I recently discovered that a new(ish) Percy Jackson book was released in November 2023. As an avid lover of all things mythology, I was thrilled to return to Riordan's quick writing and incredibly charming cast of characters. Especially in light of Percy Jackson and the Olympians finally coming to our screens via Disney+ in December. Most of us have rightfully blocked movie adaptations from our minds, so the anticipation for the Disney show was palpable among fans of the shows. Riordan joined the adaptation from the beginning, writing or co-writing a majority of the episodes, and has been vocal in announcing his support for the new diverse cast of the show. It felt like the perfect opportunity to discuss the adaptation!
The Percy Jackson Disney+ series is a delightful adaptation that breathes new life into the beloved book series by Rick Riordan while staying true to its essence. It captures the original story's heart and spirit while offering a fresh take that appeals to both longtime fans and newcomers alike.
What stands out immediately is the faithfulness to the characters and their development. The casting choices are impeccable, with actors who are incredibly diverse and talented while also embodying their personalities in a way that feels incredibly authentic. The depth and growth of Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and the other beloved characters are portrayed with care and attention to detail.
The series successfully balances staying loyal to the source material and introducing new elements. While some deviations from the original storyline may occur, they often enhance the narrative or provide fresh perspectives on familiar events. This approach allows the show to surprise and engage even die-hard fans who know the books inside out.
However, the show truly shines in its ability to delve deeper into certain characters and subplots that might not have received as much focus in the books. This expansion enriches the storytelling, adding layers of complexity and emotional depth that complement the existing narrative. Riordan's involvement is crystalized by the character development that brings new insights to the much-loved series.
Of course, there will always be elements from the books that fans wish had made into the show. Some may miss specific scenes or details that were omitted or altered. Yet, the adaptation's strength lies in its ability to capture the essence of Riordan's world while embracing the new medium's opportunities.
The single complaint thus far from other fans and me is the underwhelming visuals and special effects. A clear highlight of this appears in the early episodes when Percy fights a minotaur outside Camp Halfblood. The creature doesn't look nearly as realistic as it should. Disney, we all know you have enough money to make this show spectacular. Hopefully, a second season will come, and this will improve.
Overall, the Percy Jackson Disney+ series is a triumph. It honors the original books while carving its path, inviting longtime enthusiasts and newcomers to immerse themselves in an enchanting world filled with humor, adventure, and the timeless struggle between gods and demigods. It's a fantastic addition to the Percy Jackson universe that complements and celebrates the beloved source material.