Which are the some of the popular animated and live-action films based on children’s books?

“The Polar Express”

What’s Christmas without watching the incredibly moving film, The Polar Express”. The 2004 film, about a special bond between a little boy and train conductor as they ride to the North Pole, is a feast for the eyes. But did you know it was based on a children’s book written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg? The book is set partially in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the authors home town, and was inspired by Allsburg’s memories of visiting the department stores as a child during Christmas.

A writer and an illustrator, Allsburg has made significant contributions to the world of children’s literature. Allburg has written and illustrated 21 books. His major works include “Jumanji” and “The Polar Express, both of which he wrote and illustrated. His art has also been featured on the covers of an edition of C. S. Lewis’s series The Chronicles of Namia”.

“How To Train Your Dragon”

Dreamworks Animation adapted Cressida Cowell’s children’s book, about an unlikely friendship between a young viking and a dragon, to the silver screen in 2010. The protagonist Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III finds inner courage after befriending and becoming the trainer of a rare dragon. Spectacular animations and celebrities like Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler breathe life into the tale.

As a child, Cowell often spent time in Scotland during her vacations. The natural beauty and history of the region inspired Cowell to come up with the “How To Train Your Dragon” series, which consists of 12 books. Currently, three of the books have been made into films, more are in the pipeline.

“Charlotte’s Web”

E.B. White’s classic children’s book about a pig and his friend spider was made adapted to the silver screen twice. In 1973, the iconic animation studio Hanna- Barbera was the first to make an animated film based on the classic. Later, in 2006 it was made into a live-action film starring Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey. White, who is known for his handbook of grammatical and stylistic guidance for writers, forayed into children’s writing in his 40s. His first children’s book was Stuart Little”, was published in 1945, and “Charlotte’s Web” followed in 1952.


One of the highest grossing animated film franchise of all time, the “Shrek” films are popular with one and all. The adventures of the hilarious green ogre, Shrek and his faithful companion, Donkey, voiced by comedians Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy, will send you rolling on the floor with laughter. But did you know that the films are based on a children’s book? William Steig’s “Shrek!”, released in 1990, is the source material for the films. An American cartoonist, Steig started his career with The New Yorker. He has contributed 2,600 drawings to the magazine. He started writing children’s books when he was 61!

“The Jungle Book”

One of the most famous animated adaptations of a children’s book is ‘The Jungle Book”. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s work, “The Jungle Book” has been adapted to screen multiple times. The 1967 film was the first animated adaptations of the book by Disney. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a human raised in the Indian jungle by wolves. In 2016, Disney released a live-action epic adventure with Neel Sethi as the man cub. In this version, celebrities like Idris Elba and Christian Bale voiced some of the main characters.


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