With the decline of the superhero movie era upon us, Hollywood will probably start relying more heavily on its other cash cow: children's books. It's obvious why children's books are lucrative: they capture a wide audience with their friendly G and PG ratings and are already universally beloved because of their book counterparts. Plenty of directors have already gone this route (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lorax, The Hobbit) and reaped the benefits, so the question is, why haven't more directors caught on? Here's a list of the best director-book pairings imaginable.
1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? as adapted by Tyler Perry
Who better to direct a film about characters with never more than one distinguishing personality trait than Tyler Perry? In his version, Brown Bear (the zany Madea character) will mispronounce things and do hilarious impressions of Stuck Up Whitey. By act two, Black Dog will confess to domestic violence and all the matriarchs will wear floppy hats. And at the end, we'll see the children, and they'll see us, and the abused Yellow Duck will stand up for herself, and most of the characters will get married.
INT. BROWN BEAR'S KITCHEN - Day
Yellow Duck, Yellow Duck, I see that you have two black eyes.
It's nothing. I was just cooking. And I flew into a branch. With both eyes.
She's always doing that.
Whitey be like. [She walks on her back two legs and pantomimes a cane and top hat.]
Ha ha ha!
2. The Runaway Bunny as adapted by David Lynch
The Runaway Bunny the story of an overbearing mother bunny who promises to follow her baby bunny to the ends of the earth if he ever leaves her. The domestic violence subtext is obtuse, and if there's one thing David Lynch is great at directing it's terrifyingly abusive relationships.
Int. RABBIT HOLE - Day
The room is lit by a lamp with a pink lamp shade, making the room both warm and ominous. Momma Bunny sits at a wooden table where she is taking sheets from one stack of paper and transferring them to another stack, staring straight ahead at the wall. She wears a tattered bathrobe. Baby Bunny enters from his bedroom. He's wearing a baseball cap, is holding a packed bag.
I'm running away. I'm sick of all the weird stuff that's happening all the time.
Ominous synth music starts up.
How was work today, Phil?
(pinches the bridge of his nose, as if stressed)
Who is Phil?
An unseen studio audience chuckles as if a joke was told.
See! See! That's exactly what I'm talking about. I'm done with this.
Momma Bunny continues transferring papers. Baby Bunny walks across the thick carpet to the front door.
(stops transferring paper, but doesn't turn)
Wherever you go, I'll find you. Because you are my Baby Bunny.
Baby Bunny shivers. He exits through the front door.
INT. RABBIT HOLE - Day
Same scene as before. Baby Bunny enters from his bedroom as before. His mother is now a pile of meat. Baby Bunny is horrified. The pile of meat catches fire. The unseen studio audience explodes into laughter. Baby Bunny hangs his head.
3. Goodnight Moon as adapted by Terrence Malick
Goodnight Moon, published in 1947, took decades to catch on, but was eventually proclaimed as a key work in the "naming all the shit in your bedroom" genre. Like Brown Bear, there's no plot, and who knows plotless movies better than Terrence Malick, director of To the Wonder, a film that's synopsis can practically be boiled down to the words "Oklahoma" and "It's".
INT. NORMAL-ASS BEDROOM - Night
(Southern accent that stretches out the i's)
Fifteen seconds pass uneventfully.
CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM - Day
A beautiful mother, backlit by the setting sun, plays with her child on the rug. Inaudible laughter.
CON'T: NORMAL-ASS BEDROOM.