Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: Book Vs Movie

Guess who finally got off her lazy butt and did something… MEEE! :)

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a few years ago and, although the book was tedious at the beginning, I enjoyed it. When I heard about the movie coming out I was curious, especially when I heard Tim Burton was directing it. However, I didn’t plan on going out of my way to see the movie until I heard that it goes into the plot of, not only the first book, but also the second and third books. After becoming more interested in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, I finally checked it out this weekend and… I really enjoyed it!

Probably what surprised me the most is how accurate to the book the film was. I was expecting changes going in since I knew ahead of time that Emma’s peculiarity would be changed, but that was one of the biggest changes. With that said, I found that change odd, since it basically switched Emma and Olive’s peculiarities. Both characters still existed and served the same role, but they just had different powers. The only reason I can think that this change was made was for an underwater scene. It was a really neat scene and I enjoyed it, but I still don’t feel that it made switching the peculiarities worth it.

Other than that, there was a lot of filler from the book that was taken out to be able to fit it the expansive plot that the movie has. I’ve read the book twice, and both times I felt that the beginning dragged on for a little too long; however, the movie compresses this beginning bore into a succinct fifteen minutes, thus keeping it interesting. Smaller events throughout the story are removed allowing things to stay interesting and the plot to keep moving. Sadly, this means that you don’t feel as attached to the children as you do in the book. In the book, you get more of a feel that these really are just normal children and you grow to love them. In the movie, I didn’t find Emma as intriguing or complex. Maybe it is because you don’t feel as much of her sadness for Abe being dead, and you don’t get to see her and Jake simply spending time together away from the plot, like you did in the book. While the novel was full of smaller and less relevant events, they gave the book a humanity that the movie didn’t have. BUT, with that said, I do see why these smaller events where removed from the movie (for time) and I’m not that bitter.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children does an amazing job a juggling both the plot of a three hundred page, but also plot elements from the later two books. Much of the movie is spent of the plot of the first book, with it going into the later books with the final act. I am surprised how well the plot flowed and how nothing felt rushed or left out. My only complaint would be, as I said above, that I felt the book gave the children more humanity and more complexity, but other than that, it was great!

Overall, I was very happy with the adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It kept a lot of the fun from the story and is a fairly faithful adaptation. The story brings both a sense of adventure and discovery, and a sense of darkness and eeriness. This wide range of tone keeps things from getting stale. The plot keeps moving with new things always happening to keep the audience interested. It was great to see my favorite characters on the big screen, even if I do prefer the book Emma to the film Emma. I can definitely see myself rewatching this one in the future, and you should check it out!

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