Bird Box had some significant differences between the book version and the movie version. Most notably was the absence of most of the animals in the Netflix movie. Even the animals that were shown – the namesake of the novel and movie – were slightly altered for the sake of the movie.
For better or for worse, animals played a larger role in the books. Some were domesticated animals, while others were wild. Many of the wild animals we can only guess at, since Malorie’s perspective was somewhat limited at the time.
7 7. The Entities
In the movie, the entities, for lack of a better term, are personified by the wind. They’re silent and have no shape. They’re never shown, not even to the audience, which added to the tension of the movie. In the novel, they were able to get away with a little bit more, while still not showing us much. The entities appear to have a bit more of a physical form. Either there was a limit to what they could do, or they preferred the mind games.
Other than some soft touches and some tugging at blindfolds, they seemed content just to stalk and creep. Several characters, Malorie included, felt like they could sense their presence at times. It's unlikely that this would have translated well into movie formatting though. Whatever the motivations were for the entities not acting with more force, they must have at least known that they had the upper hand.
6 Wild Birds
The wild birds are another one of those creatures that made it into both versions but ultimately ended up being changed. In the movie, the wild birds played an important role. Malorie and her children were able to follow them to safety, and thus their new home. Likewise, the new sanctuary used the birds as a way of telling when the entities were around.
In the novel, the birds were not immune to the entities, so in a sense, they were an early warning system for Malorie. They were also a threat. Any animal that could go mad was potentially a threat and having wings and sharp beaks certainly didn’t negate that fact. One of the scenes that truly formed the title of the novel involved a flock of birds going mad, and forming a box of birds around Malorie and her children. Not exactly the bird box one may picture when they hear the title, but that just makes it more interesting.
5 Domesticated Birds
Okay, so these little cuties actually did make it into the movie, but they were slightly different. They were different enough to be included in this list. They did act as an early warning system, of sorts, but it doesn’t seem like they were as effective as a warning against the entities. However, they did make a great warning system against other people.
They seemed to really enjoy singing when people were around, so naturally, if everybody was inside and they started singing…well, that was telling. Additionally, Malorie didn’t take these little guys with them when she and the children fled the home. It’s unclear if they were still around by that point. Malorie never seemed to think of them much beyond that one horrific moment that occurs in both the movie and novel.
The wolves are technically another creature that we can’t verify. We have a better idea than the bears, based on proximity…but it could have been any number of things. It seems likely that at least one instance involved wolves or wolf-like creatures.While on the river the boat ends up getting stuck in the shores – an understandable occurrence since they’re floating blind.
During that time Malorie is attacked by something. Since we haven’t known the entities to do anything physical beyond tugging at blindfolds, it seems unlikely that it’s them. It’s also unlikely to have been humans. The claws and growls indicate wolves, but we’re interpreting the scene through Malorie’s ears, which are not trained to distinguish between dozens of different species.
This is one of those unverified creatures we were talking about earlier. In fact, there’s a very good chance that there were no bears around Malorie at any point during the novel. It’s not like she’d be able to tell, right? Whenever Malorie heard something larger moving in the woods, she would attribute it to bears.
Now, there’s a chance she may have been right. However, it’s unlikely that she was correct every time she thought (or rather, hoped) this. For all we know, Malorie could have been hearing the entities and attributing their sounds to a large animal nearby.
2 The Huskies
The Huskies didn’t actually get a name in the novel, that may have partially been an attempt on the humans' side to not get too attached, or it may have simply been due to lack of time. Regardless, both Huskies were intentionally found and brought back to the house during one of their first major quests.
The hope was that the dogs would be immune to the entities, or at least that they could provide some sort of early warning system. And as a bonus, they would potentially be able to protect against other, more wild, animals while searching for food.
Victor is a sweet little border collie. He’s the only animal in the book with a name, which is why he’s getting the number one position in the list. In the novel, he was Jukes’ dog, though after certain events he more or less became Malorie’s dog.Victor was six years old at the start of the book, and Jules had raised him since he was just a tiny pup.
In many ways what happened to Victor was one of the harshest scenes in the novel. We learned a lot about the immunity or lack thereof in animals then. Up until that point we had hoped that they were immune, or at least would provide an early warning system. It's not until Victor's death that we fully realize that the Huskies likely also died in a similar manner, as opposed to being killed by the humans around them.