Our Blog

Six Pieces of Scottish Literature to Supplement Your Viewing of Pixar’s Brave

Amidst the summer's comic book and sci-fi blockbuster movies, Pixar has nestled what is sure to be a gem: Brave, the animated tale of an impetuous girl growing up in the Scottish Highlands during the 10th century.

The film has been described as a fairy tale in the tradition of Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. That's vaunted company to keep, but we wondered, what are Brave's Scottish literary forebears.

To that end, here are 6 pieces of Scottish literature that we recommend to supplement your mid-summer viewing of Brave.

Posted by Alexandra Edwards

Our Favorite Lesser Known Book-To-Movie Adaptations

Tobey Maguire and Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys

Hipster bookworms crawl out of the woodwork when an adaptation makes its way to the silver screen. “Oh, you’re seeing “The Hunger Games” this weekend? I read those books before anyone knew about them.”

Here are some book-to-movie adaptations that are “really obscure.” I mean, you’ve probably never heard of them.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008): Based on the Michael Chabon novel of the same name, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh explores the complexities looming in the mind of just-out-of-college Art Bechstein. In order to make the novel more cinematic, writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber merged best friend Cleveland Arning with the novel’s homosexual love interest Arthur Lecomte. Cleveland’s girlfriend Jane was given a much larger role in the adaptation, turning what was in the novel a periphery character into a central one.

The choice to “simplify” Art’s experience by creating a love triangle rather than letting the characters live in this complex experience where not everyone knows everyone else would be enough to turn a Chabon purists away. But the pure fact that there is a commercial version of this coming-of-age novel gives those same Chabon purists hope.

Wonder Boys (2000): Another movie based on a Michael Chabon novel, The Wonder Boys was a box office flop. So much so, that after the initial February release director Curtis Hanson and producer Scott Rudin lobbied to have the movie re-released in November 2000. The ad campaign was redesigned to emphasize the ensemble feel of the film — a sharp contrast to the original poster, which featured a sole headshot of Michael Douglas accompanied with the tagline “Undependable. Unpredictable. Unforgettable.”

While the poster and trailer were arguably more accurate the second time around — capturing the essence of this potential one-book wonder author as he navigates relationships with his colleagues, lovers, and students — the re-release was also a financial disappointment. This adaptation, however, left all the major players in tact, trusting its audience to find the beauty in complexities.

Posted by Danielle Mohlman