“A Wrinkle in Time” is the latest beloved children's book to get the big screen treatment. It joins a long list of page-to-screen titles that were once the subject of boring book reports that became rewatchable classics. Here are our top ten picks for the best live-action films based on books you loved as a kid, or books that your kids now love. Because reading is cool.
'The Neverending Story' (1984)
Even if you’ve never seen this beautiful adventure film about a boy who lives through an amazing storybook, you’ve definitely seen a picture of him on Falcor the Luckdragon. He’s pretty wonderful on his own, but as a bully-fighter, he’s tops! Based on the Michael Ende book, this movie is one of those '80s staples that permanently imprinted itself on many kids' brains.
The modern-day retelling of the story of the beloved bear left in Paddington Station in London. Who can't like this little bear who adores his new family and messes up pretty much anything he touches. But once he pulls out those little marmalade sandwiches, everything is right with the world again.
The Harry Potter Movies (2001 - 2011)
Probably the best known series of children’s films, based on the book series by J.K. Rowling. What? You’ve never heard of the boy who lived? You are clearly a Muggle and probably never noticed people running through the wall on Platform 9 3/4 to get to Hogwarts.
‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ (1971)
Forget the Johnny Depp remake from 2005. The original, starring Gene Wilder as the crazy, snarky, and kind of cruel candy mogul, is a classic. Maybe skip that boat ride through the tunnel, though. #NightmareFuel.
‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939)
The creme of the crop as far as fantasy films go. L Frank Baum's book “The Wizard of Oz” is as beloved as the movie based on it. Generations of kids have seen this film over and over again, for good reason: Almost 80 years since its release, it still holds up.
If anything is going to make you give up bacon, it’s the story of this little (talking) pig who saves the day. "Babe," based on "The Sheep-Pig" by Dick King-Smith, will make you cry, fall in love with adorable little farm animals, and quote the best praise in history: "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."
‘The Parent Trap’ (1961)
Whether you’re watching the original film from 1961 with Hayley Mills playing separated twins, or the 1998 version with Lindsey Lohan, “The Parent Trap” will charm the pants off you. Who out there hasn’t always wished that there was someone just like them to be their bestie forever and ever? Both versions are way more entertaining that the source material from David Swift and Erich Kästner.
'Charlotte's Web' (2006)
Yeah, we skipped this adaptation of the kid's classic when it first hit theaters, too. And we regret it. The movie is about as wholesome as it gets, with a very endearing performance from Dakota Fanning in her prime.
As Neil Gaiman adaptations go, this is one of the best and most underrated. It's your classic story of a girl discovering a secret door that leads to a darker, mirror version of our world that said girl has to get back from. Along the way, she learns a lot about life and death. It's for the kid in your brood that likes more adult-y themes mixed with their kiddie fare.
'The Jungle Book' (2016)
We're just gonna leave this right here... You know why it's good. Like us, you saw it a fabillion times in theaters and on DVD. Moving on...
Watch a pre-meltdown Shia LeBeouf charm the hell out of audiences in his decent-sized Disney hit, based on the popular 1998 book by Louis Sachar.
'Mary Poppins' (1964)
An oldie but a goodie. Author P.L. Travers created the best nanny ever, and Disney turned her into a childhood icon.
'How to Train Your Dragon' (2010)
We forget these fan-favorites are based on books, too. The original film and its underrated sequel are the rare adaptations that surpass the source material.