Alice in Wonderland (1951)
A series of bizarre and unforgettable adventures in this much-loved adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic story.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderful and its literary sequel Through the Looking Glass are dark and complex works which have made the transition into children’s films on numerous occasions. Disney’s 1951 animation is a true classic, and captures the enduring tale of one girl’s curiosity mixed with the oddities of language and logic.Read more
When Coraline discovers a secret path to a parallel universe, she finds a world where she's never told off and it's always cake for dinner.
This children’s novella – just as dark and curious as Alice’s adventures – is from British author Neil Gaiman. It’s since been adapted into a graphic novel, video game and even a musical. For the film, stop-motion studio LAIKA took it on as their first feature. Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) was the natural choice to direct.Read more
Howl's Moving Castle(2004)
Japanese animated epic about a crotchety wizard living in a strange castle who saves a young hat-maker, who is then cursed by a jealous witch.
Coraline is full of odd creatures, as are many of Studio Ghibli’s much-loved films. Ghibli have enjoyed mining British literature for cinematic gold, doing so on three occasions. Principally set in a magical dimension (with the odd visit to Wales), this eccentric tale is centered on a wizard, his apprentice, a fire demon and a girl-turned-old-lady called Sophie.Read more
When Marnie Was There(2014)
A shy girl sent to the country to recover from asthma discovers an abandoned mansion and begins to explore its mysteries with her new friend Marnie.
Another largely undiscovered gem of children’s literature turned Studio Ghibli film is this heartfelt tale of one girl’s emotional wellbeing. Originally set in Norfolk, the anime transports the story to Sapporo, one of Japan’s largest cities. Marnie is the mysterious new friend of Anna, who struggles to make sense of her surroundings. A beautiful tale of growing up.Read more
Snow-filled and funny Disney adventure inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's icy fairytale, The Snow Queen.
A reworked version of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, this immensely popular Disney flick also has two young girls at the forefront of the story. Full of spellbinding magic, delightful characters and a series of brilliant songs, Frozen is a fairy tale sensation, drawing upon Danish culture and mythology.Read more
The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe(2005)
Classic family adventure tale of four World War Two refugees finding a gateway to a fantasy world in the back of their old wardrobe.
From one magical land to another, Narnia is a name synonymous with fantasy realms. The first and best-known book in The Chronicles of Narnia series from C.S. Lewis is a must-read. The film rights were never sold during the author’s life, but in 2005 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe transferred to the silver screen, with Liam Neeson voicing the legendary lion, Aslan.Read more
Charming family film about an accident prone young bear from Peru arriving in London and searching for a new home.
From one adored series of British books to another. The Peruvian bear with a fondness for marmalade has been around for more than 50 years, with a wonderful motion picture finally released in 2014. Colin Firth was all set to voice Paddington but voluntarily dropped out late on, paving the way for Ben Whishaw to step in and brilliantly capture the character’s innocence.Read more
Where The Wild Things Are(2009)
Spike Jonze's live action adaptation of Maurice Sendak's children's classic about tameable monsters and an angry little boy.
And yet another beloved children’s novel which relatively recently received the big screen treatment is Where the Wild Things Are. Indie director Spike Jonze was not the conventional choice to helm the project, but his adaptation captures the spirit of the original to great effect, with a real sense of adventure and danger.Read more
A faithful animated retelling of the classic story by novelist George Orwell that sees farm animals split into conflicting groups.
A different kind of fantasy replicating reality here, as George Orwell’s allegorical novel satirizes historical figures including Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. However, the most prominent adaptation is a 1950s animation, softening the subject through its visuals, yet also serving as a neat introduction to subjects such as loss, ethics and society.Read more
The Jungle Book(1967)
The all-singing, all-dancing animated adaptation of the popular children's novel, packed with lovable characters and infectious songs.
Another classic here which bookends the topic nicely as – like Alice in Wonderland – it also has a fresh live-action version to compare and contrast with. The Disney animation boasts memorable songs while Jon Favreau’s remake is a visual feast, and both retain themes of survival and community which are also apparent in the collection of stories written by Rudyard Kipling.Read more
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