“Basically pissed all over the book”: The Spiderwick Chronicles Fans’ One Major Complain From the Show Could Be a Big Reason it Fails

Some fans couldn't agree with the series changing crucial elements of The Spiderwick Chronicles books for a modern audience.

“Basically pissed all over the book”: The Spiderwick Chronicles Fans’ One Major Complain From the Show Could Be a Big Reason it Fails

SUMMARY

  • The Spiderwick Chronicles was released on The Roku Channel on April 19, Friday.
  • The series is a significant shift from the source material and race-swapped all the central characters.
  • Some fans deem the series as too woke and they believe that the DEI factor will work against the series.
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The Spiderwick Chronicles dropped on The Roku Channel on Friday and the reviews have been mixed, at best. The series, based on Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s novels of the same name, did not live up to the magic of the original source material. Critics generally found that the series tried telling a modernized version of the story but failed to execute the integral fantasy element. Some fans accuse the series of going too woke, without consideration for the myth and the magic.

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The Spiderwick Chronicles race-swapped the central characters from the books
The Spiderwick Chronicles race-swapped the central characters from the books

Fans call it the DEI Harry Potter (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity), as The Spiderwick Chronicles race-swaps the central sibling trio of Mallory, Jared, and Simon. These characters, originally White in the book, were played by Black actors Noah Cottrell, Lyon Daniels, and Mychala Lee respectively.

Fans Say The Spiderwick Chronicles TV Series Could Fail Due To Its Wokeness

Fans say the DEI in The Spiderwick Chronicles may set up the series to fail
Fans say the DEI in The Spiderwick Chronicles may set up the series to fail

The Spiderwick Chronicles did not have a smooth journey to its streaming release on The Roku Channel. The series was first announced in November 2021 as a Disney+ series. The production began in February 2022 and wrapped up in January 2023 (via KFTV). The six episodes of the series were supposed to hit Disney+ in 2023, but the network dropped the project in August 2023 (via Deadline).

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Disney+’s official reason for abandoning the project was cost-cutting. Instead of shelving the project, the studio decided to shop off the project to other networks. The Roku Channel picked up the project and released it as an eight-episode series on April 19, Friday. Some fans suspected that there were more reasons for Disney to drop the project and the new series has made them double down on their suspicions.

Fans on X criticized the woke nature of the series, which race-swapped the central characters from the books. Some fans shared that Disney+ was trying to save itself from the viewers’ wrath for another woke project that ruined the original source material. One fan called the series “DEI Harry Potter”, while another fan shared that the DEI element worked against the series.

Fans were also disappointed that most of the villains or not-so-nice characters were all made White in the series. One fan suggested that such levels of DEI were pretty blatant and unnecessary. There were also criticisms about the lack of fantastical elements in the storytelling. Some of the fan reactions read:

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The Roku Channel series is the second screen adaptation of the famous children’s fantasy books. The books received a film adaptation in 2008 in which Freddie Highmore of The Good Doctor fame played the twins, Jared and Simon, while Sarah Bolger played the role of Mallory.

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The Spiderwick Chronicles Has Been Receiving Mixed To Negative Reviews From Critics

A still from The Roku Channel's The Spiderwick Chronicles
A still from The Roku Channel’s The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles currently has a 38% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Aramide Tinubu of Variety did not feel that the series had the “whimsy” to satisfy a new generation of young adults. THR‘s Angie Han points out several faults of the series like “repetitive plotting, lumpy pacing, and underdeveloped characters making inexplicable decisions.” Clint Worthington of The Spool shared that the series’ storytelling sorely lacked “the power of imagination.”

Emma Stefansky of IGN shared that the series attempts to pack it all — “a teen coming-of-age story, a pan-cultural blend of magic and myth, and a modernized adaptation of a beloved book series.” However, Stefansky admits that it has succeeded only partially.

Arezou Amin of Collider believes the series is an excellent example of adapting fan-favorite novels for “a new generation and demographic.” Callie Hanna of FandomWire also found the series utterly delightful, calling it a “fantastical pleasant surprise”.

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The Spiderwick Chronicles is currently streaming free on The Roku Channel.

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Written by Hashim Asraff

Articles Published: 1352

Hashim, Entertainment Writer. With over 1000 published articles on FandomWire, he covers a wide range of topics from celebrity life to comic book movies. He holds a Masters degree in Sociology and his expertise proves invaluable in handling sensitive news. His passion for crime investigation thrillers has turned him into a detective, exploring the darkest corners of the internet during his research.