Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” premiered in theaters last Friday on March 9. Based off the 1962 classic sci-fi novel by Madeleine L’Engle, the film brings this epic story to life, but certainly departs from its best-selling source material in some areas.
This is certainly not a rare occurrence. Every year we see movies based on books that tweak some aspects either to change the dynamic of the story or simply because they can’t fit everything into a watchable runtime.
“A Wrinkle in Time” features both kinds of changes, as well as some that are just puzzling. Here are four differences between the book and the movie:
In the book, Meg and Charles Wallace have twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys. They serve as a sort of reference point to Meg’s uniqueness, fitting in much better at school than their older sister.
In the film however, these characters have been completely removed. Perhaps, there wasn’t enough time to develop two more characters, or maybe this move was done to strengthen the apparent bond between Meg and her now only sibling Charles Wallace.
There is a similar situation with Calvin. In the book, his poor home situation stems from him being one of 11 children, while the movie blames it on his abusive father. It would seem this move was done to create more sympathy with the audience for Calvin.
Charles Wallace’s Adoption
Speaking of the family dynamic, this was another change made to the Murry family. There is no mention of an adoption in the book, however the movie’s opening scene features a young Meg coming to terms with the thought of having an adopted younger brother.
It’s evident from the first time you see Charles Wallace in the film that he is special and this change only adds to the mystery surrounding him.
Mrs. Whatsit’s Transformation
If you got to the theater fresh off reading the book, this next difference may have caught you off guard. In the book, when the children are brought to the planet Uriel, where Mrs. Whatsit transforms, she turns into a Centaur-like creature, with the body of a horse and a human torso.
In the film, her transformation in quite different. Instead of a horse-human hybrid, she becomes a winged… plant… creature (you try and describe that thing without images).
This change makes sense both to create a more visually pleasing scene and to make it easier to have Mrs. Whatsit’s creature fit into a children’s movie. A Centaur may have complicated things a bit.
Mr. Murry’s Absence
Ironically enough, one of the biggest changes to the “A Wrinkle in Time” film was the timeline. In the book, Mr. Murry has been missing for a year before Meg and the rest of the group go searching for him.
In the film, it has been four years since he’s gone missing. This changes a couple of things. First, it adds to the drama of Meg’s reunion with her father, where the movie doesn’t really do that in any other way. It also adds an element of distrust, as it seems Meg thinks her father may not have wanted to be found.
The second thing this change affects is the relationship between Mr. Murry and Charles Wallace. If he had only been missing a year, the young Charles Wallace would obviously remember his father. However, with him being gone four years, Charles Wallace never really knew his father. He was only a baby when Mr. Murry disappeared.
There are plenty of other differences between the book and the movie. What are some that you noticed? Let us know in the comments!