An issue running through all attempted adaptations–good or bad–is the degree of swerve from the original still to serve as a “source” narrative. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before, especially in the case of 2Live Crew and Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.”Souter found that the 2LC had indeed taken the “heart” of the original, but that this was allowable in the genre of parody. At the opposite end of the linkage problem is the “Lion King” movie, which in several of the wiki links is proclaimed as an “adaptation” of “Hamlet,” but apart from a basic plot (younger brother conspires to get the crown of older brother, son of elder is visited by ghost of dead father to stir him on revenge for the murder) would probably fail to be recognized as an adaptation of “Hamlet” by its young, inexperienced audience. Are these wiki-links including “Lion King” as an adaptation of “Hamlet” (by, e.g., “R & G Are Dead”) in a canonical list of genuine adaptations simply wrong (or trying to latch on to the cultural status of the original?)

2 thoughts on “

  1. I’ve been thinking, too, about what happens when someone uses the source material to illustrate something else (another story, another point of view, another angle)–which, is perhaps, what parody is boiled down to–but which doesn’t always have to be parody. For instance, this documentary on The Phantom Tollbooth ( animates the illustrations from the book while telling the story of the book’s creators. Not quite ‘adaptation’ (or is it?) but on the fringes?

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