My Dog Skip

Anonymous's picture

My son brought me to My Dog Skip.
After four years of animation, talking animals, superheroes, puppets, and
Lord knows what all else that I had…enjoyed since Seth’s arrival, I approached
all child movies with caution. As is the case with some medications, kid movies
(for me) could only be taken on a full stomach. But his mother started a nursing
job at nights on the weekends, leaving us men to entertain one another.
So, along with mac-n-cheese, corn on the cob, and fried chicken, watching
My Dog Skip became a Friday night ritual lasting almost a year. Seth loved
watching the movie, and I loved watching him watch the movie.
I had been aware of the writer Willie Morris, and while Harry Connick, Jr.
narrated the movie fifty-two times that year, I became increasingly curious
about how much of the book made it into the flick.
I finished the book during lunch today, and comparing the memoir to the
movie is an interesting case study in the art of adapting books into movies.
The entire plot of the movie is made up: invented. It is a vehicle used to
deliver Willie and Skip to the audience. As I read the book over the past
couple of weeks, I could see how the screen writer plucked this section and that
bit out of the book and bent and reshaped the material to fit the little tales
into the newly-created plotline.
For many readers and writers (or at least the ones I know), watching their
favorite books materialize on the screen is an unofficial hobby. I have vivid
memories of seeing The Hunt for Red October, The Lord of the Rings, Possession,
Wonderboys, and so many others—all the while remembering the scenes and
comparing them on the spot to what was flickering in front of me. And I am sure
we all have a private list of books we secretly hope will make it to Hollywood.
Myself, I would love to see someone translate Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
to the big screen.
But, of course, there’s always the chance that the movie will smell so much
that it damages memories of reading the book. I mean, how many stinkers have
been made from A Christmas Carol? Anyone with a spare noun and an apostrophe
feels entitled to hack away at Scrooge.
A friend from Mississippi now lives in northern England, and he was
delighted in seeing our copy of My Dog Skip, and I was delighted in sharing it
with him. My wife no longer works nights, and my son is a bit older, but he has
a baby sister now. I suspect that there will be a time not too far from now when
Seth and I will spend a Friday night with her and skip, along with some
mac-n-cheese, corn on the cob, and fried chicken.

Shells's picture

I for one, don't enjoy

I for one, don't enjoy watching movies that are based on books i've read.
When i read, i form an own image of the characters in the book, and it's very hard for me to lose myself in the movie when they use actors that are the total opposite of my imagination.
I can also get very irritated by the fact of changing plotlines to suit Hollywood's needs (e..g Cujo from Stephen King where the protagonist dies in the book, but lives on in the movie, making what starts as a very good movie into a whole other moral and story!)