As expected there were some changes to the order of events from the book to the movie, and they added some action scenes to keep the momentum needed for a film, but for the most part the storyline was the same. The acting was very well done, including all of the longing looks between Reece and Rob, the craziness of the antagonists, and the fun interaction between the characters and the Elephant, Rosie.
My favorite part though was the surprising bit at the very, very end, right before the credits. After old Jacob tells the owner of the circus that he wants go with him and sell tickets and the owner says, "you will be the oldest man ever to run away with the circus," and Jacob says, "I'm not running away, I'm coming home (this line was another favorite part of mine)they show a number of clips that are made to look like old silent home movies.
They show Marlena and Jacob raising their children while living and working in the circus. They play with baby lions, they wash their firstborn baby in a metal tub outside one of the tents, they horse around with the kids, etc. I LOVED those clips. They were so romantic and uplifting and just gorgeous. It showed just a bit of the scope of their lives. It was a huge surprise to see it and I wish I could watch those clips over and over again. A HUGE pat on the back goes to whoever thought that part up.