Ella Enchanted — Movie 2004

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A short while ago I watched Ella Enchanted after having finished the book.

If you want to know more about what I thought of the book, check out my book review.

I watched the Ella Enchanted movie before reading the book, so I already knew that I would like the story.  Even though I really enjoyed the movie, I was surprised by how much the story had been changed from the book.  Ella’s movie father is much, much nicer than in the book.  The other major difference is that Char and Ella’s love interest is developed in the movie in a way that it never is in the book.   Also, Char’s evil uncle was completely fabricated for the movie, but we were really gratified to see Cary Elwes in the role.  He must have had fun hamming it up and it reminded us of his performance in The Princess Bride.  The other change which made the movie so much fun was the way it melded modern and old-fashioned, including in costume, dance and singing.  Yes, singing!  Yes, a Queen song!  What more can I say?

Anne Hathaway had a huge part in making this movie the success that it is.  As we all know, she is a superb actress and this film showcases her abilities, even at a young-ish age.  Just like in the book, Ella is a feisty and opinionated Cinderella-type.  Hathaway puts just the right amount of wit, sass and charm into Ella to make her one of the most likable princesses out there.

I recommend Ella Enchanted to everybody who enjoys a good fairy tale.  My boys watched it with me, and even they conceded it was a good movie.

Rated: PG

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER ELLA ENCHANTED POSTS:

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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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Title: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Notable: Newbery Honor Book, 1998

Premise:

When Ella is born she is given the “gift” of obedience by a well-meaning, but clueless fairy.  No matter the order, Ella must always obey.  After Ella’s mother dies, her father eventually remarries and Ella must go to finishing school with her two obnoxious stepsisters, Hattie and Olive.  When Hattie gives Ella a terrible order, she runs away so that it won’t have to be fulfilled.  Eventually Ella finds her true love and escapes the curse.

My thoughts:

This book was so much fun!  A number of years ago I watched the movie “Ella Enchanted,” without every having read the book.  I thought the movie was really cute, but now I have to say that I like the book even more.  As with most books which have been made into movies, the book far surpasses the movie.  The character development in the book was much more satisfying.

Ella’s character in the book is just so darn likable!  She’s spunky, funny, down-to-earth, affectionate, compassionate, and knows her own mind.  Even though she suffers a lot because of her curse/gift, Ella doesn’t give up and keeps trying to exert her own will.  Her relationship with Char was very satisfying.  It’s deep and meaningful, without any hints at inappropriate conduct between the young people.  It’s so refreshing to see a love interest for young people which maintains its innocence.  That’s a rare thing nowadays.

I recommend Ella Enchanted to anyone who enjoys a good fairy tale!  It’s a unique take on the Cinderella story.

Possible Objections:

  • Some talk about ogres eating people

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER ELLA ENCHANTED POSTS:

Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm by Stella A. Caldwell

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Fairy World came to us from the library of the next town over.  Yes, I’m getting to the end of the stack.  They just have a better selection of books than we have here in town.

Premise:

Fairy World is a guide to all things fairy.  It is presented as the author’s research on fairies, which she is supposed to have seen at various times.  It includes sections on A World of Fairies (location & appearance), Fairy Kingdoms, Enchantment, and Blessings and Curses.  There are also case studies scattered throughout the book, which tell about related creatures (Dryad, Boggart, Selkie, etc.).

My thoughts:

What can I say about this book?  It is completely charming and celebrates the whimsical and enchanting world of fairies (and their kin).  I think the book does an admirable job of briefly covering the many different areas that have to do with fairy lore.  Though I’m a bit old to really appreciate and enjoy this book now, I would have loved it as a child.  I enjoyed anything make-believe and magical.  My girls, of course, love fairies.

I like the illustrations in this book–they’re a fun mixture of enhanced photos, charming drawings, and cobbled-together fantasy lands.  Any child who likes fairies will enjoy all of the visuals.

I would recommend this book for elementary through preteen children.  They are probably the audience most likely to enjoy immersing themselves in the fairy world (though there are sure to be some adult fairy fans out there, too).

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

artemis-fowl

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Artemis Fowl is the first book from my Thrift Store Young Adult Reading Challenge.  Strictly speaking, not all of the books in this challenge are young adult books.  A couple of them are middle grade books, but I’m not overly particular in my classification of novels for young people.  If a person is under 18, I see them as a kid.  🙂

Premise:

Artemis Fowl, child of a crime boss, is seeking a way to reestablish his family’s fortunes.  Though Artemis is only twelve, he’s a criminal mastermind and has plans to obtain gold from the Fairies.  Unfortunately, Artemis doesn’t know about Holly Short with the fairy’s LEPrecon task force–she is a fairy to be reckoned with!

My thoughts:

This book is definitely aimed at the younger preteen-teen crowd.  The story line is fairly simple, but I believe that some of the plot holes will be filled in in succeeding books.  The sections of the story which focus on Artemis and his employees were not terribly interesting to me.  It was probably because I don’t identify with Artemis’ life stage or inner thoughts.  This lady is not twelve years old anymore. 😉

I think the story really picked up and gained some charm when Holly Short and the fairies were introduced.  The characters were interesting, the banter funny, and the action started in earnest.  Holly and Commander Root were my favorite characters.

I won’t comment more particularly on the plot of the book (beyond what was said in the premise section) because there isn’t much I could say that wouldn’t give away the entire story line.  Although the book is simple, I am curious to see how Artemis’ criminal plans (and hopefully moral redemption) play out in future.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to preteens and teens, even though they are the target audience.  Some of the subject matter is, quite frankly, inappropriate for that age group.  I don’t think there is much here to interest adults, either.

Possible Objections:

  • The d-word (4x)
  • A bit of graphic violence
  • The protagonist is a child who engages in crime.  He’s selfish, greedy, deceitful, etc.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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