Book vs. Movie – Ella Enchanted

Book vs. Movie – Ella Enchanted

Is it time for another Book vs. Movie Showdown already? You bet it is!

I got lucky this time around because Ella Enchanted was actually on Netflix and I haven’t watched that movie in so many years. It’s honestly one of my favorite movies, mostly because of Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy. Perfect movie boyfriend, am I right?

So as you probably guessed – because my excited personality gave it away already – this showdown will be on Ella Enchanted. If you haven’t read my review, make sure you check it out! I’d appreciate your feedback. And here we go!

* * * * * * * * * * S P O I L E R S  B E L O W  T H I S  L I N E * * * * * * * * * *

So honestly, I remember the movie a lot more than I remember the book. Maybe that’s because there seemed to be a lot more action in the movie and they aged up the characters to an age where I can relate to them better. I’m not really sure, but I know that the movie is one of my favorites while the book was less so.

Since the book was geared more towards middle school students, it made sense that Ella would be fifteen years old rather than eighteen or even nineteen like she seems to be in the movie. How would middle schoolers relate to someone that would be considered an adult to them? That’s one part of the book that I could at least understand and respect.

However, to me, the book seemed to move rather too slow for me to actually enjoy, or maybe I just wasn’t used to the pacing. I didn’t really get a sense of adventure like I did in the movie. I wanted to see Ella really fight for her freedom of the curse, and it seemed like the biggest thing she did was run away from boarding school. Yes, that is a feat in and of itself, but it just wasn’t enough for me.

I also didn’t really care for the friendship that Ella and Prince Char had when they were children. It just seemed like that was the reason why she ended up loving him, and I didn’t really see how Prince Char influenced her life or anything in the book. In the movie, Ella is the one that makes Prince Char realize that as the future ruler of Lamia and his kingdom, he has the power to make things change for the better especially in the cases that his uncle Edgar ruined during his rule.

Speaking of Uncle Edgar, where was he in the book? King Florian is still alive and well in the books, and so there’s no real reason for Prince Char to figure out how to be a better person, and how to become a better ruler in the wake of a terrible one. There’s no reason for him to grow, so why would he?

Some of the differences between the book and the movie:

  • The ages of Ella and Prince Char
  • Just how far Hattie and Olive go with abusing Ella’s curse (book)
  • King Edgar (Movie)
  • The discontent state of the Kingdom (Movie)

After all of this, I have to say the winner is…

What do you guys think? Was I too harsh? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella is a girl with a most unusual gift, and her story has charmed readers and critics alike. Now Miramax Films brings this wholly original Cinderella story to the silver screen, complete with princes, ogres, wicked stepsisters, and a fairy-tale ending fit for a princess.

Book Overview:

Author: Gail Carson Levine | Series: None | Format: Audiobook | Narrated by: Eden Riegel | Length: 5 hours, 42 mins | Publish Date: September 1, 1997 | Genre: YA Fantasy | Literary Awards: Newbery Honor (1998), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children’s Literature (1999), Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award (2000), Grand Canyon Reader Award for Teen Book (1999), Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award for Grade 6-9 (2000)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (1999), Iowa Teen Award (2000) | Rating: ★ ★  | Recommend: Yes

“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.” 

Can you believe that this was the first ever time that I’ve read this book? I never heard about it when I was a little girl, so it was never one of those childhood favorites that I wanted to come back to after I grew up. This was a very first for me, and while it definitely wasn’t one of my favorites, it was still a cute story.

The main thing that I enjoyed about this book was the twist on Cinderella. How horrible would it have been if Cinderella didn’t have a choice in her upbringing? All of the treatment she endured by her stepmother and stepsisters was terrible in and of itself, but what if she was physically forced to obey them due to a fairy’s curse? This is what Ella Enchanted brought to Cinderella’s story, and it made the story that much better.

That was probably the only part of the story that I liked, unfortunately. As I was going through this book, I couldn’t really enjoy it as much as I wanted to. There wasn’t really anything special about it that made me want to read it again, or add it to my collection. Sure, the curse made things more interesting, but it also made her family that much worse. Not to mention her father was a complete jerk, who didn’t even love her the way a father should. How could he allow her to be put into such awful situations and not care about what’s happening to her?

No, Ella’s father was total tool and I did not like him at all.

This book was okay, and it gave me another movie to watch for another Book vs. Movie showdown. Other than that, It just wasn’t memorable to me. Although I am glad I had the opportunity to read this childhood book for the first time.

Author Spotlight
Courtesy of Goodreads

Born: In New York, New York, The United States
            September 17, 1947
Genre: Children’s Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult
Goodreads Member Since: August 2012

Just letting you all know: I’m only going to review books I love. There’s enough negative criticism without me piling on. A book is too hard to write.

Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and began writing seriously in 1987. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine’s other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction book Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf, illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a 1790 farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.