Long before Harry Potter, long before countless other fantasy coming-of-age stories, there were Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain novels. I read these as a kid and my head just exploded. And now, Disney is trying (again) to make them into movies.
The Prydain Chronicles start out following Taran, who is an Assistant Pig-Keeper in the middle of nowhere. Somehow, Taran gets caught up in an adventure with a princess named Eilonwy, a bard named Fflewddur, and a whole cast of colorful characters. And Taran himself turns out to be something more special than just a pig-keeper. So yes, these Welsh-accented fantasy books are your standard “hero’s journey” stuff that we all know and (sorta) love from Luke Skywalker and others. But they have so much sparkle and cleverness, and they are constantly springing clever surprises. And Taran is one of the all-time great fantasy heroes. And despite being written in the 1960s, this series has some great female characters.
Disney tried to turn these books into a movie once before—with the shitty Black Cauldron animated movie, which made a mess of the story.
Now they’re trying again—they’ve just optioned the books as films, and are in early development. Let’s hope they can do them justice this time around. [Variety]