Spangler’s From Sentence to Screen: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016) is a drama/fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and is rated PG-13. The movie begins with the protagonist Jacob Portman, played by Asa Butterfield, receiving a weird phone call from his grandfather Abe. This phone call raises concerns Jacob, which sends him to check on his grandfather. When Jacob finds Abe he is severely injured and missing his eyeballs. With one last riddle to his grandson about finding the bird in the loop, Abe dies. His intent was to get Jacob to find Miss Peregrine in the time loop she lives in, but because he is dying, Abe can not make this clear to his grandson. The movie skips forward after this traumatic experience to several months in the future, where Jacob finds a clue to his grandfather’s mysterious past on the island of Cairnholm in Wales. This discovery sets Jacob on an adventure to find out what really happened to his grandfather, and to learn about who he really was. This film is based on the novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs and was published in 2011. For this adaptation I will be focusing on three things the filmmakers chose to change, and my interpretation of possible reasons as to why.
*Note: For readers who are unfamiliar with the story, Peculiars are people naturally born with abnormal or fantastical abilities, though they are rarely able to use their gift right at birth. Most Peculiars acquire the use of these gifts sometime during childhood, but it can happen anytime in their lives. There is a special type of Peculiar, called an Ymbryne, which are always female and can turn into a bird. What is most special about them though, is their ability to create loops which are time pockets that can be made for one whole day. As long as the Ymbryne is there to restart the loop they can live in that day forever. This is why Ymbrynes are charged with the care of Peculiar children, they keep the children safe from the outside world and it keeps them from aging.*

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Fictional Friday: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Photo courtesy of www.npr.org
Photo courtesy of http://www.npr.org

As children, we tend to love picture books; even as adults, we like seeing pictures that go along with the story because it immerses us into the environment.  In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, the debut novel by Ransom Riggs, not only is there a good story, but there are amazing photos that are used to enhance our experience.

Jacob Portman’s grandfather is suddenly killed by a monster in the woods, prompting him to visit Wales, where his grandfather had supposedly gone to Miss Peregrine’s home.  Jacob battles his own psyche, trying to determine whether or not he actually saw anything in the woods, however, he becomes so obsessed that he just has to see if his grandfather was right.  While in Wales, he gets lured into a time loop set in 1940, which keeps the gifted children safe from the prying eyes of society.  However, it doesn’t keep them safe from Hollowgasts, which hunt gifted children at the various houses all over the world.

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