Re-watching the Disneyfication of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ 1912 creation tonight. I originally read the book in 2012*, just before watching the movie in the theatre … which was really a waste of time because Disney had changed just about everything about it, and made more shortcuts and detours than I think old Edgar would have managed to hang on to his lunch over. Granted, it’s visually stunning, but then again, which movie isn’t nowadays?
* Yes, I’m embarrassingly aware that I ought to have read it thirty years ago.
Shortcuts made to fit too long a story within a 132 minute time frame is one thing, at least if it’s done well, which is more than I can say for this one. Shortcuts made en masse in order to trim the original story down to half that length, and then fill the remaining void with new and strictly speaking unnecessary material not by the book’s author, that’s quite another, at least as far as I’m concerned, and this may well be why it flopped.
Oh well, the movie isn’t all bad. It does have its good moments, if you’re looking for a bit of mindless entertainment, as long as you manage to forget the original for a while. I am watching it again, am I not? 😉
Though “waste of time” is a relative concept, because I rather enjoyed reading the book. What’s more, it’s available for free (and legally so) at Project Gutenberg. So if you haven’t done so yet, care for a bit of a read?
The image links to the HTML version of “A Princess of Mars”, suitable for reading in any web browser. There are other formats here, including plain text, ePub and Kindle, with and without pictures.