I read the book "Captains Courageous" by Rudyard Kipling (great book, excellent message, very difficult language) with my children. Knowing they missed much of the story, we watched this movie to fill in the blanks for them.
What a waste! We were disappointed in many ways. They changed the story terribly! In the book Harvey is not an orphan, his best friend doesn't die, and the captain is an excellent role model, not some ultra-distant and sometimes emotionally outraged man. It was horrible! We all agreed that the storyline was far better as originally written. It wasn't a case of a few minor details being changed, the entire virtue of the story was diminished. Why? Why? Why?
Looks like there is a 1937 version we'll have to try. Back then I'm sure it was okay to teach life lessons about working hard, growing up, and appreciating family without needing to write them out of the storyline or making it really cheesy in the process.