Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beastly, Red Riding Hood, and some Enchanted, Inc, too.

Beastly Movie Tie-in Edition

Mnemosynehime has started a discussion of Beastly and Red Riding Hood on the SurLaLune Discussion Board. (Thanks, Mnemosynehime!) I haven't seen either movie yet, so I am far from qualified. Both have done adequately well at the box office although I am sure the studios are rather disappointed with both.

One of my favorite reviews of it is a casual one by author Shanna Swendson on her blog. She didn't write about Red Riding Hood, but she went to see Beastly and shares insight into the differences between the novel and movie--not as a criticism as much as a comparison/contrast.

Here's part of her post, but do click through and read it all:

The movie also left out my favorite aspect of the book, though I'm not sure how they would have conveyed that on film. In the book, the guy first decides to try meeting someone online, since then no one will know what he looks like. As in the Disney version, he has a magic mirror that allows him to see anyone he wants, and he uses it to get a look at the people he's chatting with online. Thematically, it shows that he's still shallow and rather hypocritical, since he's expecting them not to care what he looks like but he wants to see what they look like. But then, hilariously, he finds that almost no one on the Internet claiming to be a teenage girl really is a teenage girl, as he discovers that he's chatting with people like dirty old man pedophiles, cops trying to catch pedophiles, pre-teen boys pulling pranks or middle-aged women. And then there's the online support group for people who have been transformed magically, including the frog who has trouble typing with his flippers. But that didn't make it into the movie because I guess they were going with more of the Twilight teen angst approach, so there were lots of scenes of the guy looking longingly at the girl while a moody pop song played. I will say that it was one of the healthier relationships I've seen portrayed in this kind of thing, with only a tiny bit of stalking. But I'd generally say to save this one for HBO viewing, unless you're with a group of snarky friends and you have a theater to yourselves during an early matinee.

If you are looking for some light fantasy reading, do try Beastly if you haven't. And I am amused by how much EVERYONE commments on how he isn't really that Beastly in appearance in the movie, rather punk rock if anything. It really does hinder the story, doesn't it? We like pretty, but our definition of it is perhaps wider than ever in history as a culture.

Or try one of Shanna's books, the first in her Enchanted, Inc. series is quite fun: Enchanted, Inc. (Katie Chandler, Book 1) I've been disappointed they haven't done quite well enough--or been sorted into the best marketing genre--to achieve a fifth book to at least conclude the series. There are definitely fairy tale tropes--that enchanted frog just isn't a cover illustration. Best yet, these are suitable for adults and young adults who are wary of overly graphic content.

Enchanted, Inc. (Katie Chandler, Book 1) Once Upon Stilettos (Katie Chandler, Book 2) Damsel Under Stress (Katie Chandler, Book 3) Don't Hex with Texas (Katie Chandler, Book 4)


  1. I've heard a lot of complaints about him not being all that "beastly", but I have to say that to a lot of the shallow, super-popular, super-normal kids I knew, being changed into a punk rock "freak" would probably be worse.


  2. I second the recommendation for Enchanted Inc. and its sequels.

  3. I would recommend this novel to most middle and high school girls that like a good fantasy and love story. Most guys would probably turn their heads away from this book but some could really relate to it. So I think that guys should also try to read it and find that they might actually like it. As I come to conclude I give ¿Beastly¿ four out of five stars.