Weekend watchlist: Discover 10 amazing movies and shows based on books
For World Book Day, April 23, tune into adaptations of adventures, mysteries and more
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Have you ever watched an amazing movie or series, only to find out later that it was inspired by a book? So have we. While adaptations might trigger the eternal debate of ‘is the book or the movie better?’, one thing’s for sure — books are where some of the best ideas come from for movies and even TV shows. On World Book Day, April 23, here are top picks on streaming site Netflix that have made the big leap from page to screen.
Image Credit: Pexels/Gary Barnes
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‘Rescued by Ruby’: Chasing his dream to join an elite K-9 unit, a state trooper (played by Grant Gustin) partners with a fellow underdog: clever but naughty shelter dog Ruby. The family friendly story is based on the true events that inspired the short stories ‘Ruby: A Dogwink Story’ and ‘Dogwink Ruby’. The stories follow the life of real-life officer Daniel O’Neil and his K-9 partner Ruby, who was in and out of a dog shelter before being adopted.
Image Credit: Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix
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‘Robin Robin’: This stop-motion animated musical was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 94th Academy Awards this year and inspired a picture book to be released. The adorable and heartfelt movie is about an optimistic young robin who is raised by a family of mice. When their differences become more clear as the little bird grows up, she makes a wish on a Christmas star and tries to figure out where she belongs.
Image Credit: Netflix
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‘Ada Twist, Scientist’: We love anything to do with science and encouraging young people to enter the field, and this picture book written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts is all about that! It follows the eight-year-old scientist Ada Twist and her two best friends who ask big questions and work together to discover the truth about everything.
Image Credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
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‘The Willoughbys’: Based on the book by Lois Lowry, this animated movie is about four siblings who hatch a plan to get rid of their selfish parents and form a new, imperfect family of their own. Prepare for lots of laughs thanks to this quirky, strange and hilarious movie. It features the voice talents of major stars including Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, Alessia Cara, Terry Crews, Martin Short, Jane Krakowski, Seán Cullen and Ricky Gervais.
Image Credit: AP
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‘Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle’: This 2018 live-action adventure directed by Andy Serkis is one of many adaptations based on famous and much-loved stories by author Rudyard Kipling. The movie follows the story of an orphaned human boy who is raised by wolves and who sets out on a journey to find a human village while evading vicious tiger Shere Khan. The young lad is not alone in his adventure, as he has friends in the form of other animals in the jungle. The adaptation stars Rohan Chand, Matthew Rhys and Freida Pinto, along with the voice talents of Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris and Serkis.
Image Credit: Netflix
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‘Munich: The Edge of War’: Based on the 2017 novel ‘Munich’ by Robert Harris, this historical drama thriller is set at the tense 1938 Munich Conference, where former friends who now work for opposing governments become reluctant spies racing to expose a Nazi secret. The film stars Jeremy Irons, George MacKay and Jannis Niewohner.
Image Credit: Frederic Batier / NETFLIX
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‘Against The Ice’: The 1955 book ‘Two Against the Ice’ by explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen tells the harrowing true story of his 1909 polar expedition in Greenland that saw him and a companion fight to survive the biting cold as they try to locate the maps of another explorer. The treacherous journey leads them to sacrifice some of their starving sled dogs to feed the others, all while rations run low. This year, the story has made it to the screen in a movie adaptation that stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Joe Derrick as the explorers who go against the ice.
Image Credit: Netflix
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‘Enola Holmes’: Based on a book of the same name by Nancy Springer, this inspirational story explores the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes’ younger sister Enola. The mystery film, starring Millie Bobby Brown in the lead, is about Enola’s search for her missing mother. In her efforts to break gender stereotypes and to forge her own path, the witty and sharp girl ends up going on a crazy adventure not only to find her mum but also her own identity. It also stars Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes, Sam Claflin as Mycroft Holmes and Helena Bonham Carter as their mother.
Image Credit: Alex Bailey / Legendary
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‘Penguin Bloom’: This emotional and touching story is based on true events and the book by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive. In the movie, Naomi Watts plays Sam Bloom, a mum who suffers a partial paralysis while on holiday. As she copes with the aftermath of her accident and injury, and being confined to a wheelchair, she finds inspiration from an injured magpie called Penguin that is taken in by her family. As Penguin recovers from its injuries and learns to fly, Sam finds hope for her own future.
Image Credit: Hugh Stewart / NETFLIX
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‘The White Tiger’: Based on the 2008 best-selling novel by Aravind Adiga, the critically acclaimed film follows the journey of an ambitious driver for a rich Indian family who uses his wit and cunning to escape from poverty and become an entrepreneur. The movie gained plaudits for the strong cast of Adarsh Gourav, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao. It was even nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.