How A Wrinkle in Time Went Wrong

Chris Pine in A Wrinkle in Time, screenshot courtesy Disney trailer

Madeline L’Engle once famously said, “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”

Disney ignores the writer’s advice in its new movie A Wrinkle in Time (based, of course, on L’Engle’s classic 1962 book). It takes L’Engle’s challenging novel and dumbs it down, pushing out elements and themes that might prove difficult or controversial or, perhaps, just not in step with the times. The resulting movie feels very true to Disney but loses the power—and maybe even point—of the book.

I’m not suggesting that Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time can’t be fun and edifying and inspirational. There’s still some good stuff to talk about, and I will. But the movie could’ve and, I think, should’ve been better. In an effort to make it as inoffensive as possible, it winds up feeling a bit like the sandwiches Calvin and Charles Wallace eat in the movie: Man, everything looks fantastic. But take a bite, and it tastes a bit sandy.

Turn the page and let me tell you what I mean.

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