Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last Unicorn Movie vs. Book

The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
The Last Unicorn with Alan Arkin and Jeff Bridges

A unicorn comes to believe that she is the last unicorn in the world and sets out to see if she can find any others.

In broad strokes the story in the movie and the book are the same.
The unicorn sets out on a journey to find other unicorns.  She meets up with Schmendrick the magician and Molly Grue and heads toward King Haggard’s castle to solve the mystery of the missing unicorns.  But the book is deeper somehow.  It is also infinitely sadder.  Schmendrick is a bit of a clown in the movie, when his tricks go wrong it’s funny but in the book he is not a character that can be laughed at, he is to be pitied.  There is a dark gloomy feeling to the entire book that doesn’t completely come across in the movie and I think it loses something.  As with most book to movie conversions parts were cut for the movie.  There is a whole cursed town in the book that doesn’t show up in the movie.  There are a few other things that don’t show up too but mostly things that the story could work around, it still works without them.  The cut that really makes a difference is the time table.  Things happen more quickly in the movie.  The slow loss of hope, the creeping despair is lost in the movie and it fails to have the same impact.  The movie was okay but the book was great.  

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