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Truer to the Text isn't necessarily a good thing. A lot of factors play into this: maybe the original adaptation had an author who made the work his own, and his Signature Style is missing from the "truer" version. Maybe the "truer" version spent too much time on being "truer" and not enough on being a good work on its own right. Maybe the original adaptation has Narm Charm, or (as in the Trope Namer) an actor that delivered a performance too good to be matched.
For whatever reason, the "truer" version ends up being a failure, either critically, commercially or both.
- The Trope Namer is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Tim Burton version is truer, but nowhere near as charming or funny as the 70s version, with Willy Wonka himself being a point of contention (Wilder's Wonka was so endearing he named a trope about a certain kind of character, while Depp came across as an annoying Psychopathic Manchild).
- The trope image comes from the 2019 Hellboy movie, which is truer to the comics, but lacks the unique touch that Guillermo del Toro gave the 2004 movie.
- The 90s Fantastic Four cartoon show is the truest adaptation of the Fantastic Four comics, and it's also the worst of the 90s Marvel cartoon shows (unless you consider The Avengers: United They Stand part of the lineup, in which case it's the second-worst).
- Wolverine and the X-Men is truer to the X-Men comics than the X-Men Cinematic Universe, yet it's nowhere near as good. Notably, Deadpool, Deadpool 2 and Logan are miles ahead of ANY episode of Wolverine and the X-Men.
- The Blade anime is truer to the Blade comics than the original Blade movie trilogy, but it's nowhere near as memorable.
- Terra was a Flat Generic Doomsday Villain in the comics. As such, despite the Terra in Teen Titans: The Judas Contract and Teen Titans Go! both being truer to the comics' Terra, the Terra from the 2003 Teen Titans animated series is far more well-liked for being a huge Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
- The truest adaptation of Dracula (the 1977 BBC miniseries) is also the least memorable one.
- A notable example of this is The Shining. The 1997 miniseries was truer to the original Stephen King book, but much duller and cheesier than the 1980 Stanley Kubrick movie, which is considered by many to be a horror masterpiece.
- The 2000 Dune miniseries is truer to the book than the David Lynch movie, but is nowhere near as memorable, well-written or well-acted.
- Tarzan and the Lost City is the truest adaptation of the Tarzan books... and also one of the worst Tarzan movies out there.
- The 1982 animated version of The Wizard of Oz featuring Aileen Quinn as Dorothy and Lorne Greene as the Wizard is truer to L. Frank Baum's original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but isn't as memorable or charming as the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz featuring Judy Garland. Return to Oz is also often compared unfavorably to the 1939 movie, despite Return to Oz being much closer to Baum's vision. The fact that Return to Oz was adapting different books than the 1939 film, and how that fact relates into the comparison, is NOT something to be discussed here. On the other hand, The Wiz is sort of a Quietly Performing Sister Movie: not quite as popular as either the 1939 version OR Return to Oz, but with a large following that saves it from obscurity (especially among black viewers).
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is truer to the manga, but it doesn't have any of the charm of the original 2003 anime.
- Sonic X is truer to the games, but it has neither the hilarious comedy of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, nor the mature and compelling storytelling of both Sonic Sat AM and the Archie comics.
- Similar to the trope image, the 2020 movie Dolittle has an 18% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 24% score on Metacritic, even though it's Truer to the Text than the 1998 Eddie Murphy version, which is still beloved to this day.
- A common issue with the so-called "remakes" of Disney Animated Canon movies. In many ways, most of them are truer adaptations of the original stories than the animated versions, but people prefer the animated versions more.