Let me just say that I kiss the ground Katytastic (see the link to her original video) walks on for coming up with this amazing tag that combines two of my favorite things; the magical world of Disney Animation Studio’s, and books! So after much consideration here are some of their most well known movies and the books I think most accurately correspond to them.1. The Little Mermaid- a character who is out of their element.
Authors love to throw our favorite characters into situations that test them physically, mentally, and emotionally. So naturally there was a lot of directions I could have gone with this. That being said though, from the second I read this question Cath Avery of Fangirl fame was the character that came to mind. Even though her and Ariel could not have more different personalities they’re both find themselves in a strange, foreign habitat (for Ariel; the mysterious world above the sea, for Cath; college) that they must now navigate and carve a path into without the aid of their trusty advisors. From “thingamabobbers” to the ever elusive dorm cafeteria their quirkiness enthralled us from page one and as us readers root for the world to let them unleash their inner light, we surely did enjoy the ride. A fun, lovable read about letting your freak flag fly and finding your inner voice in the process (no pun intended Ariel groupies), I would much recommend this work of Rainbow Rowell’s that has more in common with The Little Mermaid than first may meet the eye.
2. Cinderella- A character who goes through a major transformation.
As a reader my taste tend to be more in tune with the finer intricacies of books; writing style, impact on audience, and character development. Suffice to say I put a lot of stock in my final assessment of a books merits on how well the author writes the growth of characters from Point A to B. For readers with likeminded tastes I would recommend above all else one of my most recent spur of the moment pickups; The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Koningsburg. So much energy and plot time is devoted to fleshing out the two main characters personalities and moral plights that I well and truly cared by the end of the book that they got their own happy ending. As is the criteria for any good road trip story their journey to understanding and fullfillment is one riddled with potholes and road blocks that leave both them (and us as the reader!) questioning the belief system they previously held holy. Through such finesse in creating true to life, complex characters Koningsburg will astonish you not only with how much Carson and Aisha mature from beginning to end but how readers will close the final chapter a changed person and walk a way with a greater underdstanding of our world. A delicately woven story laced with the diverse strings of one of a kind people, a rewarding must read!
3. Snow White- A book with an eclectic cast of characters.
A black girl living well below the poverty line in inner city Baltimore struggling to make ends meet with her mother in prison, her younger sister who bears the brunt of the emotional fallout revolving their tumultuous life, and their little brother who is likely cuter than the last baby animal video you watched. Throw in a mysterious half sister from an impossibly idealic life in the suburbs, her step brother trying to hold the pieces of this rag tag group together, one a cappella rendition at a time. Yeah…I’d say all five members of this makeshift family on a quest to find their shared dead beat dad before he croaks are a pretty ummm, unique, assortment of people. Much like the fabled seven dwarfs of Snow White though they bond together under a common interest, get the “princess” of their story (a rusted out station wagon, Goldie, whose heyday was likely circa 1976) to California paradise before time runs out. This makes for a delightfully quirky, entertaining, and heartfelt read that on more than one occasion brought a smile to my face reminiscent of the original Snow White movie. Not without flaws but perfect for any reader looking to have their heart grow a couple sizes. (For my full review check out this link! Don’t Fail Me Now )
4. Sleeping Beauty- A book that put you to sleep.
Inkheart is one of the few instances where you’ll hear me say the movie is better than the book (and even then the film adaptation holds a barely mediocre rating of 38% among critics if that tells you anything). The kid lit classic by Cornelia Funke has a plot that is just screaming for book lovers everywhere to devour it, I mean what reader hasn’t dreamed of stepping into the fantasy land of their favorite story and living among the characters they know as friends? Sign me up. The problem though is that so much of the mystifying magic that is books and reading is lost through bloated descriptions of places and people that contribute nothing to the story, and I found myself muddling through the first few hundred pages just waiting for anything enchanting to happen. By the time some of the swashbuckling adventure, daring heroism, and imaginative happenings that are alluded to on the cover actually came to fruition it was just too little too late to save the flailing plot. Inkheart is meant to be a fantasy book about an equally fantastical story but I found it lacking in all the necessary elements that make imaginative writing so enthralling. For me it was nothing more than snooze a palooza express.
5.The Lion King- a character who had something traumatic hapen to them in childhood.
Childhood unfortunately seems to be where many a deep seated trauma stem from in the young adult book a sphere, with death, abuse, freak accidents, and familial conflict all fair. As I paroozed through my Goodreads page one book stuck out head and shoulders above the rest as the perfect literary parallel to the Disney classic; The Coldest Girl In Coldtown. While I’m not quite sure it’s on the same playing field as The Lion King as far as award accolades are concerned (Holly Black is just not my cup of tea), it definitely has a similar trauma at its core involving a grotesque misunderstanding that resulted in the death of a parent that causes underlying troubles further down the road. Either way I guess it’s just the circle of life…or in the case of The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, death?
6. Beauty and the Beast- a beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful.
There are many books in my top ten list of all time that could be considered monstrosities as far as sheer size is concerned, most are four hundred page plus behemoth’s with little action and hundreds of pages spent painting a thought provoking character study. That being said if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my foray into books it’s that sometimes the best things really do come in the biggest packages. This is precisely the case in one of my long time favorite books, The Book Thief. It is one of the biggest literary sins in my opinion to never read this book because of worries over the admittedly blimp sized amount of pages. Rest assured though that every word contained inside this beautiful story packs a powerful punch that will emotionally wreck you while simultaneously willing you to read the five hundred page book at a rapid fire pace. Sometimes I wish that the book was just slightly smaller so I could have more buddies to discuss it with but I well and truly believe that if The Book Thief was even a page shorter it would not leave nearly the same degree of impact it continues to have on leagues of readers. A beastly book with a beauty of an inside.
7. Aladdin- a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse.
Jersey Cameron has spent her entire life wishing to be transplanted into someone else’s reality. She’s at her wits end with the cards she has been dealt and is praying for anything to upset the monotony of her ho hum life. In a tragic twist of events though her mother and sister die in a devastating tornado leaving the remnants of a broken life and an unclear future. Jennifer Brown is one of my favorite contemporary authors and she certainly delivered with her latest, Torn Away, which I adored from page one. Very few writers could tell a story that will genuinely twist a knife into your heart as you read some of the most sorrowful aspects of the book, but then on the very next page spin it in such a way that it becomes positively uplifting. Brown writes Jersey’s character with such true to life heart break that I rooted for her from page one and couldn’t imagine any other ending than one where a own genie granted three wishes to her. A refreshing breath of air in an often overpopulated genre, you’ll fall just as much in love with Torn Away as we all original Aladdin.
8. Mulan- a character who pretends to be someone or something they are not.
This question corresponds ridiculously perfect with my current flavor of the week; Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, an ARC I was oh so lucky enough to get my hands on in advance. This amazing book (seriously, it’s one of the very best I’ve read in a long time) isn’t getting nearly the degree of hype I feel it deserves here in the book a sphere community so let me give a little synopsis. Yael is the victim of supernatural human experimentation that has given her the unique power to shape shift, a curse that is being harnessed by an underground resistance society bent on taking down Hitler and his iron grip of the world (this is 1956 in an alternate scenario where the Nazi’s prevailed). To do this she must infiltrate the persona of Adele Wolf, the victor of a motorcycle race designed to showcase Aryan supremacy, while trekking across three continents in a Sons of Anarchy meets The Hunger Games battle to victory. See how this could cause some problems? Yeah, me to. Much like Mulan though Yael will not let go of this mission without a fight, and while the journey is perilous she is more than up for the challenge.
9. Toy Story- a book with characters you wish would come to life.
As a die hard fan of the TV adaptation and books I have always wondered what it would be like to live in the seemingly quaint little town of Rosewood, PA among the Pretty Little Liars. Not of course as a member of their addictingly fun mean girl clique but as an outside observer quietly taking notes on the dramas of their day to day happenings. Hannah, Spencer, Aria, and Emily are the kind of people that come into your life in a whirlwind and exit just as quickly, but the impact they have can leave an imprint forever. Think of the interesting character case studies I could do for class, analyzing their every move as a less benevolent A, how their mysterious comings and going intertwine over time. It s for sure the inspiration that well known mystery writers base their work off of. It’s safe to say with the liars in tow there is never a dull moment.
10. Disney’s Descendants- your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character.
So tricky, lots of authors these days are trying to shake up their stories by incorporating deliciously bad villains and not quite lily white heroes leaving me with lots of options. River West of Between the Devil and the deep Blue Sea fits this description to a tee though. Even if his character does usher in all the conflict driving the plot he is just so funny while complicating our protagonists life that it was impossible to 100% hate him. While I never quite understand why he had to have a romance with Violet he was the perfect unreliable bad guy that could go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a matter of pages, always keeping readers on their toes. I also hate to admit this but even I can’t say I was entirely immune to his not so subtle suave demeanor and sharp wit. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a good Southern bad boy.
What are your favorite Disney movies and what books always make you wax nostalgic for them? Let me know in the comments! Also go check out Katytastic’s amazing original video; Disney Book Tag.