In book recs film and tv

RECS: Surprising Book Recommendations based on your Favorite Animated Movie


If you're, like me, using this quarantine to catch up on on all the media that you've missed, this is a great list for you. I've been rewatching all my favorite (animated) movies and noticed a lot of underlying parallels that might not be so obvious. To get out of my giant reading slump, I compiled a list of reads that remind me of my favorite feel-good movies. I wanted to forego retellings, since these might be a little too obvious. Instead, I picked books that contained the same tropes/elements as the animations I'm about to mention.

 bol.com | The Last Magician, Lisa Maxwell | 9781481432078 | Boeken


Anastasia (1997) + The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Let's start off with my personal favorite animated movie. This is a childhood classic (it's as old as I am) but never any less of a masterpiece. If you're not familiar with Anastasia (1997) (or the Broadway musical), you should know that the film follows the story of the grand duchess Anastasia Romanov, who, according to an old rumor, would have lived past the Russian Revolution.

While The Last Magician has little to do with the Romanovs, there are many similarities with Anastasia. The Last Magician follows Esta, who time travels back to the early 1900's New York to find the last Magician and prevent him from doing any harm to the future. Not only are the two main characters similar to Anya and Dmitry in dynamics, this book also contains a rich historical setting, the lost princess trope, and some delightful banter. This is a must-read if you enjoy Anastasia.

Tangled - Wikipedia     bol.com | Blood Heir (ebook), Amelie Zhao | 9780008327927 | Boeken

Tangled (2010) + Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao
Next up is an actual Anastasia retelling. While this might also fit with the previous animated movie, Blood Heir strongly resembles Tangled in some aspects and brought me some of the same feels I got when watching that movie. Blood Heir follows heir to the throne Anastacya, who was framed for her father's murder and had to flee her own kingdom. Determined to set things right, the crown princess joins forces with infamous conman Ramson Quicktongue, and together they set out to bring her kingdom justice.

Aside from the plot comparison, Ramson also has some serious Flynn Rider vibes, and if you squint you can't help but visualize a dark Rapunzel retelling when reading this book.


Howl's moving castle | Kijk-goed     bol.com | Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson | 9781481497619 ...

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)  + Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson 
When compiling a list full of animations, Studio Ghibli films, of course, cannot be left out. My favorite one, Howl's Moving Castle, based on a YA book with the same name, follows Sophie, who is cursed by the witch of the waste to live her life as an old woman. She encounters wizard Howl's Moving Castle, and together with Howl and his found family, she experiences a wild adventure.

If you like this movie as much as I do, Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson is an absolute must-read. Both feature broody and dramatic wizards, a whimsical atmosphere, and a stubborn, but awesome female lead!


Spirited Away [DVD] [2001] - Best Buy     Amazon.com: The Tiger at Midnight (9780062869210): Teerdhala ...

Spirited Away (2001) + The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala
Another animated staple on this list: Borrowing on Japanese mythology, Ghibli's Spirited Away follows Chihiro as she encounters what seems to be a deserted theme park. When her parents turn into pigs and she stumbles upon mysterious creatures, Chihiro has to navigate this spiritual world to try to get things back to normal.

Much like Spirited Away, The Tiger at Midnight takes inspiration from mythology, but Hindu mythology in this case. It also features shapeshifting, and some seriously good amount of the childhood lovers trope.

Treasure Planet (2002) - IMDb     bol.com | Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman | 9781984893956 | Boeken

Treasure Planet (2002) - Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This is a more underrated animated movie, but one of my absolute favorites. Set in a sci-fi world featuring space pirates, Treasure Planet follows Jim Hawkins, who sets out to find the legendary 'Treasure Planet' that is the home of, you guessed it, a large treasure to help rebuild his mother's destroyed inn.

Like Treasure Planet, Aurora Rising is set in space. As with Jim Hawkins, Aurora Rising also follows a group of misfits on a mission. This is a surprising, but delightful recommendation if you're into sci-fi or if you're just looking for a big found family!


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