From Page To Screen

Best Films From Books

From Harry Potter to the Hobbit, some of our favourite children’s stories started out as books, capturing the imagination and creating magical worlds to get lost in. However, the transition from page to screen isn’t always an easy one and sometimes the magic can get a little bit lost along the way.

But there are still some amazing Hollywood adaptations of classic children’s books to enjoy on your next movie night, so we’ve ranked some of the best, based on factors such as how they’re rated by critics and audiences, as well as box office success.

Best Films From Books

1. One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)

Average Critic Review Score - 83 out of 100

Average Audience Review Score - 8.1 out of 10

Box Office Revenue (Adjusted for Inflation) - $936m

Profitability - Revenue = 60 times higher than budget

Lots of Disney’s early animated classics were based on classic fairy tales/folklore, but One Hundred and One Dalmatians is actually adapted from a 1956 novel by Dodie Smith.

The film is considered one of Disney’s best, proving popular with critics and audiences alike, as well as being a box office smash, having been re-released multiple times since 1961, with lifetime adjusted takings of almost a billion dollars.


2. Pinocchio (1940)

Average Critic Review Score - 99 out of 100

Average Audience Review Score - 8.1 out of 10

Box Office Revenue (Adjusted for Inflation) - $632m

Profitability - Revenue = 53.2 times higher than budget

Disney’s Pinocchio is now 80 years old but remains one of the studio’s biggest successes, with a near-perfect score of 99 out of 100 on Metacritic. While it was initially a box office bomb due to the outbreak of World War II, this true classic went on to earn over $600m through various re-releases, as well as being the first animated movie to win a competitive Academy Award.


3. The Jungle Book (1967)

Average Critic Review Score - 65 out of 100

Average Audience Review Score - 8.1 out of 10

Box Office Revenue (Adjusted for Inflation) - $690m

Profitability - Revenue = 52.6 times higher than budget

While not as well-reviewed as some of the other animated Disney classics on our list, the Jungle Book still holds a special place in the hearts of many children and adults alike, with an average audience review score of 8.1 out of 10.

The film takes a more family-friendly approach than its source material, which had darker and more sinister tones and became a huge hit, with special praise going toward the soundtrack, featuring songs such as “The Bare Necessities”.

Best Films From Books



We looked at over 100 of the best-loved movies that were adapted from children’s books and ranked them on each of the following factors, giving each film a normalised score out of 100 for each factor, before taking an average final score.

Note that we also took the average review rating for the book that each film is based on from Goodreads.

Average Critic Review Score

The average review score given by movie critics according to Metacritic.

Average Audience Review Score

The average review score given by audiences according to Metacritic.

Box Office Revenue (Adjusted for Inflation)

The total box office takings for each film, adjusted for inflation. Box office figures were sourced from Box Office Mojo and adjusted using US Inflation Calculator if the adjusted figure wasn’t available on Box Office Mojo. Note that we included revenue from any times each film was subsequently re-released.


The movie’s lifetime worldwide box office revenue divided by its production budget, to show which films have made the most while spending the least on production.

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