Monday, November 21, 2005

Excuse me, are you British?

My family and I (just the three of us) plus my son's Uncle, who is only one year older than him, saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Saturday. This is the newest (and some say the last) of the Harry Potter books to be made into a movie - at least for those starring the current actors. It seems to me that the stories remain engrossing and entertaining, given my son's wish to re-read the Half-blood Prince (after less than a month of first reading it).

Never having read the book before, this movie was intriguing, suspenseful and long - 2 and a half hours. Even then, it doesn't cover all the material in the book, as my son pointed out to me. The movie is worth the price of the ticket, which is S$9.50 a pop - weekend rate.

It just occurred to me that the most successful children's movies of the last few years that were made from an original book were all written by British authors. Joan K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien for Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis for Chronicles of Narnia (well it hasn't screen yet, but its building up to a major release. We plan to watch that movie in December when it will be shown in cinemas). The Americans, on the other hand, has had more success in original movies such as Nemo, Bug's Tale, Madagascar, Star Wars etc., but their successes are perhaps not on the scale of these British effort. There is something to commend stories that come out first in book form, and then followed by a movie. The irony is that Tolkien and Lewis could never have imagined that their stories would one day garner such a strong following among children 50 years or thereabouts after they were first published.

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