried about that happening in the case of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, based on the book by Richard and Florence Atwater. Because guess who they cast as Mr. Popper. I’ll give you a hint: he’s played such other literary characters as Count Olaf (from A Series of Unfortunate Events) and the Grinch. Now do you know who I mean? The answer: Jim Carrey.

Now, I think Jim Carrey did a wonderful job as Count Olaf. He was just as over-the-top maniacal on screen as the villain is in the original books. But Mr. Popper is not a larger than life character. And although I know Jim Carrey is perfectly capable of turning in a toned-down performance, I just don’t know if he’ll be allowed to do that in a children’s movie. Because for some reason, people in Hollywood seem to think that kids only enjoy weird facial expressions and yelling. And that just doesn’t fit Mr. Popper’s character. So let’s hope Jim Carrey gets to actually act in this movie, not just run around like a crazy person.

The other reason I’m kinda worried is because apparently, the story is changed quite a lot from the original. In the book, Mr. Popper is a quiet house painter who gets sent a penguin. He then decides to get a second penguin, and this leads to a whole bunch of penguins. So to pay for all this, he trains the birds to perform. In the film version, Mr. Popper is a New York businessman who receives a bunch of penguins that turn his life upside down.

Hmm… Totally different, but I guess that could work. And as a New Yorker, I’m very much looking forward to when they start filming on location in the fall. Penguins in the city, y’all! πŸ™‚

But what do you guys think of this news? Any fans of the book want to weigh in? Leave a comment with your opinion!

β€” Karen
If penguins came to live with Karen, everyone would probably get along really well. Karen’s favorite thing in the world is sushi, and penguins eat raw fish β€” a match made in heaven!

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Breaking Book News: TWO Wizard of Oz Movies

June 17th, 2010 by

Okay, so remember how last month I totally bagged on Hollywood, saying that they never have any new ideas and all their movies are based on books? Well, guess what β€” they’re at it again! (Told you so!)

This time, the latest book-to-big-screen news is all aboutΒ TWO new adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

First off, a 3D animated film is in the works, and it was just announced that Lea Michele from Glee will do Dorothy’s voice! Isn’t that amazing? It made me feel amused, I have been browsing aΒ list of mini projectors to prepare to take the movie experience to a whole new level, imagine at home watching a 3D movie with just a projector. Anyway, the movie, Dorothy of Oz, is a continuation of the original Wizard of Oz story, with Dorothy returning to Oz to find the land in decay and her friends β€” Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion β€” missing in action.

The film is actually based on a book that was written by Roger Baum, the great-grandson of original Oz author L. Frank Baum. I’ve never read it, but apparently there are many new characters, including a man made of marshmallows and named Marshall Mallow. Hello, can you say AWESOME? Except… if he’s a good guy, don’t you think it would be hard to keep yourself from eating him?

Anyway… Dorothy of Oz is set to release in April 2012.

The second upcoming Oz movie is a prequel film from Disney. It will be directed by Sam Raimi (who directed Spider-Man). And Robert Downey Jr. will star!

The movie will be called Oz, The Great and Powerful and tell the story of the Wizard himself, who apparently was transported to Oz by a tornado (not unlike Dorothy). When he got there, the people of Oz mistook him for a great and powerful wizard that they had been waiting for. And I suppose he didn’t bother to correct them! Well, actually, I don’t know; that’s just my guess based on the fact that he’s the Wizard when Dorothy gets there. But it looks like we’ll have to watch the movie to find out! Unfortunately, there’s not even a start date for work on the film, so we might have to wait a while…

But in the meantime, you can get ready for both these movies by stocking up your bookshelf! Not only is there the Dorothy of Oz book by Roger Baum, but did you know that L. Frank Baum himself wrote a bunch of sequels to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Including the original classic, he wrote 14 Oz books in total!

As a kid, I actually owned a copy of Book 2, The Marvelous Land of Oz, and I can still picture the book cover in my mind: a boy and some dude with a Jack-o-Lantern for a face, riding on a crazy furniture creature as it flies through the air. (That would be Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead riding on a Gump, FYI.)

Unfortunately, I can’t find an image of that cover anywhere online (I swear I’m not making it up!), so you’ll just have to make do with this photo of the original cover. Too bad it’s not quite as action-packed as the version I had. But if you’re intrigued (and I hope you are), you can read the whole book for free online! Ain’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

β€” Karen

Karen’s favorite actress used to be Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the 1939 movie. In fact, Karen used to bounce up and down on the couch and shout, “It’s Judy Garland! It’s Judy Garland!” whenever she came onscreen. This is what comes of having a father who loves musicals β€” total geekiness at an early age.
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Breaking Book News: MORE Movie Adaptations

May 28th, 2010 by

Dude, sometimes I ask myself: Why do all those Hollywood big shots make so much money when they never come up with ideas of their own? They should put me and Nancy on their payroll and just keep up with Kidsmomo, because it seems like all their new movies are based on children’s books!

Want proof? Not too long ago, Nancy let y’all know about an upcoming Judy Moody movie, based on the book series by Megan McDonald. And now, I’ve got news about TWO MORE book-to-film projects:

First up: middle school morons better watch out, because a second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie is set to be released on March 25, 2011. It’s based on Rodrick Rules, the second book in the series by Jeff Kinney, of course! No official word yet on exactly which cast members from the first movie will be back for the sequel, but I assume at least Zachary Gordon as Greg and Devon Bostick as Rodrick will make an appearance! (Haven’t seen the first movie? Check out our review β€” including cartoon versions of me and Nancy!)

And just announced: a big screen version of Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce is on its way. He’s the same guy who wrote Millions (both the book and the movie), and he’ll also be adapting this one for film himself β€” so you know it’s gonna stay true to the original story. Btw, if you’re not familiar with that story, here’s a recap: Liam is a 12-year-old who’s so tall that he’s always mistaken for an adult, so he uses that to con his way into the first spaceship to take civilians into space!

Okay, okay, I admit it: Cosmic DOES sound like the perfect tale for an awesome movie. And I’m sure Nancy and I will be in line opening weekend to see the second Wimpy Kid film too. I guess sometimes those Hollywood types do get it right. But I still wouldn’t mind if they sent some cash over to Kidsmomo!

β€” Karen

Karen was also a tall kid, and sometimes classmates would try to tease her by saying, “How’s the weather up there?” She was never bothered by this, because really, that’s kind of a weak put-down, don’t you think? The weather’s nice up here, thanks! More about Karen Β»

Percy Jackson, From Olympus to a Theater Near You

February 12th, 2010 by

The wait is over. Back in August the first teaser trailer hit theaters, but today the full film will finally shine down from the silver screen… It’s opening day for the Lightning Thief movie, based on the first book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series! Oh my gods, I’m excited!

Of course, Nancy and I are planning to see the movie this weekend, and we’ll report back to you with a KidsmomoMO video review in the next week or so. But in the meantime, calling all PJTO fans β€” please, talk amongst yourselves! Leave a comment with your thoughts on the movie adaptation:


Whoa, go Logan Lerman -- use that Poseidan Power! (Squee!)

Haven’t seen it yet? What are you expecting? Do you think it will be faithful to the book? OR just saw the film? Post your opinion! How did it measure up? (Just be sure to put “SPOILER ALERT” at the beginning of your comment!)

Here are some of my thoughts: What’s up with the first scene in the trailer? Grover’s not wearing a hat, but I don’t see any horns! And I heard that Percy and Annabeth are already 16 years old in the movie version, so they had to push back the age of the big prophecy too, to age 21. Not sure I like that…

Agree? Disagree? The comments are now open for demigod discussion!

And be sure to check out these reviews for Book 2 and Book 4 in the Percy Jackson series, sent in by Sydney (age 12) and Christian (age 11)!

β€” Karen

Breaking Book News: New Movie Based on Kate DiCamillo Book

August 21st, 2009 by

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

This just in: Fox Movies is moving forward with an adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s book, The Magician’s Elephant, and they just picked a screenwriter for the project. Hooray! Throw the confetti! Set off those firecrackers! Prepare the feast! What, you’ve never heard of The Magician’s Elephant? Actually, neither had I. That’s because it’s not even published yet!

The book by Newbery-winning author Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn-Dixie) won’t hit stores until next month, but I guess the movie studio got a sneak peek. And guess what β€” so can you! Check out the first chapter (PDF), which I found on DiCamillo’s site.

And if that gets you drooling for more, check out the full website devoted to the book. Plus, here’s how DiCamillo describes the book on her website:

When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her?

The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that you will hardly dare to believe it’s true.

YAY! Okay, I really am excited now. All that stuff before about confetti and firecrackers was sarcastic, but now I really truly am looking forward to reading the book and seeing how the movie version turns out. Especially since the guy who’s writing the screenplay said that Fox Movies is aiming for a film with the same feel as The Princess Bride. Awesome! It’s just too bad we’ll probably have to wait years until we can see The Magician’s Elephant the film. Thanks goodness the book’s out in September!

β€” Karen

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