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'Ella' author: Film has own spirit

April 12, 2004 at 11:45 PM

NEW YORK, April 12 (UPI) -- The new film "Ella Enchanted" may be a very loose adaptation of Gail Carson Levine's beloved children's book, but the U.S. author says she was pleased.

"It's not faithful to the book at all," she cautioned. "But I liked the movie. It is its own thing. It's fun and it does have a girl (Anne Hatheway) who is struggling against obedience and she is having as hard a time as Ella does in my book, so there is a core that is still there," she said.

"It has its own spirit. I like the spirit of the movie and I like the spirit of the book, but they're very different things. I'm not sure how a reader will regard that, but I hope that my readers will also like movie."

Levine said she hopes the film will also inspire audience members unfamiliar with the tale to pick up her award-winning novel.

"I'm hoping it will bring a lot of people to the book -- old and young," she said.

"Ella Enchanted," starring Hugh Dancy, Minnie Driver, Cary Elwes, Vivica A. Fox, Eric Idle and Joanna Lumley, is in theaters now.

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