With the 85th Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some audiobooks and their Oscar counterparts… How do they stack up? Read on for some Oscars trivia!
Here’s a shocker: None of the films in the Harry Potter film franchise ever won an Oscar! With twelve nominations but no wins over its decade-long run, it is the most snubbed franchise in movie history. Thankfully, the Harry Potter audiobook series and narrator Jim Dale have won their fair share of awards: DEATHLY HALLOWS and THE GOBLET OF FIRE both won Grammys for “Best Spoken Word Album for Children,” and for his work on the series Dale was the first narrator to be inducted into the “Audio Publisher Association’s Hall of Fame.” Wizards and muggles approve.
Turning the clock back to 1954, 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA won the Oscars for Best Art Direction and Special Effects—if you’ve seen it, you may remember the epic giant squid battle. Two silent film versions were made in the early 20th century, but it wasn’t until Disney decided to produce it that it became a smash. The audio recording brings Jules Verne’s 1870 (!) classic to life for a new generation, and adds depth to a familiar story for existing Verne fans—Captain Nemo is one of the greatest villains ever created, and his mysterious persona is delightfully unfurled on audio.
Two years later, ANOTHER movie based off of a Jules Verne novel came in and handsomely collected a handful of Oscars. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956) took home five Oscars in total, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography. The indomitable Jim Dale narrates the audio edition, which won an Audie Award in 2006 for “Best Classic Audio Book.” Though you might think you know the story, or at least the premise, you don’t truly know it until you’ve heard it from Jim Dale.
Is it possible that someone has not seen The Wizard of Oz? The much-loved classic from 1939 won two Oscars—Best Original Score, and Best Song (‘Over the Rainbow’)—and seems forever etched into our collective childhood. However, only the TRUE Wizard of Oz aficionado can tell you that Dorothy’s shoes were silver in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. Brooke Shields narrates this brand-new recording which will entrance any listener, Oz fanatic or not. It’s said that there at least 44 identifiable major differences between the original book and the movie interpretation… our lips are sealed, but let’s just say the audiobook is well worth it for the many zany voices.
James Cameron’s Titanic took home a whopping eleven Oscars, one of only three movies to ever do so—the other two were Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. While Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet gave admirable performances, there were a few ‘creative liberties’ when it came to telling the real story. Thankfully, we have TITANIC: VOICES FROM THE DISASTER, a riveting non-fiction listen that draws on the voices and stories of survivors to recount the famous disaster. Acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson delivers heartstopping action, devastating drama, and fascinating historical details to create a gripping story that you have to hear to believe.
Happy Oscars! We’re rooting for Wreck-It Ralph.