Friday, 17 March 2017

22 Disney Movies That Were Books First

Books are magic. Books are special and the pages house the stories that have inspired countless moving pictures from way back when up until tommorrow. That is no different for Disney movies - both animation and live action, and today I wanna tell you of some fabulous live action movies that started out as books. Many you'll be aware of, but others might not be as obvious!

Queen of Katwe by Tim Crothers
The true story of a girl from Uganda who became a chess champion, was made into a beautiful movie in 2016 starring Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'.

The BFG by Roald Dahl
This one is obvious surely? The BFG was Steven Spielberg's first film directing for Disney and came out in 2016 too.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland works by Lewis Carroll
Although obviously not a direct book-to-film production, Alice Through the Looking Glass [2016] was highly inspired by Lewis Carroll's stories.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Technically an adaptation of Disney's 1967 animation, 2016's The Jungle Book is of course also derrived from Rudyard Kiplin's book from 1894.

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias
A historical drama, based on (as you can tell) true events was the basis for the 2016, very underrated, action movie.

Cendrillon by Charles Perrault
 If you don't know the origins of Cinderella, here it is.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
I actually had no idea that this one had beginings as a book!

Land of Oz works by Lyman Frank Baum
The classic obviously was basis for the classic starring Judy Garland that is not Disney, however, it of course also inspired one of my favorite releases from the past 10 years, 2013's Oz the Great and Powerful!

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The title isn't a big clue to which movie came from this book unless you were already a fan (which I am not unfortunately) but 'A Princess of Mars is actually what made John Carter happen!

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland works by Lewis Carroll
As above, Alice in Wonderland [2010]was of course derived from Lewis Carroll's wonderland.

Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Hill Key
Escape to Witch Mountain is a 1975 fantasy drama based on the 1968 sci-fi novel. And Race to Witch Mountain, starring The Rock released in 2009, is a remake of the 1975 version!

Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
Of course, the 2nd (and last as of yet) of Disney's adaptions of the famous Narnia series was 'Prince Caspian' in 2008. Sadly the third in that series - Voyage of the Dawn Treader - was not taken on by Disney after disputes with Walden Media.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The movie of the same name came out in 2007.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
As above, this was the 1st of Disney's adaptations of the Narnia franchise.

The Greatest Game Ever Played: Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf by Mark Frost
The Greatest Game Ever Played accounted the true story of Francis Ouimet, a golf champion, and his early life. In 2005 the book was turned into a movie and featured Shia LaBeouf as Ouimet.

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Is a classic adventure from 1873 and was turned into a 2004 action comedy starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan. It was a box office flop and I can see why...does not do it's book counterpart justice.

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon
Another that I had no idea had originally been a book.

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Did you know that the 1976 and 2003 movies were based on a children's comedy novel for 1972?! Nope, me either.

Holes by Louis Sachar
I was late to the 'Holes' train, having only seen the 2003 movie in the past 5 years, so of course, I hadn't read the 1998 novel either.

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
The absolutely stunning Tuck Everlasting starring Alexis Bledel from 2002, was also a completely gorgeous novel originally published in 1975. I adore this story if you couldn't tell :P

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen
Can you guess what movie this 1994 novel inspired? It was 2002's Snow Dogs!

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
If I need to tell you this, you have some watching and reading to do haha.

How many of these books turned movies did you know? Until researching for this post there were more than a few I hadn't a clue about where they had started. Which on the list is your favorite? Have you read the book and seen the movie or just one or the other? If both, which did you prefer?
There may well be a part two of keep an eye out!


  1. Oh I love this post! I'm always on the lookout for new books and I had no idea that some of these films began off the screen, in a book! I've still yet to see Queen of Katwe, but it looks so good, so I'll have to keep an eye out for the book too - have you seen the film yet, did you like it? I loved The Princess Diaries growing up too, they were so funny and Holes is a good book, we read that at school, and it was fun to see it come to life on the big screen! Love your photo here of all of your books and DVDs too, it just makes me happy. - Tasha

    1. Thank you! Yes, I also want to work my way through as many of the books that inspired Disney productions as possible. I still haven't seen QoK either because it didnt show in my cinema nor is the DVD availible to buy in the UK for some reason :( I'm dying to see it too.
      Thanks Tasha! Glad you liked it.


  2. Love Tuck Everlasting! I had no idea it was originally a book, will have to hunt it down now and have a read. Great post, as always!xx

    1. It's a fantastic movie isn't it?! I had no idea until recently either that it was a book. You can find it secondhand online for pretty cheap!
      Thanks so much!!


  3. I didn't realise a lot of these were Disney films! A couple here I'm not familiar with at at all so I'll have to track them down!

    1. Indeedy! I don't think many do. Let me know what you think of any you do track down.