The final post in this series also happens to be a shout-out to my classmate Maureen, who is a huge fan of this book. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is an interesting twist on the fairy tale genre, much along the lines of Shrek. It predates the movie substantially though--The Stinky Cheese Man was first published in 1992.
For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s hilarious book, The Stinky Cheese Man is narrated by Jack (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame), who tells familiar-yet-untraditional versions of classic stories. These include “Chicken Licken,” “Little Red Running Shorts,” and “The Really Ugly Duckling.” Throughout the book he’s interrupted by Little Red Hen, who complains both about the fact that nobody’s helping her make her bread and that she doesn’t have her own story in the book.
Much like Shrek and its crazy cast of fairy tale misfits, The Stinky Cheese Man‘s references to some of our favourite stories and characters are what made it so relatable to kids and adults alike.
I think it has the potential to find a whole new generation of fans and become a movie of giant proportions. And I think Jack would have to agree.
The Paper Bag Princess is my favourite Robert Munsch book. Reasons why it would make a great movie: it’s smart, it’s funny, it has a dragon, and it has one kick-ass female lead/moral. Think Kill Bill meets Shrek meets My Best Friend’s Wedding. Just imagine what Dreamworks or Pixar could do with a flesh-out version of the story. We could see how Elizabeth and Ronald met and why she decided to marry him in the first place. Elizabeth could send the dragon on even more challenges, and we could even get a glimpse of Elizabeth living happily ever after. Independently, of course.
Not many of Munsch’s books can be easily stretched into a 90 minute movie. The Paper Bag Princess may just be the exception to that rule.
Before Twilight was even a glimmer in Stephanie Meyer’s eye, there was another YA book about vampires (I sure there were actually many, but this is one of my favourites, so I’m going to go with it). In the Forest of the Night is everything Twilight is not: well-written, interesting, and delightfully spooky. Also, unlike that other one, which only seems like it was written by a 14-year-old girl, In the Forests of the Night was written by an actual 14 year old. And an intelligent, talented one at that. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’ tale of a shape-shifting vampire and her bloody history would work incredibly well as a movie. It’s dark, but not too dark, and the universe of characters Atwater-Rhodes created is deep enough (250 and counting for this book and its spin-offs) for multiple sequels. Plus is would show those Twi-hards how real teenage vampires do it. Sans sparkles.
With the hype building for the March 5th release of Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, I started thinking about some other books I’d like to see on the big screen. Over my next few posts, I’ll be listing my top 5, in no particular order. Here’s the first:
Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar is another of my absolute favourites. The quirky cast of characters is like no other, as is the story of school that was mistakenly built 30 stories high with a classroom on each floor, rather than one story high with 30 classrooms next to each other. It’s hard to explain a book about dead rats living in the basement, trips to the non-existent 19th floor (and its equally non-existent cast of characters led by teacher Miss Zarves), a teacher who turns students into apples with a wiggle of her ears, and child-flavoured ice cream (each student tastes different!). Suffice it to say, Wayside School is nothing short of absurd–and fantastic.
While the book has already been turned into a cartoon for Nickelodeon (something I did not know until very recently), I’m actually surprised the success of Sachar’s Holes in both book and film form didn’t get the ball rolling for a Wayside movie.
Something I’m hoping for: A live-action version of the book. While I’m sure the cartoon is great, I think the book would work even better as a live action movie, with real people grounding the absurdity of the storylines.