Books on Screen: Inkheart

Thanks for the invitation to review “Inkheart” (the movie) here at 5 Minutes for Books!  For the Z-Kids’ thoughts on “Inkheart” (the book), and to get a non-spoiler idea of the plot, you can see our previous review at Bookie Woogie.  The following discussion picks up where that prior review leaves off…

Dad:  Tell me what you guys did all morning because you were so excited to go see the movie “Inkheart.”
Isaac (age 10):  We had face paint…
Gracie (age 8):  And we dressed up as the characters!
Dad:  Isaac had some nice “Dustfinger” scars.  Gracie was a lovely “Basta.”
Gracie:  And Lily dressed up as “Gwin,” the little martin with horns.  She’s the only one who actually wore her outfit to the show.
Lily (age 5):  I had a little, black nose and little, black whiskers and cardboard horns.
Isaac:  Actually a blue nose, remember.  Dad accidentally got the blue and black mixed up…
Lily:  A girl at the theater said, “I like your kittycat face.”
Isaac:  I ate too much popcorn…  ugggghh…
Gracie:  Don’t hurl!
Dad:  So what did you think of the movie?  How did it compare to the book?
Isaac:  I liked the movie.  I liked the book.  I liked them in different ways.
Gracie:  I liked the book better.
Dad:  And that surprises me.  I thought you guys by default always like movies better than their books.  I thought that was simply a “kid thing.”
Gracie:  The movie was funny, but I like the book better because it has cool descriptions.
Isaac:  You could never do that in a movie.  Actually you could do it.  Some movies do that.
Gracie:  But there’s no narrator in this movie.  The other thing is that, in the book you can imagine people however you want to.
Dad:  Does that ruin it when the actors don’t match your imagination?
Lily:  No, it’s okay.
Gracie:  But Capricorn really did look like Howie Mandel the way I had imagined!  Only a little shorter and a little more melon-headed.
Dad:  What do you mean by melon-headed?
Gracie:  You know… like Charlie Brown.  The melon-headed kid.
Dad:  Do you know who that was?  The actor who played Capricorn…
Isaac:  Who?
Gracie:  Howie Mandel?
Dad:  No, not Howie Mandel.  It’s the guy that was Gollum in “Lord of the Rings.”  Andy Serkis.
Isaac:  He was??
Dad:  Can you tell?
Isaac:  Gollum was a little, skinny guy.  How was he so skinny?  How is-  What the-  Uh….  I’m confused.
Gracie:  And he looked a lot shorter.
Dad:  When they filmed him for Gollum, they later replaced him with a computer guy.  But he did all the actual acting.  And they tried to make his face look similar.
Isaac:  Why are we even talking about Lord of the Rings?
Gracie:  Because Howie Mandel was in it.
Dad:  Now, when Inkheart was all over, I looked down at Lily during the credits and she had tears running down her face.  Do you remember what you said when I asked you why you were crying?
Lily:  “Sometimes people cry when they are so, so happy.”
Dad:  And why were you so, so happy?
Lily:  Because everyone got back to their families.
Dad:  Actual tears were running down your little painted whiskers.  But you had a big smile on your face.
Lily:  I loved that movie.  It’s just…  sometimes when you are really, really, super, double, really, really happy…  you cry.
Isaac:  I didn’t understand something…  In the Inkheart movie, Dustfinger can do this fire-breath thing where he would rub his hands together and flames would shoot out like a dragon blowing fire.  And somehow he taught Farid to do it.  But if he taught Farid, he could teach anyone.  Not just people from the Inkheart land.
Dad: (laughing) Weren’t you guys trying make fire appear on the way home in the car?
Isaac:  That was Gracie.  I was just trying to warm up my hands.  It was freezing.
Gracie:  Yeah – It’s not fair!  How come Dustfinger and Farid can make fire appear, but not me?
Isaac:  Uh – It’s animation.  They change stuff on the computer.
Gracie:  Like how they did animation on ‘Lord of the Rings’ with Howie Mandel?
Isaac:  It’s not Howie Mandel.
Dad:  What did you guys think of “The Shadow”?
Gracie:  In the book it said the Shadow was formless and faceless.  But in the movie, it definitely had a face.
Isaac:  It was cool.
Gracie:  Scary!
Dad:  That makes me think of a question….  We are going to be guest blogging on a site that a lot of moms visit.  And they are going to want to know from you if the move is too scary for their little kids…  What do you think?
Gracie:  You should wait until they are at least five or six.  And at the end they will probably cry because they are so happy, like Lily did.  But if they are a scaredy baby, don’t bring them there.
Dad:  So, you guys were never scared in the movie?
Kids:  No.
Dad:  What about the storm?
Gracie:  Yeah, the storm was very scary.
Dad:  What about people breaking into the house?
Isaac:  Oh yeah.
Dad:  Fire?
Gracie:  Don’t watch this if you’re scared of fire.
Dad:  What about minotaurs?
Isaac:  That was cool.
Dad:  What if a kid had a bad experience with a minotaur on the playground in their past?
Isaac:  Then they should not watch Narnia, Prince Caspian, or Inkheart.
Dad:  So the only way you could watch this is if you are not scared of anything in the whole world?
Isaac:  Well, there are no clowns in this.
Dad: (laughing)  Ah-ha!  So if a kid is scared of clowns, then this is the perfect movie for them?
Gracie:  Don’t eat popcorn if you are scared of popcorn.  Or if you are allergic to it.
Dad:  What do you think — if you could bring a character out of any book, who would it be?
Lily:  I would bring out Arnie the Doughnut.  I would gobble him up.
Laughter by all…
Dad:  He’d be yelling at you, “Don’t eat me!”  But you’d still do it?
Lily:  Why not…  He’s yummy!
Gracie:  We could just get a doughnut at the store!
Dad:  You’d go to all the trouble to bring a talking doughnut out of a book just to eat him?
Lily:  Hee hee hee…
Dad:  Well, any last words on Inkheart?
Gracie:  Read the movie.  Oops….
Isaac:  Ha!  Read the movie.  Watch the book.
Gracie:  That would be boring…  “Hey, I’m watching a book…”

You can find weekly book reviews by Isaac, Grace, and Lily at their blog Bookie Woogie.  You can see samples of their art on their other blog Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty.


  1. says

    What a fun review! I especially like that no one questioned whether a a kid would have actually been scared by a minotaur on the playground, and I love this advice : But if they are a scaredy baby, don’t bring them there.

    Great job!

  2. Katie-wa says

    SOO funny. They’ve all got a great sense of humor, but Gracie holds a special place in my heart. I wish I was 9 and we could hang out on the playground with minotaurs. LOL You guys are awesome sauce!

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