Guest Author - Laura Lehman
Everyone knows that the Harry Potter movies are based on the popular JK Rowling fantasy novels, but here are a few fantasy movies based on books that you may have forgotten.
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In the award winning novel, Ella is granted the gift of obedience by a foolish fairy named Lucinda. Although Ella must obey anything anybody tells her to do, her secret is only know by her mother and a trusted servant. Several years later, Ella's mother passes away, and she is left with her father who remarries a wealthy socialite. His snobbish new wife and her two spoiled daughters treat Ella poorly. The oldest daughter soon figures out Ella's gift and takes advantage of it. Ella cannot bear to live under the obedience spell any longer and sets out to find Lucinda.
Ella Enchanted DVD (2004)
Michael Ende: The Neverending Story(1979- first English translation 1983)
Bastian Balthazar Bux is a lonely boy whose father is so grief-stricken by his wife's death that he barely acknowledges Bastian's existence. Bastian's only relief from his loneliness is books. When he comes across a book called "The Neverending Story," the bookstore owner refuses to sell the book, so Bastian steals it. Bastian skips class, settles himself into his school's attic, and reads. Before long he is physically drawn inside the book's wonderful tale of a great nothingness that threatens Fantasia and all of its mythical creatures. Once there Bastian finds himself on a quest to save Fantasia.
The Neverending Story DVD (1984)
The Princess Bride(1973)
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Beautiful Buttercup is in love with the farmboy, Westley, but runs off immediately to seek his fortune. When Buttercup hears his ship was captured by the pirate the Dread Pirate Roberts, she mourns his death. She agrees to marry the powerful Prince Humperdinck even though she does not love him. After their betrothal is announced, Buttercup is kidnapped. The brave Man in Black rescues Buttercup only to be captured. As prince's evil schemes are revealed, The Man in Black tries to stop the wedding.
The Princess Bride DVD (1987)
Roald Dahl: James and the Giant Peach(1961)
When James Henry Trotter's parents die in a rhinoceros accident, he is sent to live with his two wicked aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. He becomes "the saddest and loneliest boy you could find." Then one day, a wizened old man gives him a small sack full of magical ingredients which will bring James wealth, happiness, and great adventure. While running back to the house to hide the sack, James trips and the ingredients soak the base of a dried out tree. From the old tree a single peach grows, and grows until James climbs inside the giant fruit and rolls away from his aunts.
James and the Giant Peach DVD (1996)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
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Charlie Bucket lives in a small, single-roomed house with his four grandparents. Charlie's greatest love is chocolate, but he receives a bar only once a year, on his birthday. Near to Charlie's house is the largest chocolate factory in the world, owned by Mr. Willy Wonka. The factory is never opened to the public, but Wonka decides to open his factory by initiating a lottery. Five lucky people who find a golden ticket in their chocolate wrapper will be admitted.
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory DVD (1971)
A new film version directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, is due to be released in 2005.
The parents of Matilda Wormwood care little about their daughter. Because of her own diligence, when she starts school she is miles ahead of everyone else. Her teacher, Miss Honey, appeals to have Matilda moved up, but the headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, refuses. When Matilda discovers she has telekinetic powers, she tells her secret only to Miss Honey. As the two grow closer, Miss Honey explains how, after her father's death, she was left in the care of her aunt, who is none other than Miss Trunchbull. To help Miss Honey, Matilda plans how she can get rid of the Trunchbull for good.
Matilda DVD (1996)
The Witches (1983)
The witches are a well-connected organization with one goal: the elimination of as many children as possible. The Grand High Witch comes up with a plan to give away chocolate made with a magic potion that will turn the children into mice exactly at 9 o'clock the following morning. Since they will be at school, she hopes the teachers will panic and kill the mice. An old witch expert and her grandson are staying at the hotel where the witches are having their convention. The grandson is changed into a mouse, but still tries to warn his grandmother.
The Witches DVD (1990)