Study Guide compares the novel Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt to the movie version Tuck Everlasting (2002) starring Alexis Bledel, Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Jackson, and William Hurt. The film maintains the major plot line of the book with some dramatic changes, including Winnie Foster’s age (she is 10 years old in the book and a teenager in the movie) and the setting of the story which is modernized. The movie version omits 7 chapters of the book.
Find the recommended movie and book here:
DVD: Tuck Everlasting
Streaming: Tuck Everlasting
Book: Tuck Everlasting
THE MOVIE VERSION OF TUCK EVERLASTING
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by Natalie Babbitt
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Tuck Everlasting (2002) starring Alexis Bledel, Ben Kingsley, Sissy Spacek, Jonathan Jackson, and William Hurt. Directed by Jay Russell. Walt Disney.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Winnie as a 10-year-old child, story set in 1880, the toad, blue straw hat, mouse in the drawer, messy Tuck house, Tuck shoots himself and lives, Jesse’s gift of spring water in a bottle, Miles as a kind man, stolen horse, Winnie’s hiding in jail.
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
Winnie as a teenager, story set in 1909, romance between Winnie and Jesse, piano, Miles as a soldier and gambler, Miles and Jesse on trains, threat to send Winnie away to boarding school, deputy’s shooting of Miles and Jesse
WHAT’S THE SAME?
The magic spring in the woods, the music box, kidnapping of Winnie, Fosters’ house, Tucks’ house, the pond, murder of the man in the yellow suit, arrest of Mae Tuck.
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: PROLOGUE
OPENING SCENE: Seventeen-year-old Jesse Tuck rides into the town of Treegap on a motorcycle. (ERROR: Not in the book) He stops in front of the Foster’s house. (ERROR: Not in the book) A narrator’s voice says: “For some, time passes slowly. For others not enough.” (ERROR: Not in the book) The narrator’s voice says: Time is like a wheel. (ERROR: In the book the analogy is that the month of August is like the top of a Ferris wheel when it pauses) The narrator says: “The woods are the hub of the wheel.” (ERROR: Not in the book) A teenage Winnie Foster is seen walking in the woods. (ERROR: In the book Winnie Foster is 10 years old. She does not venture into the woods until the day she decides to run away from home) The narrator sets the story in the first week of summer. (ERROR: In the book the story is set in the first week of August)
Mae Tuck arrives in Treegap in a wagon. (ERROR: In the book Mae Tuck arrives in the woods on horseback) Mae Tuck goes to meet her sons every ten years. (ACCURATE) Mae shops in town. (ERROR: Not in the book) Mae plays a small music box. (ACCURATE) Mae’s sons Miles and Jesse appear. (ERROR: Not in the book) Jesse hands Mae a small replica of the Eiffel Tower he bought in Paris. (ERROR: Not in the book)
OMISSIONS: In the book, the Prologue describes three things that happened in the first week of August long ago. 1.) At daybreak Mae Tuck rode her horse to the outskirts of a village called Treegap. Every ten years she made the trip to meet her sons Miles and Jesse. 2.) At noon a girl named Winnie Foster decided to run away from her home in Treegap. 3.) At dusk a stranger came to Treegap looking for someone. The three events seem unrelated, but they will come together eventually.