What's the Difference between (novel and screenplay) the Book and A Dog's Purpose the Movie?


(novel and screenplay)

Released: 2012
Author: Cameron, W. Bruce

A Dog's Purpose

Released: 2017
Director: Hallström, Lasse
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In the Book In the Movie
Portrayed by: John Ortiz
Portrayed by: K. J. Apa
Portrayed by: Kirby Howell-Baptiste
Portrayed by: Britt Robertson
A Dog's Purpose Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   Ethan's dad drinks too much but is not shown as abusive. Ethan's dad is an alcoholic, verbally abusive and unhappy with his job on the road as a salesman. He entertains the boss and his wife at dinner in his home where he fails to get promoted to an office job.
   This does not happen in the book. Ethan is playing with his dad's coin collection. He drops a coin and Bailey swallows it. Ethan is able to retrieve the coin later when Bailey relieves himself. Ethan causes a distraction by yelling “rat” in the dining room so can he gain access to the coin box to replace the coin. The commotion causes the boss' wife to fall onto her face on the dinner table, terribly embarrassing Ethan's father.
   This does not happen in the book. Ethan's dad argues with Ethan and his mom while drunk. He pushes his wife to the ground. Ethan shoves him away and tells him to leave; the dad leaves.
   Todd tries to lure Hannah (Ethan's girlfriend) away from a football game to party. After she refuses, Todd tells her that Ethan is the boyfriend of Michele. Ethan denies knowing Michele and this satisfies Hannah. Ethan later confronts Todd for trying to break them up. After Todd wins a scholarship to Michigan state, his dad tries to congratulate him while drunk. Ethan refuses to have anything to do with his dad and walks away. Todd gives Ethan a hard time about his dad causing Ethan to punch Todd in the face.
   Bailey attacks Todd when he sees him setting fire to Ethan's house. Bailey has Todd's blood on him and the police are able to track a blood trail to Todd's house where he is arrested and confesses to the arson. Ethan is badly burned/injured when jumping out of the burning house. He loses his football scholarship due to his injuries. Bailey sees Todd setting fire to the house and attacks him. Todd runs away and Bailey enters the house waking up Ethan and his mother. Ethan lowers his mother out from the 2nd story window with sheets tied together and does the same for Bailey but drops the sheets. He jumps and is injured. Todd is watching the activity and when Bailey again attacks him, the police confront him and he confesses to the arson.
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Thank you for the details of the cat. I was going by memory when I wrote the page. I updated the entry. -Ranb
07 Feb 2017 Ranb
. . . adding much to the overall story. The grandparents had nothing to do with Ethan's immediate family's cats; I'm pretty sure I remember there having been a shy cat, a barn cat, at the Farm. This cat wasn't memorable, either.
01 Feb 2017 Anonymous
In the book, Ethan's family has a cat named Smokey. Smokey eventually dies, and the humans bury him, and Bailey mentions that on the following day, he decides to dig the cat up. He couldn't understand why they'd buried a perfectly good dead cat. But this is just an aside, only one (short) paragraph, and we don't hear about any repercussions of Bailey's grave-robbing exploit. Some time later, Ethan gave his mother a replacement cat. This cat was Felix. I don't recall Felix adding much to
01 Feb 2017 Anonymous
There absolutely is a cat in the book.
01 Feb 2017 Anonymous

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