Children’s Book Adaptations

Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard, a production company that the actress formed earlier this month, has decided on its first project, and it sounds like something that could be both popular among and enriching for little girls. Witherspoon and her people have decided to adapt M.A. Larson’s “Pennyroyal’s Princess Boot Camp” series of children’s novels, which are apparently about a boot camp where young princesses are trained to do battle against wicked witches. According to Heat Vision, Larson’s first “Princess” book is his debut as an author, and he’s set the series up as a two-book deal with Putnam publishing. A Googling of these “Princess” books and a children’s author named M.A. Larson is currently bringing up next to nothing, so it appears that the debut in this series has yet to be released. We’ll just have to trust Witherspoon’s word that they actually exist somewhere. About her attraction to the mysterious boot camp books, and why she intends on both producing and taking a supporting role in the upcoming film adaptations, Witherspoon says, “Finally, there is a princess story that reflects the values young women truly want to embody. These princesses are strong, independent, and fierce, and the knights are their match. In telling their story, Larson has created a magical universe that everyone will love to get lost in.”

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Why Watch? Because we’ve all love a shady spot in the pasture. Disney brought this children’s story to life in animation and won an Oscar for it. It’s a sweet film that seems far sillier than it could have been because the narrator, Don Wilson, delivers the voices as well. Don’t worry, Ferdinand. We don’t want to fight in the bullrings in Madrid either. What does it cost? Just 8 minutes of your time. Check out Ferdinand the Bull for yourself:

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Take that, Goodnight, Moon. According to Variety, The Kids are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko is in negotiations with Fox to take on the classic children’s tale of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst. If it goes through, Cholodenko will be shoving gum into Alexander’s hair, making him drop important things in the sink, and otherwise torturing the poor boy on the worst day of his young little life. The on-face comparison to Where the Wild Things Are is inescapable: capable director, classic children’s story featuring a young boy learning a lot of lessons in a wild, wild world. That’s a good thing. Of course, the tale is rooted in the real world, but it actually has a ton of potential. In fact, it’s already been turned into a television special and a musical play (see above picture). As for the film, newcomer Rob Lieber will be adapting, but it’s still early on in the development phase. Now when are we getting our Magic School Bus series?

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I know what you’re thinking: they’re making a sequel to Legend of the Guardians? There. I proved I’m psychic. James Randi owes me a million dollars. The answer, though, is no. They aren’t. Rise of the Guardians is simply a confusingly-titled also-animated also-children’s movie that Dreamworks is prepping for 2012. Apparently the book’s title “The Guardians of Childhood,” was too good for the movie version. Fortunately, the story is a contemporary slant on Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost as a heroic foursome. According to Variety, Alec Baldwin will be voicing Claus, Hugh Jackman will be voicing The Bunny, Isla Fisher will be voicing the Fairy, and Chris Pine will be voicing Jack Frost as played by Captain Kirk. The heroes will be battling the demon Pitch (voiced by Jude Law) in what is most likely a plot to destroy the magic of childhood. I came up with that using ESP as well. The strong cast  is complimented by screenwriter David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole) delivering the script for an expected release at the end of November 2012. It sounds like a huge adventure and a continuation of Dreamworks’ continued growth in the quality department (even if they pushed the release date to avoid sparring directly with Monsters Inc 2…). The most important thing? Alec Baldwin as Santa. You’ve been daydreaming about it already, haven’t you?

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Even though I’m constantly enticed to post up videos of cute puppies, elephants playing on the beach, and kittens dressed up like the characters from Back to the Future, I always fear I’ll be called out for them being not movie-related enough. Except the last one. Which doesn’t exist, but needs to. Fortunately, some adorable pictures have shown up online over at USA Today – giving us our first look at Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Check out what those lovable, ice-loving scamps are up to after the jump:

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Around here, every single writer (except everyone who isn’t Rob Hunter) has been clamoring for more details about The Lorax. “Who do you think will play him? What do you think the story will be like? Will the character design look like he’s fondling Boo Boo the Bear?” All of these are valid questions, and some of them can be answered right this very minute. In fact, you’ve probably already answered the third one for yourself already after looking to the right. More importantly, it’s been announced that Danny DeVito will put a shirt on, and hopefully drive straight from the set of It’s Always Sunny to go do the voice work for the main tree lobbyist.

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When I thought more and more about it, I realized that Scorsese is one director that doesn’t need 3D to add depth to his visuals.

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DawnTreader

After two films, I have just about no energy or excitement for this franchise because of how forced everything felt. In the first movie when they charged and yelled that they were doing it for Aslan, I yawned and waited for the credits. The second was a bit better, and since the third is set on a boat, I have to assume that the inclusion of nautical themed knit afghans. It’s a recession. You think we can afford pashmina? Well we can’t. But we can afford to check out these pictures from the set of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. You can click on those for a slightly bigger version, or head over to Coming Soon for the giant versions. I have to admit that the production design looks beautiful. I haven’t read the books so I have no reference point, but it seems as though the story gets going when two of the young children and their cousin get sucked into a painting of a ship, so it’s back to Narnia for them once again. Which is frustrating, because they keep going back, and great because Britain is really dull and rainy. I’m also not sure that the novel includes the older siblings in any real way, but someone can correct me there if I’m wrong. If I’m not, it looks like the franchise will be including them anyway because, hey, why not? On a personal note, I have a helm just like that here […]

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secretofNIMH

Neil Burger is being tapped to write the script to bring the rats of NIMH and Mrs. Frisby back to the big screen.

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A little peek into the tiny world of Wes Anderson’s Stop-Motion

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Where the Wild Things Are - Header

Prepare to lose your geek minds and have your inner child take over, because this new Wild Things featurette will revert you back to 6-years old.

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whereswaldoadaptation

Universal has snatched up a project that was in turn around that will adapt “Where’s Waldo?” for the big screen. Now, how exactly does one do that?

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