Top 5 book to movie adaptations with stunning visual effects

Book to movie adaptations have always garnered great interest in audiences worldwide; mainly because they manage to arouse instant curiosity in those who have already read the book. Over the course of time, book adaptations came to be done by big production houses who could afford the cost of buying the rights among other expenses like big budgets for animation and VFX. In this post we bring you five of the top book to movie adaptations that have taken animation/ VFX to its maximum potential.

Apollo 13

Based on the true story – Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 – written by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffery Kluger, this movie is entirely about the special effects. The launch sequence was created with models and computers at Digital Domain Inc. Director Ron Howard gained the permission and assistance of NASA to take shots involving weightlessness onboard NASA’s KC-135 airplane.


Forrest Gump

Winston Groom’s 1986 novel of the same name talks about the titular character who follows a life of chance occurrences that make him rich and famous against a backdrop of popular events that took place during the flower-power generation of the United States. Industrial Light & Magic were behind the revolutionary special effects showcased in this 1994 epic. Using cutting-edge CGI technology, the movie showed Tom Hanks shaking hands with famous personalities who had passed away much before the filming of the movie. Another revolutionary CGI trick was the amputated legs of actor Gary Sinise.


Alice in Wonderland

Possible the most popular and often-adapted children’s story of all time, Lewis Carroll wrote this timeless classic in 1865. It went on to become one of the finest examples of the literary nonsense genre. Over the years, the book has been adapted into more than 10 movies, and several comic books and television shows. But the one film that really took its animation and VFX seriously was the Tim Burton version released in 2010, starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. Using a collage of VFX techniques, Industrial Light & Magic went all the way to develop realistic CGI characters like the Cheshire Cat and Helena Bonham Carter’s enlarged head in the movie.

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Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The much awaited series, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic of The Lord of the Rings, has a cult following worldwide, both for its vivid imagination and spell-binding special effects. The trilogy had whopping 2,730 special effects shots with more than 260 visual effect artists working in the production pipeline. Trolls and other creatures were created from scratch using state-of-the-art CGI technology. Gollum was created using motion-capture technology and 72 miniatures were used to shoot Helm’s Deep and other fictional locations described in the book.

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Harry Potter Series

Written by J. K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series are probably the most popular books and movies of our times. The series follows the magical adventures of the protagonist, Harry Potter, who is studying to become a wizard at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. A number of special effects companies, including Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Framestore and Double Negative, worked on the eight Harry Potter movies. In fact, the Harry Potter series are credited for bringing special effects work to UK shores.

Tell us about your favourite book to movie adaptations or about the books that you think would make great movies.


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