"Holes" surprised the heck out of me.
I read the book on the advice of a friend who knew I was interested in children's books. I was blown away. Then I heard Disney was making a movie -- I was apprehensive about the story getting Hollywoodized, but when I saw the finished product, I realized my fears were unfounded.
It didn't hurt at all that they got Louis Sachar, the author of the novel, to write the screenplay, but the casting of this movie was wonderful as well, with the kids turning in strong performances all around and the adults clearly relishing their roles, particularly the scene-chewing Jon Voight.
This is a pretty good DVD as well, especially by Disney standards, with a comentary and some nice behind-the-scenes features. Best of all, Disney actually gave movie fans a widescreen version for once -- thank heavens! I can actually watch the movie the way it was meant to be seen in my own home! All in all, one of the most satisfying products from the House of Mouse in many a year.