Recommending Books Based On Disney Movies Part 2 // here we go again

By this time, it is a fact well known that Rachel lives and breathes two things – books and disney movies. Given this, it is quite convenient to write a post that mixes both of these obsessions, with a dash of movie dialogues and a hint of book quotes. And wait, does that smell like a sprinkle of craziness and irrationality? All in all, the perfect recipe. (in case you were wondering, no i totally did not just watch Ratatouille)

I should have probably said this earlier but retrospection never got anyone anywhere so let me say it now – welcome to the second part of my Disney Movies As Books post! Like in the first part, we are going to be pairing some books and movies together and it’s going to be so exciting, not least because i get yet another excuse to rave about my favourites in both these categories. Oops. Wasn’t supposed to reveal that. Oh well. Let’s start before something else about my ulterior motives slips out.

Soul – House In The Cerulean Sea

SOUL All Movie Clips (2020) - YouTube

I’m just afraid that if I died today my life would have amounted to nothing.

Joe, Soul

Soul centers on a music teacher Joe Gardner seeking to reunite his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his big break as a jazz musician. In the Great Before, where souls are given personalities and sparks before they are sent to earth, Joe meets 22, a soul who has still not found her spark.

Sometimes, he thought to himself in a house in a cerulean sea, you were able to choose the life you wanted. And if you were of the lucky sort, sometimes that life chose you back.

Linus, The House In The Cerulean Sea
The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House In The Cerulean Sea focuses on Linus Baker, who lives an ordinary quiet life, until he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside. Whatever happens, one thing which is clear is that Linus’ will never be able to go back to living in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records.

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Soul holds somewhat a special place in my heart because I watched it on my birthday the year it released. I re-watched it recently and I can’t believe I didn’t notice before how similar vibes it has with The House In The Cerulean Sea, one of my all time favourites. The main character in both was a middle aged working man, living an ordinary and monotonous life, not quite happy with their work but having no other choice. Then they are thrust into extraordinary circumstances and realize there’s more to life than they ever knew. Lucy (a literal 6 year old who’s quite literally the son of the devil) from the book reminds me of 22 (an unborn soul), because both are technically children but through the course of the story, they teach the adult main character the true meaning of life. Overall too, both Soul and The House In The Cerulean Sea are heartfelt and bittersweet stories with lots of meaning and a tinge of melancholy.

The Incredibles – Renegades

Incredibles 2 - The Final Battle - Ending Scene - video Dailymotion

Helen: Everyone is special, Dash.

Dash: That’s just another way of saying no one is.

The Incredibles is set in a fictional world where superheroes (also known as “Supers”) co-exist with society and are occasionally forced into action despite a ban issued on them by the government. And Incredibles 2 focuses on Helen (the woman in the picture) pulling off a publicity stunt while Bob (the burly red man in the picture) is left to take care of the kids.

“Heroism wasn’t about what you could do, it was about what you did. It was about who you saved when they needed saving.”

Renegades

The first of a trilogy, Renegades follows Nova, who can put people to sleep with a touch and Adrian, who can bring his drawings to life. Except they are on opposite sides – Adrian is a Renegade, a champion of justice, defender of the city, while Nova is an Anarchist, the villain whose sole purpose is to bring the Renegades down.

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What more do I need to say other than superheroes!! *jazz hands and squeaky voice*
Yeah no see, I haven’t seen a single Marvel movie in my life (eek don’t come at me) but with The Incredibles movies and the Renegades trilogy put together, I’ve had a healthy dose of superheroes already. And what a delight both of them were! Secret identities, extraordinary powers and exploring the thin line between “hero” and “villain” were the common themes in the movies and the books. While the movie understandably had a comparatively basic plot, the trilogy was complexity at its finest – with morally grey characters, intertwining storylines, epic showdowns, horrifying betrayals and what not. (also hands up if anyone thinks Max from the books is anything like Jack Jack from the movie *raises hand*)

Raya and the Last Dragon – The Great Zoo Of China

Raya and the Last Dragon' Review: A Wonderful Film, and a Missed  Opportunity | Arts | The Harvard Crimson

Raya: Yeah, well, the world’s broken. You can’t trust anyone

Sisu: Or maybe it’s broken, because you don’t trust anyone. 

The film depicts a warrior princess who seeks the fabled last dragon, with hopes of restoring the dragon gem that would bring back her father and banish the evil spirits from her kingdom.

“Convincing someone to believe something that was inherently unbelievable often meant getting that person to make a quick and easy comparison to something they already knew.”

The Great Zoo Of China

The Chinese government have found a species of animal no one believed even existed, and are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever created. A small group of VIPs and journalists have been brought to the zoo to witness the creatures for the first time. But everything goes horribly wrong…

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It’s a pity I don’t talk more about this book because it’s fantastic but criminally underrated. In my defense, I read it long back, before I was part of the bookish community. But anyway. Once again the similarity between the movie and the book is glaringly clear – dragons!! Both feature talking dragons (though the ones in the book is more science than myth) and a unique bond between a human and a dragon. The Great Zoo of China gives more Jurassic Park vibes though, but then again, it’s meant for an adult audience so there’s obviously more violence and creepy money makers.

Frozen – A Sweet & Bitter Magic

Disney's 'Frozen': The Acting and Performance Analysis

Some people are worth melting for.

Olaf, Frozen

Frozen depicts a princess (Anna) who sets off on a journey alongside an iceman (Kristoff), his reindeer (Sven), and a snowman (Olaf) to find her estranged sister (Elsa), whose icy powers have inadvertently trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.

“It felt too simple. To move forward, carrying the weight of what she’d done without letting it hold her back. It was a delicate balance. Just like magic. Just like families and relationships and sisters who shared the same face but not the same heart.”

In Sweet & Bitter Magic, a witch cursed to never love (Tamsin) meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic (Wren), and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.

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We can’t have a post about Disney movies without mentioning Frozen, the movie which took little girls all over the world by storm (hehe no pun intended) with it’s iconic characters (yes i’m talking about Olaf and Sven) and royalty depiction and ~snow~. (SO. MUCH. SNOW. It physically hurts my eyes sometimes to see all the white. I very much prefer the dark green-ness of the shadow & bone series). Anyway back to comparing it to A Sweet And Bitter Magic. So there are sisters that have been torn apart by circumstances (Elsa and Anna, Tasmin and Marlena) and one sister is magical and the other is not (sort of, for the book). The main conflict in both the movie and the book is magic run rampant, plaguing the town of the characters. Plus, I find both the plots quite basic and straight forward, with just one storyline and minimal twists. (and the colours in the cover match the scene i picked! what more could you want?)

Are you a Disney enthusiast too? Have you read any of these books?
And finally, in true Disney spirit, let’s say it together, to infinity… and beyond! (bonus points to everyone who got the reference)

~ Rachel

Recommending Books Based On Disney Movies // ft. book quotes and movie dialogues because why not

I watched Encanto the other day and I think it’s fair to say that I was, once again, blown away.

Every time, every single time I watch (or re-watch because I’m obsessed) a Disney movie, I think “This is it. This movie is going to be the first disney movie I didn’t like and that would mean I’ve finally grown out of these cheesy stories”, but needless to say that has never happened and I don’t see it happening any time soon. Disney 8093, Rachel 0. (to be fair it’s a very strong competitor and my heart betrays me every time.)

Conclusion is that I LOVE disney movies (especially the animated “family” ones that my mother says I’m too old to be watching) and will probably continue to do so for an eternity. Today I recommend you books similar to certain movies (or the other way round, since most of you have probably read more books on this list than you’ve seen the movies).

So here’s how the formatting is gonna be – one liner premises each for the move and the book, and thirdly why I paired them, with the main reasons in bold. And some book quotes and movie dialogues flying about here and there of course ;))

Big Hero 6 – We Are Not Free

Photos:: Scenes from 'Big Hero 6' - Los Angeles Times

On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?

Baymax, Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 tells the story of Hiro Hamada (a teen robotics prodigy) and Baymax (the cuddly white inflated lump in the picture, Hiro’s late brother’s healthcare provider robot) who team up to fight the masked villain who killed Tadashi (Hiro’s brother).

“We’re standing on a street corner with everything we’ve ever known about to come crashing down around us.
And we’re angry.
And we’re smiling.
And we aren’t broken.”

We Are Not Free

We Are Not Free is a historical fiction told from the points of views of 14 Japanese-American teenagers just after the bombing of the Pearl Harbour, when anti-Japanese sentiments in the USA are at an all time high.

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Apart from the fact that both of these made me ugly cry like never before, a common theme was teens handling grief. Both start with a happy enough scene (such that it makes one almost suspicious, is this the calm before the storm), and then immediately there’s this horrifying event that changes the main character’s life drastically, as they lose what they’d always known and loved. Then the rest of the story shows the characters learning to live with their loss and moving on. Grab some tissues.

Coco – Cemetery Boys

How Pixar Made Sure 'Coco' Was Culturally Conscious - The New York Times

“If there’s no one left in the living world to remember you, you disappear from this world.”

Hector, Coco

Coco follows Miguel (an aspiring musician, but only in secret), who accidentally gets transported to The Land of the Dead (on the famous Mexican holiday “The Day of the Dead”) where he seeks the help of his deceased great-great-grandfather to return him to his family among the living and to reverse his family’s ban on music.

“I implore you to be more open minded, hermano. If we close ourselves off to the possibilities that lie outside of what tradition has dictated, we are destined for extinction.”

Cemetery Boys
Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys is about Yadriel, who while trying to prove himself to his family, ends up accidentally summoning the ghost of Julian Diaz. What follows is their adventures and misadventures as they try to solve the mystery of Julian’s death, and Yadriel’s seemingly never ending struggle with his conservative family.

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These two give me such similar vibes, I’ve always recommended Coco to fans of Cemetery Boys and vice versa. Both are centred around tight-knit Latinx communities and have a brilliant representation of ancient Mexican culture (especially the whole Day Of The Dead concept that I’ll never get bored of, any recs??) but that is not where the similarities end. Both stories are also about the main characters finding their true selves, even when this requires them to go against the wishes of their conservative families.

Zootopia – The Grishaverse

Did a Disney animated film really say that? If it's 'Zootopia,' prepare to  be shocked - Los Angeles Times

Judy: Nicholas Wilde, You are under arrest.
Nick: For what? Hurting your feelings?
Judy: Felony Tax Evasion.

Zootopia follows Judy Hopps, a police officer with big dreams (and she’s a bunny in case you haven’t noticed) and Nick Wilde, a con-fox who lives off trickery. They are reluctant partners in solving a grave case that has the whole of Zootopia shaken.

“Sometimes, the only way to get justice is to take it for yourself.”

Crooked Kingdom

The Six Of Crows duology follows six dangerous outcasts on a dangerous mission with high stakes… and a even higher reward.
The King Of Scars duology, which is also set in the Grishaverse, is about a young king trying to bring together a broken nation, while also battling monsters of his own. Literally.

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Did I just pair one of my favourite Disney movies ever to my favourite books ever? Why, yes I did.

Nick to me seems like a blend of Kaz and Nikolai, which are two of the best characters in existence, and this makes Nick one of the best characters in existence too (wow. incredible logic rachel). I mean, look at that scene I’ve put a picture of and tell me that’s not Nikolai’s smug grin pasted on Nick’s face. Then look at that quote beside the picture and tell me it’s not something Kaz would say. See what I mean?

Plus, Judy gives me Inej + Matthias vibes, she’s a rabbit with honour and this want to do good for the people, even though she knows she’s not going to get anything back. Do you need any more reasons to just go read those four books and watch that movie? (lemme know if you do, I’ll be happy to provide a list) Missing the deadline of that 12 page geography project will be totally worth it, i promise.

Monsters University – Not My Problem

Stop being a Sullivan and start being YOU.

Mike, Monsters University
Monsters University (2013) - IMDb

Monsters University follows Mike Wazowski (an ambitious, hardworking and studious first-year at the university) and James Sullivan (the “rich dad’s kid” who relies on his family name to make it through college), who hate each other but are thrust together by circumstances.

Not My Problem

“I dug deep down into my empathy store and found a dried-up old raisin.”

Aideen, Not My Problem

Not My Problem is a coming-of-age contemporary about Aideen (who is funny and witty and has a million excuses for not doing PE and homework) and Meabh (the one everyone expects a lot from, also the principal’s daughter), and when Aideen solves Meabh’s tight-schedule problem by pushing her down the stairs, an friendship begins to blossom.

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There’s this common academic background in Not My Problem and Monster’s University – the former is set in high school and the latter in college. Both have a dash of rivals to best friends and show that friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places (at some point, the mcs in both the movie and the book were told that the other mc is “out of their league”), The main characters couldn’t be more different than each other, yet as they get to know the other better, they discover edges of their personalities they’d never imagined. Sullivan from the movie and Meabh from the book were both pressured to live up to their family name, so that’s another similarity.

As we conclude, I’d like to remind you that regardless of whether you are obsessed with enjoy Disney movies or not (the latter is a crime I tell you, a CRIME), all of these books belong to my favourites of 2021 so you have to give them a read (i’ll haunt your dreams if you don’t) and later scream about them to me too! (also i do have some more recs in mind, so let me know if you’d like a part 2 of this post!)

Do you watch animated movies? Which is your favourite one? Any Zootopia fans here?? Do you vote for a part 2 of this post? Let me know in the comments!

~ Rachel