Bashing on Burton

Tim Burton’s sloppy rendition of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children


Hannah Rothkopf, Staff Writer


Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was one of my all time favorite books in middle school. I read it several times and managed to convince a few of my friends to read the book.

I don’t know if it was the eerily mysterious air of the book, the peculiar characters, or the death defying adventures the characters had that had spoken to me on such a level, but I truly loved every single page. You can only imagine my excitement when I learned Tim Burton was adapting the story into a screenplay.

The first five minutes of the movie seemed promising. It opened with Jacob Portman (the shy, anxiety ridden protagonist of movie) doing stock in a grocery store where he works, just like in the book. So far so good.

But then in a sad attempt to give a short back story on Jacob’s history as an outcast amongst his peers, a scene is thrown in where Jacob tries to reach out to a girl he recognizes as a classmate. she ignores him and runs away with another boy.

So far the cinematography was amazing, and the mysteriously dark nature of the book had been beautifully captured by Tim Burton and his crew. Aside from the one sad grocery store scene, the bar was being set pretty high. But then, all of the sudden the plot and the characters were thrown completely off the rails.

So much about the movie was changed that could have just as easily been kept the same. Important characters were replaced with entirely new ones, some had their names switched with others, and some had even been left out completely.

The most infuriating part of it all was when we are introduced to the love interest of the movie. In the book it is a girl named Emma who can control fire. The movie instead switches the love interest to a girl named olive who can control air. The idea had been taken from one of the minor characters in the book, where everything about her is the same except for the fact that she is supposed to be six years old instead of sixteen.

It seemed that Burton completely skewed the plot of the book around to make it his own movie and that the screenplay writer (Jane Goldman) had skimmed through the book and taken a short note of the absolutely most important or most action packed scenes and built the movie off of that. This was a major slap in the face to middle school me from the past.

I left the theatre disappointed that day to say the least. All in all I was impressed with how beautiful the movie was aesthetically, and how well the actors played their roles- especially the youngest actors. Yet I still felt Burton’s rendition was lacking in comparison to the original story. The movie was choppy and carelessly thought out. I would not recommend this movie, especially to anyone who has had the pleasure of reading the book.