Want all this in your inbox?
Get the Refinery29 Newsletter
You're in for a treat...
Thanks for signing up!
Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
Disney needed a fairy tale about love found and lost, and seeing as it's a Disney fairy tale, at least one dead parent. But in Meg Cabot's book, Mia's dad is alive, well, and sterile after a bout of testicular cancer, making her place as heir suddenly relevant.
Simon Birch (1998)
Though the end of the movie is tragic (spoiler alert), the book that it's based on, A Prayer for Owen Meany, features a far more graphic end for the title character.
A Little Princess (1995)
You'd think there'd be no way to make this scene any sadder, but in the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Papa never comes back to save Sarah — he really does die.
A Ring of Endless Light (2002)
The fun summer dolphin movie you watched on the Disney Channel is based on a book that heaps so much sadness and death onto its teenage protagonist that she has a mental breakdown.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008)
While this sequel doesn't shy away from non-pre-teen friendly issues (like Tibby's pregnancy scare), it does skip the story line in which Bridget kisses a married man (and glosses over the mental state she finds herself in after the events of the previous installment).