Storm Boy Book And Film Comparison Essay

Storm Boy is a much loved Australian classic children's novel about a boy and his pelican. It was written in 1963 by Colin Thiele and made into a film in 1976. It's about a young boy who lives with his father among the dunes in South Australia's Coorong coast. After a mother pelican is shot, Storm Boy rescues three chicks and nurses them back to health. His father forces his son to release the birds which he does reluctantly, but then one of the pelicans, Mr Percival, returns to Storm Boy. They form a special bond until one day Mr Percival is shot by hunters. Both the book and the film reached huge audiences and now this moving tale is on the stage in a collaboration between Perth's Barking Gecko Theatre Company and the Sydney Theatre Company.

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Tom Holloway
Playwright, Storm Boy
Rory Potter
Young actor who plays Storm Boy (alternates with Joshua Challenor)
Trevor Jamieson
Actor, plays Fingerbone Bill in Storm Boy


Regina Botros

"Storm Boy" Essay

Storm Boy is an Australian movie that has been loved and has given great pleasure and joy to a wide range of audiences for many, many years. Not just Australian audiences but also overseas, where people have learnt a little of what Australian scenery looks like.

The first day of shooting the film was on 24th May 1976 but before this many decisions had to be made. Matt Carroll, the producer had to get permission from the author of the book, Colin Thiele who wrote the book in 1963. Once he got permission he had to find the right scriptwriter who could capture the true spirit of the book. Because the book tells the reader a lot of descriptions of the scenery, the film could show the audience in one shot what was written on pages so quite quickly a large section of the book was shown. To make the book into a full-length feature film the scriptwriter had to make the film longer. Sonia Borg became the script writer and to achieve a longer film she introduce new incidents and new characters, and to give more details about some questions which were only mentioned briefly in the book.


One change that was made from the book was when Mr. Percival dies. "You put a nine metre by six metre pelican up on the screen with shot gun blasts in its chest, and it would have been quite horrifying" (Colin Thiele author of book) Research shows that this was too upsetting for young children so Mr. Percival goes missing for a few days. This also allowed more filming as storm boy goes looking for Mr. Percival until he is told he has died and is shown the grave but at the same time he sees new pelicans hatching and know that life will go on.

An addition to the movie happened after a real life experience with Matt Carroll (producer) while he was camping a wild group driving dune buggies came roaring over the sand hills so this became a new part of the film where one night while storm boy is alone in his humpy the dune buggy riders come and wreck the house. The camera work in this scene made us feel that the attack was actually happening to us. It was an exciting part of the film that had the audience on the edge of their seats.


Storm Boy has two good friends, Mr. Percival and an aboriginal, Fingerbone. Fingerbone in the book is friend to Storm Boy and Tom and is only mentioned when needed but in the film he takes on larger portion where be becomes closer to Storm Boy teaches him the aboriginal stories of nature, the pelicans, the ducks, the storm, the land and offer him love and warmth which his father can't give him.

Hideaway Tom in the movie is more moody, angry and distant from Storm Boy then in the book. The film allows Hideaway Tom to go through more...

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