(WARNING: Spoilers for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children below. You've been warned)
Being a fan of #TimBurton, it is always exciting to hear that he is creating another surreal movie experience. From Nightmare Before Christmas to Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton has an ability to create an excellent and twisted cinematic masterpiece.
The story of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is not far off of Burton’s unique taste of stories, thus making it more than understandable for him to take on this peculiar project. This is unfortunate for fans of Ransom Riggs’ book series. Burton’s creation may have ruined the essence and possibility of a successful Peregrine movie series that could’ve been equivalent to Harry Potter.
Don’t get me wrong, the first time I watched the Peculiar movie, I was fascinated and enthralled by the story. I decided to read the series. After completing the books, I realized that there are several issues with Burton’s decisions for the movie plot, although I cannot deny that Burton created a cohesive plot using some aspects from Riggs’ books.
I’m not writing to complain about the nitty gritty changes, such as Enoch’s personality, Fiona willing to freely talk, the age issues of the children (Olive, Fiona, Hugh, Horace, Enoch), that the movie takes place in 1943 and the books take place in 1940, that Loops will close if an Ymbryne is not present when they reset, or that the Wights don't have peculiar powers and depend on weapons — this list could be infinite. What is relevant are the decisions that potentially ruined the series.
Emma And Olive? Why?
Having Olive and Emma’s peculiar powers switched was a horrible decision. It makes sense from a Hollywood standpoint; having the main female protagonist control air instead of fire creates a "floating or "bubbly" persona. This would make her seem more innocent or fragile than someone who has the ability to control fire. I want to avoid delving into potential feminist arguments and focus on the fact that this switch creates several issues for Hallow City and Library of Souls.
For instance, intimate moments of warming Jacob will never happen, Emma will never lead the group (or just Jacob) in dark areas, olive would have to be the new leader of the group. This is especially problematic for Library of Souls because Olive is barely even in the book.
Emma’s use of her power for love, battle, and as a leader are some of the most significant aspects of the last two books, but these things will never happen.
Cue: Mass Plot Switch
Anyone who has read the books would be aware that the TRUE villains of Miss Peregrine were not discussed during the movie. When Miss Peregrine (played by Eva Green) is explaining the Wights’ experiment, she states that Barron is the leader and that he is the one that conducted the experiment to become immortal from time.
However, if you read the books you would know that this is not true. Barron was just a disguise used by a Wight that stalked Jacob for years. The actual leaders of the Wights are Miss Peregrine’s brothers, Caul and Myron Bentham.
Burton’s story that Barron is the leader of the Wights botches the sequels. It will force screenwriters to re-introduce and re-explain the experiment of 1908 and the new villains of Miss Peregrine. This is like Harry Potter having Bellatrix as the "leader" of the Death Eaters — it doesn’t make sense and it will weaken the potential sequels.
You Can't End It Like That?
The ending of the movie, although epic, is so different from the original story that it makes a Hollow City sequel redundant. Miss Peregrine was freed by Jacob and in human form at the end of the movie. The ENTIRE second book is about trying to save Miss Peregrine from her bird state. The peculiar orphans accomplish this by taking her to another Ymbryne to be medicated and transformed. If a Hallow City movie is made, there will have to be a completely different plot due to this little, yet significant change.
Burton may have made a good movie, but at what cost?
What other things did you notice that differed between the movie and the novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.