You can tell when the ML'E fell asleep in her script review. The first half of the movie was pretty spot on. They changed around how and when the children met Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, and they took grevious liberties with Mrs. Which's personality. Instead of being supportive, but possesed of limited appility to vocalize (remember the stutter?) and materialize, she could speak and materialize easily, but she didn't think the children could do the job.
They cut the two dimensional planet, but I can understand where that would be hard to represent graphically.
The winged horse that Mrs. Whatsit becomes was beautiful, but totally computer animated looking. I wanted to be able to lose myself in the fantasy, but I kept scowling thinking it was poorly done.
Some things I found myself wanted to check for accuracy. For instance in this version CW didn't go with them to see HM. And I found myself wondering, I was sure he was there in the book, but I can't remember what if anything he said. No, actually, I do remember him being there. Because he says "I hate it! I hate the black thing!" or something like that when they see the shadow of IT over Earth.
But he was too busy being Mary Sue to accompany them, or something. He was too good to need it. It was a little bit of a bogus setup.
Once they hit Camazotz, all claims to accuracy slipped away. Gone is the mother who protects her child claiming that an abberation is impossible on her block and rushing him quickly inside. Instead she hands her son off to the patrol car that drives in a slow, paced measure through the streets, although admittedly, they insisted she turn the kid over. They pass a movie theatre with a bunch of It-centric movies and are turned in by a trio out in front of the movie theatre. They reach central CENTRAL Intelligence and enter a waiting room filled with people all waiting instruction from the central guard stand. Our teacher is gone, replaced instead by a woman who doesn't know why she needs fixing and some other guy who I forget about. Our heros try to lose themselves amoung the people, while CW "feels" for Dr. Murray. One of the trio from the movie theatre points them out as strangers, and they sneak in through a door into a room and from there unimpeded to one of the interior hallways. (why they don't get stopped in the room which had to have someone in it is beyond me.) The guards follow them, and Cal runs off to draw them away from Meg and CW. They catch Cal and bring him past where Meg and CW are hiding and hook him up to a machine. Meg and CW go to look for him and see the ball boy being reprogrammed to bounce properly in sync before they find Cal. Meg goes to free him and finds him lost in his own dream. They get him out and enter another room where they see Dr. Murray through a plate in the middle of the room. Meg puts on Mrs. Who's glasses and goes into him and brings him out. He has a broken leg. This is both a deviation and a plot point. They also skip over the fact that Mrs. Who's glasses rearrange the molecules out of the way so they can walk through the wall.
They rejoin Cal and CW. Then finally the man with the red eyes makes an appearance. Of all the conceits employed in the movie, this one is the best, in a callback to the beginning of the movie when CW is reading the encyclopedia, the MwRE brings it to life and gets into CWs mind that way. It was visually cool, but I still like the original sequence and events. And of course it's after the reunion between Dr. Murray and CW, so we miss that tension. Another visually cool affect is the way It is under the floor so whenever you see the floor splinter or break, you see It. So CW starts turning Meg in summersaults which I guess is okay. It didn't really do anything for me either way. It was an obvious deviation, but a pretty mild one from an irritation standpoint. And Cal convinces Dr. Murray he needs to get them out of there. In the book it's a very dramatic scene with Calvin shouting "Tesser, sir! Tesser!" as things are swirling out of control.
[ow. another migrane. I hate everyone. Continuing...]
So they do tesser, even without Cal's great line, and they skip the naming of Aunt Beast, which I thought was one of the more touching moments in the book and go straight to calling her Aunt Beast. And she cures Meg. And this is pretty straightforward except for the trek to the fortress of solitude that could have been lifted straight from Superman. Then she goes back to Camazotz, and they pretty much blow the ending by having CW immediately launch into the Mrs. Watsit hates you. In the book, if you remember, that's where Meg goes, "Mrs. Whatsit loves me! She told me so." and instantly realizes that's what she has that It does not. In this story however, which as I might have mentioned doesn't do anything on Camazotz right, she then launches into another tirade, then CW fakes his rescue and they return to this Stepford house version of their home with thier mom as the June Cleaver, and the tweebs in perfect pressed matching outfits. Meg figures out it's a trap and then falls into a nightmare reality and then is back and finally figures out when CW says he hates her, that she loves him no matter what, and the MwRE recoils and the room starts to dissolve and the more she loves CW, the more things start to shake up. And they run out and go into the lobby where everyone there is waiting quietly for their turn. She steals the ball from the ball kid and takes it to the platform where she drops it down to him. He bounces it to his own beat and then at different people, then other people bounce the ball. They tesser out and to home where things revert to being like the book for a minute until the three questions make themselves visable to everyone including the tweebs to provide a dippy and uncessary moral lesson about how Meg is the hero, even though Charles Wallace is still a Mary Sue.
I did mention there were spoilers, right?