->''"Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple. Superman."''
-->-- '''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman''', telling Franchise/{{Superman}}'s SuperheroOrigin in 4 panels.

Some adaptations take a complex character or situation and greatly simplify it, removing elements the producer believed to be unnecessary. This effect is more common when adapting from a long-running series, especially if it hasn't had a singular vision over the years.

Compare CompressedAdaptation, which deals more along the lines of a direct adaptation and is about all the stuff that is cut out along the way to make this trope happen.

Contrast with PragmaticAdaptation: in a distillation, a complex story is simplified, without much substantive change. In a PragmaticAdaptation, the story is changed with the shift in medium. Also contrast AdaptationExpansion, which tacks on more content but retains all of the original source material. When a story element is removed, but its ''effects'' aren't, that's AdaptationExplanationExtrication.
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!!Examples (sorted by the format of the Distilled Adaptation):

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The 2122-page ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' manga was condensed into a 120-minute movie by ending it 3/5 of the way through (the manga itself was not completed at the time), eliminating subplots and fusing several scenes together.
* The ''Road to 2002'' animated adaptation of ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa'', the premise was to cover the first manga series up to the 3rd manga series (the titular Road to 2002), but in practice is merely a rushed retelling of the beginning of the manga series and altering the many sub-plots along the way to catch up with the later manga series; to wit: all romantic subplots from the manga were dropped, even the one involving ''the protagonist himself'' who would be married by the 2002 arc, some LoveInterests for the guys were introduced, only to provide support as they never went anywhere, while other girls weren’t lucky enough ''to even exist'' in this adaptation. Removing the romance wouldn’t be so bad if originally it wasn’t one of the main forces keeping and inspiring the guys to continue playing soccer, but is, and by removing it several events had to be altered or to be downright ignored.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': The anime removed many unnecessary characters (such as the Inspector Ankokuji, the Gamia and the twins Loru and Lori) and storylines and streamlined several stories (like the Lorelei story), trying to make the plot more cohesive and coherent.
* Similar to the above example, ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' ends at around volume two of the seven volume manga.
* ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'' seemed to be going this route for the first movie, but the second movie introduced a number of changes to the storyline and the third [[spoiler:goes completely OffTheRails and into brand-new territory.]]
** The manga also counts in this category, as it removes a lot of the anime's more superfluous scenes (as well as [[AdaptationExpansion adding some of its own]]), streamlines angel battles, and removes a high quotient of MindScrew scenes. However, some of the characters have their personalities and backgrounds altered, so there is some AdaptationDecay to it.
* Anime {{Compilation Movie}}s are like this. The ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' trilogy, especially the third installment, ''Encounters In Space'' is a particularly good example.
** One large example are the quartet of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSeedDestiny'' movies. ''Destiny'' had a number of flaws, and while the movies didn't alter the storyline, they did do some editing to mitigate the worst of it: flashbacks were greatly reduced, a couple new scenes were added to clarify certain plot points, and Athrun was made the viewpoint character, rather than Shinn or Kira, which improved the story's flow somewhat.
** Another example is ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE Memory of Eden]]'', the AGE movie. It comes across as an AuthorsSavingThrow after the disastrous final run of AGE, and cuts out most of the story to focus exclusively on Asemu Asuno and Zeheart Gallette. This turns the story from a sprawling, shallow plot of a 75-year long war to a character-driven, personal story with the war as a backdrop, and goes a long way to justifying the actions Zeheart took at the end of the show, which seem to come out of nowhere in the series itself.
* The anime of ''Manga/AirGear'' cuts quite a bit of content from the manga and adds some original scenes, changing the beginning of the series and streamlining the story a bit. However, they cut out a few side characters and get rid of quite a bit of some minor characters' characterization.
* The film version of Creator/LeijiMatsumoto's ''Manga/GalaxyExpress999'' - not so much a compilation as a new adaptation of the original manga series - cuts out much of the unnecessary melodramatic elements of the original to focus on the core story-arc, while at the same time expanding on Tetsuro's quest to get revenge on Count Mecha.
* The live-action series of ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' was this to and the anime that came before it, given how it's only 13 episodes long. It cuts about half of the material from the anime.
* ''Manga/AstroBoy'''s long history is rife with examples. While [[Anime/AstroBoy the first anime series]] generally had low production values (it was the first animated TV series produced in Japan, so it took them a while to get the hang of it) and the heavier themes of the manga were often toned down for mass consumption, a few of the stories adapted from the manga were much tighter than the originals. [[Anime/AstroBoy The 1980s anime]] had the same problems as the first, but added the character of Atlas (actually an amalgam of three different characters from the manga), a complex recurring villain who tied several episodes together into a single overriding story arc. Then came [[Anime/AstroBoy the 2003 series]] which, while still fairly episodic by modern anime standards, had a continuous storyline revolving around the struggles between humanity and robotkind tying together classic stories from the manga, greatly expanded the role of Astro's father, Dr. Tenma and featured animation quality similar to that used in Tezuka Productions' acclaimed theatrical release ''Film/Metropolis''. In a non-animated example, the Sankei Newspaper comic strip version, originally a continuation of the story from the first anime, turned into a continuity reboot after Astro {{Time Travel}}led back to the (then) present, eventually died and then the time of his creation rolled around again. This version greatly expanded on Astro's backstory and his relationship with Dr. Tenma. And then there is the UltimateUniverse version created by Creator/NaokiUrasawa (of ''Manga/{{Monster}}'' fame) for his futuristic suspense-thriller manga ''Manga/{{Pluto}}''. ''Then'' we have the 2009 animated movie by IMAGI but distributed for American audiences... definitely the farthest away from the original storyline, only keeping the key points from the OriginStory.
** Then we have the {{G|ameBoyAdvance}}BA game, ''VideoGame/AstroBoyOmegaFactor''. It takes almost ''every'' OsamuTezuka character and weaves them into one giant, all-encompassing storyline. It manages to do justice to the man's entire career. And it plays well, to boot.
* Creator/MamoruOshii turned 300-odd pages of the ''Manga/GhostInTheShell'' manga into an [[Anime/GhostInTheShell 80-minute movie]] by selectively picking out only a handful of chapters out of the entire story (not even covering them in the order that they appear), changing some scenes, removing many of the characters and changing the personality of the characters who were left in. A good 5 minutes of the movie is just spent showing SceneryPorn while children sing a mystic chanting song. It serves no purpose at all. The 2nd movie comes off even more confusing because it was created using the exact same manner as the first, including the mystic chanting SceneryPorn.
* The live action films of ''Manga/DeathNote'' keeps many of the best parts of the original story while changing several things, including giving Soichiro Yagami more prominence and [[spoiler: letting him live in the end,]] giving a larger focus on the murder of Misa's family as a way of making her character seem less shallow, and most of all [[spoiler: cutting the Mello and Near arc entirely and having L win personally instead.]]
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' condenses the events of the first two volumes, in which Yusuke helps out spirits in stories completely unrelated to the battles of the later manga, into five episodes, all centered around the essential events; 1)Yusuke dies, 2)Yusuke finds out what he has to do to come back to life, 3)Yusuke helps his old rival Kuwabara, 4)Yusuke sacrifices his work toward resurrection to save Keiko and as a result 5)comes back to life. It also condensed the ending into a single episode (cutting out a lot of pointless stuff including an out-of-nowhere fight with human terrorists), and actually showed Yusuke's fight with Yomi to its conclusion (when in the manga, it abruptly stops at the end of Chapter 169).
** Also, the original manga ending had a lengthy explanation about how evil demons were a VocalMinority, humans had made them what they were, and Spirit World authorities had been brainwashing a lot of demons into committing crimes so that Spirit World could look good. This soiled the point of peace between humans and demons being established, as it made the demons look much too blameless. The anime cuts all this out, and both sides (humans and demons) are left much more even in terms of fault.
* ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'''s 1st season condenses the first few light novels into a fast-moving, lighthearted {{tsundere}}s and magic series, removing some rather awkward scenes. The [=VAs=] also define the characters well.
* This seems to be what ''[[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood]]'' is going for.
** As an added bonus, it tweaks many minor things and event orders, which shakes things up and keeps it from being a precise retread of the manga, without disrupting the overall spirit and character of the manga.
* The manga adaptation of ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV''. This is a condensation of a 40- to 80-hour video game with a ''very'' large number of {{Fetch Quest}}s, two largely separate plotlines that don't interweave until close to the end, and MultipleEndings into a five-volume (and around 175 pages per volume) manga series. Just getting things sorted into a linear storyline was impressive in and of itself; even more impressive, they managed to incorporate both the Good Ending ''and'' the DownerEnding into a linear plot.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}} Ultimate'' rearranges certain events and streamlines or [[AdaptationExpansion expands]] others (particularly the fight scenes) in order to give it a more fast-paced and dramatic narrative flow. Most notably, the Major's "[[BloodKnight I Love War]]" speech is moved from the departure of the airships from Brazil to [[spoiler: right before the assault on London]].
* ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha TheMovie First'', which took the first season, removed a lot of the less plot important bits (such as a huge chunk of the earlier episodes), cut out nearly all the secondary characters, made it more consistent with later seasons (The Staff and Cannon modes are now previously installed in Raising Heart, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness as opposed to being forms that Nanoha thought up]]), animated a lot of the more important AllThereInTheManual stuff (Like the full backstory of Fate), and showed the entire StartOfDarkness of Precia as opposed to just hinting at it, turning her to a more fleshed out TragicVillain.
* The anime adaptation of ''AoiHana'' concentrates mostly on the lead characters, with the relationship between Fumi and Yasuko taking central stage. This leads to it having more focus than the original manga, since Shimura loves to introduce loads of extraneous characters with their own back stories.
* The ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' OVA "Roberta's Blood Trail" had the tough task of adapting a manga story arc ("El Baile De La Muerte") that most fans agree went on too long and suffered from poor pacing. For reference, the OVA lasts about as long as the Japan arc from the second season, but has to adapt twice as many chapters. The OVA compresses the narrative without cutting information, changes the order of scenes for dramatic emphasis. Significantly, the action scenes that took up so many manga volumes are shorter, more comprehensible, and more exciting when animated.
* ''Manga/AyashiNoCeres'' was compressed from a 14 volume manga to a 24 episode anime, leaving out several chunks of the original manga. To make up for this, [[LawOfConservationOfDetail either entire expeditions of Aya's group to find the hagoromo in various cities and prefectures were left out]], or if the details were a bit more important, they were fused together with other details.
* The first season of the ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' anime essentially cuts out everything that's not relevant to Keiichi and Belldandy's romance, with the exception of the Lord of Terror arc, and in so doing, manages to develop the romance farther than the manga has ever gone in 24 episodes (with Urd and Skuld each getting a side story to round out the season). When it was picked up for a second season, by contrast, they simply did a CompressedAdaptation of several manga storylines put together in no particular order.
* ''Anime/DragonBallKai'' cut out a lot of the {{Filler}} in the original ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' not just reducing it from 194 episodes (through the end of Cell Games Saga) down to 97, but following the manga more closely.
* ''[[Anime/TheIdolmaster The Idolm@ster]]'' anime combines story elements from all of the game routes, and Miki, Takane, and Hibiki are already part of 765 Pro from the start instead of eventually defecting from 961 Pro.
* The manga adaptation of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' ''Lelouch Of The Rebellion'' simplifies and compresses the series' main storyline in eight volumes and removes most of the less meaningful subplots or characters. It also removes the giant mechas and the action sequences that accompany them entirely, which was probably done because that works ''much'' better in animated format than it would on page.
* The ''Manga/TriGun'' anime is significantly distilled from the original manga. For instance, the anime doesn't even feature Livio as a character, and many of the Gung Ho Guns only get a few minutes of screentime, or are replaced entirely. To be fair, though, the production of the anime began partway through the manga's lifetime, and since about three print issues can be squeezed into a single aired episode, it quickly [[OvertookTheManga outpaced the source material]].
** In addition to the distillation, the anime is in many regards just ''different'' from the source manga. Some of the bonus gaiden stories appeared as filler material for the first few episodes, probably to give the manga a month or two to go on with storyline before beginning with the story itself. One can fairly easily see exactly where the divergence begins; most of the early story arcs are nearly identical in both media, even down to having the exact same lines, but around where Monev the Gale first appears, the two stores take somewhat different directions.
* The anime version of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', while having a number of differences from the source material, does try to stay close to the manga.
* The anime that uses the most from this trope has to be ''Manga/RosarioToVampire''. The anime skipped over many unimportant parts of the manga for its first season and almost completely abandoned the manga for its second season.
* The anime adaptation of the light novel series ''LightNovel/HidanNoAria'' removes quite a bit of the GunPorn as well as the protagonist's FirstPersonSmartass tendencies; and his general inner thoughts. While the gun info wasn't really necessary the anime never gives a real reason why we should like the protagonist; it makes what was justifiable dislike for his situation seem like plain old angst. This is due to the character being the type convey his reasons in his thoughts rather than explaining his circumstances to other people; which the Anime never really displays properly.
* In the same vein as ''Manga/BlackButler'' was ''Anime/SteelAngelKurumi'', whose story went a completely different direction in the anime than the manga. Its direct continuation ''Encore'' and its sequels ''2'' and ''Zero'' stay with that same vein and the only thing brought over from the manga by that point where the main Angel trio's outfits used in ''2''.
* The anime of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' suffered heavily from this with several scenes either rushed, changed or removed entirely. Normally this would be rather bad but in this case it was catastrophic since Umineko is a mystery that heavily relies on small hints and clues. This means that if they ever makes a second season the mystery will be unsolvable.
** The manga on the other hand, while not perfect, is much better at keeping the clues and the mood. It also had several clues not present in the novels.
* In anime version of Manga/KindaichiCaseFiles this happens almost every time when the animators pick up a case from the ''Short Files'' series and try to fit it into one episode.
* The original anime of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''. It mostly focuses on the Golden Age arc (with some of the Black Swordsman arc in the beginning) and for the most part, it follows the story fairly well despite being LighterAndSofter than its source. However, many characters important to the story are strangely absent in the anime version. Most notable are [[OurFairiesAreDifferent Puck]] and the [[DemBones Skull]] [[AnimatedArmor Knight]].
* The first ''Manga/ToLoveRu'' anime follows a completely different story line than the manga.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/ThePunisherMAX'' is an example of distillation, although it's just a set of "hardboiled" crime stories with only Frank Castle (and an Ennis take on Castle's backstory) to make it "Punisher," which works very well. (In "The Slavers" though it works ''too'' well, especially when you see the DownerEnding.)
* The entire ''UltimateMarvel'' line of comics did this for a while, but gradually started doing its own thing.
* ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'' is an intended example for the Golden and Silver Age Superman, and it's widely regarded as doing a great job at it. Creator/AlanMoore's run on ''Comicbook/{{Supreme}}'' does the same thing (albeit with a Superman ''analogue'').
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/TotalDramaIslandByGilbertAndSullivan Total Drama Island, by Gilbert and Sullivan]]'', the ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' episode summaries have enough detail to support the [[SongFic verse references]] and keep the plot coherent, but little more. The summaries rarely go two paragraphs without a verse reference.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'' was both this and a Pragmatic Adaptation of the ''Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman'', ''Funeral for a Friend'' and ''Reign of the Supermen'' storylines which, when combined, spanned over 60 issues of story. Granted, a lot of that was extraneous storyline for followers of the continuity, but they also managed to effectively compress two or three of the four fake Supermen into a single character [[spoiler: and used the audience familiar Luthor as its creator in place of multiple entities that would have had to be introduced]] and made the conflict about stopping him as opposed to an alien invasion. It still managed to hit the important points of those series.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood'': The animated version of the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' arc "Under the Red Hood" compressed several issues of story into one animated movie. It removed several of the more outlandish moments and origins and created a tighter storyline.
* The animated adaptation of ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn'' is regarded as highly faithful to the text, even though significant parts of the book (such as the poetry and songs) are left out.
* Creator/RalphBakshi's ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'' until the second half of ''Literature/TheTwoTowers'' is this incarnate. With the only changes from the book being the omission of [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment Tom Bombadil]], Glorfindel being replaced by Legolas (which was then replaced by Arwen for the Live-Action films), and the history of the ring with Sauron learning from the elves rather than the other way around. ''WesternAnimation/TheReturnOfTheKing'' was also adapted to animation, by a completely different studio to Bashki's. The story is very disjointed as a result.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* [[Film/HarryPotter The film versions]] of ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'' and ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'' retain the dialogue almost word for word (though not all of it spoken by the same character or characters - Hermione stole quite a few of Ron's lines and at least one of Seamus's for example) and every important scene from the books is left in, with a few merged with other scenes or removed from the story.
* Classic moments, images and arcs from 40+ years of Spider-Man stories are squashed down to their best bits to fuel the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'', though the 60s and early 70s are clearly the main inspiration.
* All of the [[Film/XMen film]] and [[WesternAnimation/XMen animated]] [[WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution versions]] [[WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen of]] the ''ComicBook/XMen'' comic book series have involved considerable amounts of this.
* ''Film/TheLastOfTheMohicans'' is an extremely distilled version of a very long and rather complicated novel. Omitted portions include redundant portions where the women are captured and quickly freed, a deranged white man at the Huron camp, a shooting contest, and Natty Bumpo disguised as a bear. The changes generally streamlined and improved on the novel.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' is often considered easier to follow in movie format as opposed to the written version, since many of the plot's more complex nuances were omitted from the films, leaving only the core of the story. On the other hand, there have been loud grumblings from fans of the books about some of the things that ''were'' left out as well as some changes that didn't make any sense.
* ''Film/TheToweringInferno'' was based on ''two'' books, ''The Glass Inferno'' by Scortia and Robinson and ''The Tower'' by Stern, because studio executives correctly realized that the market would not have supported [[DuelingMovies two simultaneous films about buildings going up in flames]]. There is enough material left out to make at least another whole story.
* The 1980 ''Film/FlashGordon'' film cut out the extraneous parts of the original comic book and adventure serial, making for a better adventure movie. It also cut out racism against black people, but oddly enough, [[YellowPeril not Asians]], although even that was done so over-the-top it had to be [[{{Camp}} tongue-in-cheek]], which, apparently, makes it okay.
* The film adaptation of the graphic novel ''Film/RoadToPerdition'' merges all the anonymous hitmen sent after the protagonists into a single character.
* The film adaptation of PeterBenchley's novel ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' stripped away most of the book's land-bound subplots and condensed the climactic shark-hunt to a single voyage.
* ''Film/LayerCake'' definitely comes across as a distillation of the novel, being much more tightly plotted, and notably, when the author of the novel, J.J. Connoley, attempted writing a screen play, it was several hundred pages long, and thus he wisely left this task to Mathew Vaughn.
* The film version of ''Film/TheGodfather'' eliminates about two thirds of Mario Puzo's novel to concentrate solely on the core story of Michael Corleone, dropping most of the Johnny Fontane plot and ''all'' of the Lucy Mancini storyline (Lucy Mancini, Sonny's mistress has a tiny non-speaking part in the movie). The result is a much more fast-paced and interesting work. The sections regarding Vito Corleone's rise to power were relegated (and [[AdaptationExpansion fleshed out]] in ''The Godfather II)''.
* The original ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' stories were somewhat unsuited to adaptation to film, and the original script for ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' featured lots of huge fight scenes that would have been expensive to shoot. John Milius took both as inspirations for writing the movie, preserving some of the feel of Creator/RobertEHoward's world without the [[AncientAfrica unfortunate tropes]].
* The Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse films in general.
** Multiple reviewers of [[Film/IronMan1 the film adaptation of]] ''ComicBook/IronMan'' had claimed this, saying the film to be a distillation of everything that makes Iron Man intriguing: all the JerkWithAHeartOfGold and TheAlcoholic tendencies, with none of the changes that have happened over time. Notably, Pepper Potts and [[Comicbook/WarMachine Jim Rhodes]] were rarely part of Tony's inner circle at the same time in the comics.
** ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' draws heavily from not only the mainstream ''Avengers'' comics, but ''ComicBook/TheUltimates'' as well. Loki is still used as the reason behind the team's formation, but a number of elements (such as ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} and ComicBook/BlackWidow being {ComicBook/{{SHIELD}} black-ops agents and founding members of the team) come from the Ultimate universe.
** ''Film/IronMan3'' combines elements of the "Extremis" arc by Creator/WarrenEllis, the "Sentient Armor" arc by JoeQuesada, the Mandarin's origin story, [[Film/IronMan2 more]] plot points from the "Armor Wars" arc, "The Five Nightmares" arc with Ezekiel Stane, and the Comicbook/CivilWar story.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' is based off a storyline from Creator/EdBrubaker's run, but ComicBook/CaptainAmerica sports his ''SecretAvengers'' costume, while Comicbook/TheFalcon looks like his {{Ultimate|Marvel}} incarnation. The storyline also has elements of [[spoiler: the "S.H.I.E.L.D. Gone Bad" storylines ''NickFury vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.'' and ''ComicBook/SecretWarriors'']].
** ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'' incorporates Ultron and Vision's intro story (''Avengers'' #54-58), Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch leaving a terrorist organization to join the Avengers (''Avengers'' #16), the Sentient Armor story-line in which Iron Man created an AI suit that went insane and tried to kill him (''Iron Man'' vol.3 #26-30), Ultron using multiple bodies (''Comicbook/UltronUnlimited''), and the name of the CrisisCrossover ''Age of Ultron''.
* ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' and ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2'' both take elements from the classic comics and the ''Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan'' series. The perfect example is the Rhino; He's a Russian gangster like his classic depiction, but pilots a MiniMecha / PoweredArmor like his Ultimate counterpart.
* ''Literature/TheNameOfTheRose'' also stripped away all of the description of dreams, historical lessons and other scenes not directly related to the main plot.
* The first ''Literature/LeftBehind'' movie makes the opening attack less of a non-event (by condensing the amount of time between it and the Rapture), plays up the mystery in the first half, puts Buck in a position where he has a lot more influence over the nation, and streamlines the book's rather ping-pong opening sequence. That said, it's still not well-liked.
* ''Film/AHistoryOfViolence'': The original graphic novel featured [[spoiler: a finger in a jar on a boss' necklace, an overly-devoted wife who immediately had no problem with her husband's previous life, and a brother being kept alive while having parts of him cut off]]. Cronenberg's take on the story removed the more "comic-book-y" aspects of the graphic novel, while adding more depth to the characters, and [[spoiler: replacing the HappilyEverAfter ending with a more BittersweetEnding]].
* The film version of ''Literature/TheCiderHouseRules'' is a considerable distillation of the original novel by John Irving--who also wrote the screenplay of TheFilmOfTheBook.
* In ''MildredPierce'', the early part of the film follows the book fairly closely, but once Mildred opens her restaurant, things go in completely different directions. Among other things, the novel contains no murder. Instead it follows Veda as she builds up a singing career, largely by sleeping her way to the top.
* ''Film/SilentHill'' is this applied to the plotline of [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 the first game]]. The intricate not-quite-occult-not-quite-pagan mythos was replaced with a heavily simplified pseudo-Christian substitute, the protagonist is functionally a mix of the heroes from the first three games (Radha Mitchell looks like an older Heather from 3), the "all that matters is the person I love" mentality of Harry and James, and the diabolical force running the whole show were tremendously simplified, but no less evil for it.
* The 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' movie took decades of {{Backstory}} culled from the show's various series and distilled it to fit with the OriginStory of the {{alternate|Continuity}} ''Enterprise'' crew.
* The 1994 film of ''Film/TheShadow''. As there were two separate versions of the character running at the same time, the film instead chose to combine the most well-known elements of both--namely the [[Radio/TheShadow radio Shadow's]] identity and abilities, combined with [[Literature/TheShadow the magazine]] Shadow's network and attire. Several characters were removed entirely. The character of Margo Lane was retained, but instead of simply being TheWatson, she was given psychic abilities of her own in order to explain why The Shadow keeps her around.
* ''Film/TheSecretOfMoonacre'', the movie based on ''Literature/TheLittleWhiteHorse'', also mixes the two concepts. Gabor Csupo took the book's characters, and went off and did his own thing. To be fair, however, the original book really doesn't lend itself that well to a cinematic adaptation.
* ''Film/{{Wanted}}'' had the plot revolve around a secret organization of high-profile assassins. Main character Wesley Gibson/The Killer was in fact an assassin in [[Comicbook/{{Wanted}} the comic]], but the Fraternity was a shadowy cabal of comicbook-style supervillains, who are presently in control of the entire planet after having killed all the superheroes and then [[RewritingReality altered the very fabric of reality in 1986]]. Its membership is in possession of superscience, alien technologies, and magical powers, and partakes in atrocities on a regular basis. The comic's writer Creator/MarkMillar was actually pretty happy with the transition result.
* The novel of ''Film/GetShorty'' features a handful of scenes written from the perspective of characters who work in the movie industry who view the scenes as though they are scenes in a script. The film takes those scenes and shoots them to pitch-perfection. The rest of the movie was mildly altered, but John Travolta stood in the way of any substantial ExecutiveMeddling.
* ''Film/JurassicPark''. Many side plots from [[Literature/JurassicPark the book]] were written out and several characters were combined and their fates change.
** Most notably, in the film Hammond's character was a kindly old man who just wanted to share the magic of dinosaurs with people. In [[Literature/JurassicPark the novel]], he's a {{manipulative|Bastard}} {{Jerkass}} who really just wants people's money, and won't listen to anyone's advice about how dangerous the situation is.
** Some scenes in the book that were left out of the first movie appeared in later movies. The book opens with a scene of a family having a picnic on a beach. A child chases a tiny dinosaur into the forest and then gets attacked by a swarm of them. Another scene has the female character jumping from roof to roof being chased by velociraptors. Those scenes were shown in ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark''.
** The context of that first scene was drastically changed, though; the original version of that scene takes place on a Costa Rican beach, thus showing us that dinosaurs have already escaped the island. In the movie, however, the family just happens to unknowingly weigh anchor for a picnic on the island, where the dinosaurs are apparently safely confined.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' combines and rearranges elements from ''many'' famous ''Batman'' storylines over the course of three films. ''Film/BatmanBegins'' fuses ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' with elements of ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'', while ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' blends ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'' with a few other aspects of ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'', and ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' goes for a three-in-one by combining ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' with elements of both ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'' and ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}''.
* The film adaptation of ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'' merges two minor characters, Jerry Westerby and Sam Collins, into one. It works well enough for the film, but could be problematic should the studio decide to adapt the rest of the ''Quest for Karla'' trilogy, since both Westerby and Collins become major characters (the protagonist and one of the main antagonists, respectively) in the second installment, ''The Honorable Schoolboy''.
* Despite quite a few things being removed for time and expenses, the film version of ''Literature/{{Holes}}'' is still regarded as faithful to the original book. Louis Sachar had a big hand in the adaptation.
* ''Film/TheHungerGames'' shortens how long [[DeadlyGame the actual games]] take, and a few scenes/flashbacks are cut due not being a first-person narrative (on the other hand, [[AdaptationExpansion others from outside the protagonist's scope are added]]).
* The ''Film/VForVendetta'' adaptation is understandably forced to make a great deal of simplification (in addition to changing a few themes), including combining Creedy and Finch into one character and turning the tortured leader Adam Susan [[AdaptationalVillainy into the faceless foe Adam Sutler]].
* Surprisingly, Chuck Pahlaniuk himself, after viewing the adaptation of his already-cult novel ''Literature/FightClub'' by David Fincher, said [[Film/FightClub the movie]] worked more efficiently than the book, was more tightly structured and handled the finale better. Then again, this is David Fincher we're talking about. An example of true distillation: considering the complex task of even beginning to dramatize the disjointed Palanick's writing, Fincher used an astonishing array of temporal, visual, point-of-view and narration devices to cram a good deal of the original material into the film. One of the DVD commentaries features Pahlaniuk and the screenwriter discussing the adaptation. It's pretty much a two hour lesson in how to do this well.
* ''Film/TheIncredibleShrinkingMan'': While this film adaptation of the book largely reflects many aspects of the plot, there are a couple plot points not included. The first one was that Scott had a daughter. The second was when Scott encountered a group of boys who recognize him as that ''shrinking man'', they [[spoiler: express the desire to remove his pants to see if EVERY part of him had shrunk]]
* ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' combined the two Ozymandias plots of getting Dr. Manhattan of Earth by framing him for causing cancer in people and thus removing him from the picture in time for the second plot, the fake alien attack on Earth. Instead he was framed for causing the cancers, resulting in public anger that drove him away, and then framed for striking back in response.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' puts its own spin on elements from ''Film/{{Superman}}:'' ''TheMovie'', ''Film/SupermanII'', ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', and [[TheModernAgeOfComicBooks modern]] (usually PostCrisis) Superman comics such as ''ComicBook/TheManOfSteel'', ''[[ComicBook/SupermanBirthright Superman: Birthright]]'', ''Superman: Last Son'', ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin'', ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', ''ComicBook/SupermanEarthOne'', and ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretIdentity''.
* Creator/TopherGrace's ''Franchise/StarWars Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back'' takes [[Film/ThePhantomMenace the]] [[Film/AttackOfTheClones prequel]] [[Film/RevengeOfTheSith trilogy]] and distills them down into a single movie that more efficiently tells Anakin Skywalker's ProtagonistJourneyToVillain.
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'', April's a reporter like in [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 the 1987 cartoon]]. She also [[spoiler:knew the turtles and Splinter before they mutated,]] like in [[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIDW the IDW comics]]. The Shredder is also a lot more imposing, like his Super Shredder form in [[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles ''Turtles II'']], and wears an armored suit like in [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 the 2003 cartoon]].
* ''[[Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjay The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1]]'':
** While Katniss spends rather much time being sedated and going in and out of the hospital ward in [[Literature/TheHungerGames the book]], the movie only shows two instances of this.
** Katniss' constant hiding away is only shown twice.
** Though Coin thanks her people for "interrupting their schedules" during one of her speeches, the District 13 wrist schedules don't appear.[[note]]In another scene, Finnick is practicing his rope tying, and a list tattoo can be seen on his wrist, but no attention is given to it.[[/note]]
** Katniss' prep team never made it to 13 in the film.
** Strangely, Katniss' request to be allowed to kill Snow personally doesn't make it into the film.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* William Goldman's ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'' claims to be "the good parts version" of an earlier novel by Simon Morgenstern, turning what was a digression-laden, politics-heavy slog into a fun action-adventure story. In fact, Morgenstern and his unabridged novel are entirely fictitious. This setup allows Goldman to lampoon such authors as Victor Hugo and his ilk. The film distills the story even further, into its purest essence.
* Thomas Malory, in ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'' distilled an enormous mass of wildly contradictory Arthurian legends into a book that is often regarded as the definitive Arthur story.
* T.H. White's ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' is a distillation (and paraphrase) of ''Le Morte D'Arthur''. The reader is actually directed to read Mallory's version to find out the specifics of certain jousts, etc. Tom himself makes an appearance in the final pages, directed by an ancient Arthur to run away from the final battle so that he can record the Arthur's history.
* Subverted by ''ComicBook/TheSandman: The Dream Hunters'', a book by Creator/NeilGaiman. In the introduction, the author claims it's an attempt to take various elements of various retellings of a certain preexisting Japanese myth, and bring them together in a logical, complete way. It apparently works as the thing turns out great, and the illustrations by Creator/YoshitakaAmano are beautiful to boot... as it turns out, the preexisting myth didn't so much exist at all, which is standard for Neil Gaiman.
* Over time, Creator/DCComics has released various novels over its various popular events and as such, even they have had certain events removed. For instance, ''[[Comicbook/TheDeathOfSuperman The Death and Life of Superman]]'' keeps most of the events of ''Doomsday, Funeral For A Friend'' and ''Reign of the Supermen'', but removes a number of events, mostly because it was written while ''Reign'' was still being worked on. Among the events removed were more involvement with the rest of the DC heroes outside of the required appearance of the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} and brief appearances by Franchise/WonderWoman and Franchise/{{Batman}}, and it condenses a number of side story events and, for some odd reason, ''removes'' Franchise/GreenLantern Hal Jordan (and replaces his fight with Mongul that leaves the villain unconscious) despite Coast City still biting it. On the other hand, [[AdaptationExpansion it expands other events, including the eulogy for Superman delivered by]] UsefulNotes/BillClinton and his wife Hillary, for example, and adds more eulogies delivered by world leaders, including ''even Pope John Paul II'' (who was still alive at the time of the book's release)!
** The adaptation of ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'', beyond dumping a few side events, seems to toss out appearances by both ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' and, oddly, ''ComicBook/{{Azrael}}'', despite Azrael being part of the Bat-Family.
* ''Literature/TheLandOfStories'' makes it so that the Prince Charmings of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White are all brothers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The eponymous hero of ''Series/{{The Flash|1990}}'' was an amalgamation of {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} and PostCrisis [[Franchise/TheFlash Flashes]] in the comics. While his secret identity was that of Silver Age Flash, Barry Allen, some aspects of the character (like his relationship with scientist Dr. Tina [=McGee=] and his need to eat insane amounts of food to maintain his powers) were incorporated from the character of the later Flash, Wally West.
* The miniseries version of ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' and ''Film/TheColorOfMagic'' managed to retain most of the good material from the original novel, though it was apparently hard to follow for those who hadn't [[AllThereInTheManual read the books]], as it assumed you already knew most of the backstory. In this case, the distillation is probably because Terry Prachett was heavily involved in both productions, even having cameo appearances in the last scenes of ''Hogfather'' and the first of ''Colour''.
** One specific example: They based the Patrician on his later appearances (including Wuffles), instead of his eventually rather contradictory appearance in the actual early books. The "Machiavellian Vampire Flamingo" Vetinari was introduced approximately at the same time as the name "Vetinari".
* The J-Drama form of ''Manga/HanaYoriDango'' managed to compress thirty-six volumes of manga written over a period of eleven years into a much smoother story, combining characters and editing plot arcs as necessary.
* The ''Series/NobutaWoProduce'' J-drama was based on a book whose title character was an overweight, unattractive boy, and the main character was a cold-hearted {{Jerkass}} who only wanted to produce Nobuta because he was bored. In the drama, Nobuta was a lovable [[TheWoobie Woobie]] girl who wasn't even capable of smiling properly, Shuji was misguided and selfish rather than a cold jerk, and the character of [[{{Keet}} Akira]] was introduced. The resulting drama had an ending that was not saddening as the book, had beautiful cinematography, and mind-blowing plot and characterization.
* The US game show ''Series/MinuteToWinIt'' spun off versions in Australia and the Netherlands version, both of which manage to cram twice as much gameplay into the same hour (which also fixes the numerous pacing problems of the original) by gutting out all the {{Padding}}, {{Filler}}, [[ViewersAreGoldfish reminding the viewers of what just happened three minutes earlier]], and {{Commercial Break Cliffhanger}}s.
* ''Series/TheIncredibleHulk'': A very loose adaptation of the Creator/MarvelComics [[Comicbook/IncredibleHulk character]]. The comics' supporting characters and villains are left out and only once during the series did the Hulk battle another superhuman character. Also, for the majority of the series, the only sci-fi or fantasy elements were the Hulk himself. With the exception of two TV movies, the rest of the Marvel Universe wasn't even referenced and the name Hulk was rarely used onscreen to refer to Banner's alter ego. The format for the show was a loose adaptation of ''Literature/LesMiserables'' with David Banner as Jean Valjean and Jack [=McGee=] as Inspector Javert. Comparisons to the KungFu TV series are also common with Banner as Kwai Chang Caine as is Richard Kimble of TheFugitive. The show focused on character drama instead of deliberate superhero-style adventure.
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'': Bonnie in the TV series is a combination of the book version of Bonnie and Meredith; Meredith's traits are folded into Bonnie and bitchy Caroline takes Meredith's place in the trio.
* ''Series/TheHardyBoysNancyDrewMysteries'' cuts most of ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' book series' supporting cast. The Hardys' mother, Laura, is dead, and the boys live with their widowed father and Aunt Gertrude, and the only friends from the books that show up are Callie Shaw and Chet Morton — and Chet, only in two episodes. In second season, the series is distilled even more, with even Aunt Gertrude and Callie getting cut.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' takes several cues from the Silver Age (friendship with Lex, Clark having a sort of heroic career while in high school, supporting cast getting powers every other week) as well as Post-Crisis (Clark playing football, Clark getting his powers on the on-set of puberty) and the films (Several {{MythologyGag}}s).
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' is an adaptation of a [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire series]] of fantasy DoorStopper novels. Even with about 10 hours of screen time devoted to each book, there is a lot of condensing, particularly in the form of reducing the number and combining the roles of various characters. With only 7 seasons being planned and only the first 3 books being adapted in 4 seasons, this has been happening at a faster rate to the point where Brans arc has already caught up with the 5th book. Books 4 and 5 take place at the same time with Bran's story being in the 5th, meaning that Bran and Hodor et al. will be missing from season 5 out of neccesity.
* ''Series/LesRevenants'' (''Rebound'' as titled in English) is based on a 2004 zombie movie that had a lot more people resurrecting. In the series, there are only five "Revenants", mostly to get a better assessment of their predicament. The movie also didn't provide any explanation for these unexpected resurrections, which the series plan to do eventually.
* The 1981 television adaptation of ''TheDayOfTheTriffids'' crammed a whole novel into six 50-minute episodes by the simple expedient of cutting all the {{Padding}}, and was frankly the better for it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:New Media]]
* Parodied with the ''[[Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses in 5 seconds]]'' Website/YouTube videos, which cut down the targeted film to its most important points. The quality varies somewhat widely from video to video though. This may represent an inadvertent {{Deconstruction}}, as some basic biology knowledge will tell you that it is unhealthy to remove ''all'' the fat from the body.
** A lot of RuleOfFunny goes into those, so it's hard to really call it "distillation", in the traditional sense.
** In the same vein, any time the [[http://asoftertrek.tumblr.com/ "A Softer Trek" tumblr]] handles the destruction of the USS Kelvin.
* Also on [=YouTube=], "X...''in 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies!''"
* Webcomic/MSPaintMasterpieces, a retelling of the ''Videogame/MegaManClassic'' mythos does a very good job at telling the story of the games, as well as compositing the Gameboy games and Wonderswan games into a coherent whole.
* Some of TheAbridgedSeries out there can do this, not just successfully (or unsuccessfully) turning the story into a comedy but also greatly simplifying the story.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''Pinball/TalesOfTheArabianNights'' has the player go through seven missions ("Tales") based on the ''Literature/ArabianNights'' (as well as its associated works), with varying levels of liberties and faithfulness.
* Creator/DataEastPinball's ''Pinball/TalesFromTheCrypt'' combines elements of both the original ECComics' title and the subsequent [[Series/TalesFromTheCrypt HBO television anthology series.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Parodied in the ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Goblins'' RPG sourcebook; a sample adventure includes "The Abridged ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', With Just The Witches and the Fighting". The entire script is one page long.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* When Edna Ferber's ''ShowBoat'' was made into the famous Broadway musical in 1927, it wasn't common at all for such long and convoluted novels to be made into musicals. The result still ran very long for a Broadway show, and so has been subjected to various levels of this in all revivals (and in the 1936 movie, the only faithful film version).
* The play ''Literature/AuntieMame'' is this for Patrick Dennis's pseudo-autobiographical novel. To quote Patrick Dennis:
-->"Not every episode of my book is in the play. To get them all in - not that every one would be worth dramatizing - would require passing out box luncheons, blankets, and tooth brushes to a rough-and-ready audience of slavish theatre-goers weaned on Eugene O'Neill and the Ring Series. But an astonishing number of the episodes in the book ''are'' in the play; enough so that the casual reader is convinced that every word of the novel has been translated to the stage. If that isn't catching the 'spirit' of a book, I don't know what is."
* Creator/VictorHugo's original ''Literature/LesMiserables'' novel contained, among other tangents, a lengthy retelling of the Battle of Waterloo. Many critics agree that you can skip this section of the book and miss nothing. [[Theatre/LesMiserables The extremely popular musical adaptation]] removed such elements and focused on the core story and characters. Sadly, it did also lose a lot of CharacterDevelopment, and a bit of the plot.
* A double example: British playwright Christopher Bond took the most exciting elements of the Sweeney Todd myth (the razors, the chair, the pies) and added plot elements from ''Theatre/TheRevengersTragedy'' and ''Literature/TheCountOfMonteCristo'' (as well as excellent dialogue) to create a first-rate melodrama with real character motivation. Then, StephenSondheim took Bond's play, fixed the [[PlotHole weakest plot moments]] and set the whole thing to [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome an amazing musical score]] to create ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', a first-rate musical tragedy.
* Herman Wouk distilled his novel ''Literature/TheCaineMutiny'' into the play ''The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial''. A made-for-TV version of this play directed by Creator/RobertAltman appeared in 1988, but the more famous 1954 film version is a very different distillation of the novel.
* The musical version of ''{{Theatre/Wicked}}'' departs so greatly from [[{{Literature/Wicked}} the book]] that it almost goes beyond this trope and into InNameOnly. Justified however, in that it would be nearly [[DarkerAndEdgier impossible to get away with putting a great deal of the content]] from the book directly into musical format, so the massive re-working of the story was pretty much necessary. About the only things the musical and the book have in common are the general plot idea and characters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* The "Dark Rides" at Ride/DisneyThemeParks that adapt movies in the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon take the parts of the movies that recreate the feel and emotions of the movie while generally squeezing the plot into a few rooms. Occasionally they'll throw in some extra stuff, such as making "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" DarkerAndEdgier than the animated feature that inspired it. ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure'' takes the approach of focusing entirely on the film's songs, though coming at the cost of Ursula gaining mostly OffstageVillainy.
* This occurs on ''Ride/TheGreatMovieRide'', as it simplifies scenes from both ''Casablanca'' and ''The Wizard of Oz'', drastically cutting down dialogue or even re-assigning some of the dialogue to a different character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'': The story mode is the plot of the first three games condensed into one, while cutting the fat away. While there are changes (some quite major) because of the TimeyWimeyBall, most of the stuff that happened in the old games still happens in this one.
* Arcade game manufacturer [[http://www.globalvr.com Global VR]] lived on this trope by making arcade games that are distillations of Electronic Arts games. Examples include [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5237 Madden NFL]], [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5714 EA Sports PGA Tour Golf]], [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5927 EA Sports NASCAR Racing]], and three NeedForSpeed games: [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=4976 Hot Pursuit 2- which was rechristened "Need for Speed GT"-]] plus [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5806 NFS Underground]] and [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=6041 NFS Carbon]] as well. They've also done distillations of UBI Soft games as well- witness [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5807 Paradise Lost, a rail shooter based on Far Cry]] and [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5994 Blazing Angels.]]
** They also make unique arcade games, too. Witness [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=thumbs&db=videodb&id=5711 Aliens Extinction]], a rail shooter based on a popular movie license, [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=flyer&db=videodb&id=5928?=1 Puck Off]], a shuffleboard game with a GettingCrapPastTheRadar - type name, and [[http://www.arcadeflyers.com/?page=flyer&db=videodb&id=6159?=1 Justice League Heroes United]] a beat-em-up with popular DC Comics characters. The flyer [[LampshadeHanging lampshades Global VR's distillation-filled past:]]
*** ''No... you can't play this game at home.''
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' will take the plots of the various series it crosses over, cuts out the filler and leaves only the important plots, all while mixing it up like they took the plots and put them in a blender. It's less cutting out and more with everything happening at the same time things go much faster, though not everything happens as you would expect with everything interacting.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'' deserves special mention because the less important plot points and events were put back in the Special Disk expansion. The main game was so crowded not everything would fit.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is an extremely large storyverse, with hundreds of novels, graphic novels, rulebooks, and other sources of backstory, some of which {{Retcon}} older works. For the PC, they distilled this all down into the excellent ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' series of RealTimeStrategy games, which manage to capture the gritty feel of the game perfectly.
* ''Blast Works'' is, at its core, a port of the freeware PC ShootEmUp ''Tumiki Fighters''. The main focus of it is the extra-extensive editor, which lets you design many things such as the player ship, background objects, bullet patterns, enemies, and ''levels''. Making this feature even better is the ability to upload and download such creations via the game's official website.
* ''DJ MAX Portable'', a PSP version of the ''DJ MAX Online'' series, found itself becoming its own subseries; while the online versions died off (though a new version, ''DJ MAX Trilogy'', is slated for release this month), the ''Portable'' series spawned 4 additional titles, one of which is the first American release in a line of previously-[[NoExportForYou South Korea-only]] titles, and said Korea-exclusive titles have Japanese- and English-language options, which shows that Pentavision recognizes its international fanbase (and probably didn't have enough funds to make non-Korean releases until recently).
* When Sega developed ''FantasyZone II DX'' (the System 16 version of ''Fantasy Zone II''), they took the multi-screen concept of the original and simplified it into a dual world concept.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' is an overly simplified version of and at some points directly contradictory to its source material, ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade''. But in most cases it is pretty clear that its differences are for the better, since a video game that is completely faithful to its tabletop origins will have some obvious issues. The main problem is that the WordOfGod states the video game's story is canon, which presents some setting issues as that means some characters (especially [[spoiler:Caine]]) would have had to be in two places at once.
** It is never really established how far back from the end of the oWoD storyline the end of the game is, even a few days would give the characters ample travel time.
* ''VideoGame/TheDarkness'' trimmed down the first couple of story arcs from [[Comicbook/TheDarkness the comic]], altered several characters, removed the supervillains, got rid of that stupid looking armor, and gave Mike Patton the voice of the titular Darkness. The result is a damn good revenge story loosely connected to the comic canon, but doing a far better job of making the player feel for Jackie in a way the comic was never able to. When the game [[PlayerPunch hits you]] emotionally, it ''hurts''. The enemies trying to beat you is another matter entirely... NintendoHard [[AvertedTrope it isn't]]. Then again, being billed as a horror story where you play the monster, it fits the premise for Jackie to be hard to kill while in Darkness mode. Caught in the light, he dies easy.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance 2'' is known for taking the storyline of Creator/MarvelComics' ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' CrisisCrossover, and keeping the interesting central ideas while jettisoning a lot of the padding that made the original so difficult to read. It also has the advantage of picking a side. [[spoiler: [[TakeAThirdOption Neither one]], since the conflict between pro- and anti-registration is seen as petty and pointless once bigger events start happening.]]
* The XBox port of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}} 3'' had a few levels cut short or removed, particularly the filler segments such as the outdoor area in the second level.
* Although it too had some features removed due to hardware and control limitations, the PSX adaptation of ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' stayed truer to the PC original than the N64's PragmaticAdaptation, while adding some new interesting areas and enemies, such as a Vore-like arachnid enemy.
* The games in the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' have essentially taken the different forms of media that Batman and his world have appeared in, selected the best bits from each one, glued them together, filed the edges down and then cast the player as Batman. It's generally considered one of the key reasons the games have been so successful.
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/GIJoe'' sets the game around the time of [[Creator/DICEntertainment the DiC series]] of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' (the show's overall third and fourth seasons). However the Joes, and with the exception of Metal-Head, all the Cobra bosses came from [[Creator/SunbowEntertainment the Sunbow series]] (the first two seasons). This is especially notable, when encountering the game's first bosses, Tomax and Xamot, who didn't even appear in the [=DiC=] series.
* ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'' is treated this way. The novelisation cuts away some of the less plot-relevant or dramatically-appropriate sidequests, such as the Quest for Ale. In the Author's Note on the novel, he even talks about his regret that he had to cut out his favorite side-quests.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fist of the North Star|KensRage}}'' is widely regarded as doing a fantastic job taking the entire first half of [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar the manga]] (everything up to the TimeSkip) and presenting it in 15 chapters plus side chapters, telling the story in a concise but complete way. The sequel game does the same, but covers even more of the story just as well. Both games also avert the lingering UnfortunateImplications surrounding Mamiya by {{Xenaf|ication}}ying her enough for her to pull her weight helping storm the stronghold her allies were going after anyway, instead of being TheLoad.
* ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' and ''VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron'' are considered some of the best licensed Transformers video games, hands down, even among the notoriously complaint-happy Transformers fandom. It condenses important parts of the popular Marvel and Marvel UK comics, the original animated cartoons, the more modern comics (especially those done by IDW, while tactfully ignoring Dreamwave's canon), and the previously well received ''VideoGame/TransformersPreludeToEnergon'' third person shooter, and comes out on the other side as an intricately detailed and generally fun game that is also InternalHomage-laden enough to satisfy fans of the original Generation One series. It also doesn't hurt that the games are [[spoiler: a direct prequel to the also well-received ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' mentioned below, existing in the same continuinty.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is the story of Agatha Heterodyne, as told rather "creatively" by Professors Phil & Kaja Foglio of Transylvania Polygnostic University's Almost Certainly True History department, reconstructed from various historical documents.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[TheAbridgedSeries Abridged Series]] do this by their very nature. For example, at the time of this writing, ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' has covered the series up to the debut of Androids 17 and 18 (which took 134 episodes in the original series) in only 38 episodes (while episode lengths vary between around 10 and 15 minutes.), mainly because the Garlic Jr. Filler Arc was cut down to one episode (Garlic Jr. meets [[AdaptationalBadass Mr.]] [[HumanoidAbomination Popo]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Cartoons based of Franchise/TheDCU are ALL ABOUT this trope.
** The Franchise/{{DCAU}}, from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' to ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'', was generally of this kind.
*** A more specific example would be the ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' segment of the episode "Legends of the Dark Knight", which perfectly encapsulates Miller's style and the tone of the book in five minutes of animation.
*** Another one is the ''Justice League Unlimited'' episode "ComicBook/ForTheManWhoHasEverything" based on Creator/AlanMoore's story of the same name. It kept the spirit of the story while at the same time removed the dark elements present [[spoiler: in Superman's dream which made Superman breaking out of the LotusEaterMachine even more of a TearJerker.]] Even better, it is the ''ONLY'' adaptation of his work that Alan Moore actually likes.
** Similarly, the Robin from ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' is essentially an amalgam of Dick Grayson (Robin I) and the better aspects of Jason Todd (Robin II, who doesn't exist in the Franchise/{{DCAU}}), along with the costume and general look of Tim Drake (Robin III). Comicbook/{{Cyborg}} and Comicbook/{{Raven}} were also a bit more interesting in the cartoon. Both had far less {{Wangst}}, and Raven also had powers that were actually useful in combat (in the comic, she became nothing but TheEmpath and was often the first one taken out by bad guys despite her considerable power in her earliest appearances).
** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' is a LighterAndSofter take on the greater DC Universe outside of the "Big Three," and gets the core personalities of the characters it features down pat while improving some others. Comicbook/{{Aquaman}} is a LargeHam BoisterousBruiser in the show, unlike the comics, but it fits better with the tone. The show's also packed aplenty with {{Mythology Gag}}s ranging from references to the relatively recent ''Comicbook/InfiniteCrisis'' and ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'' to long-forgotten [[TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Batman stories. It's essentially the "good parts version" of the entire DC Universe but is still accessible to non-readers of the comics. The show is also more respectful to characters who [[PassingTheTorch pass the torch]]. In the comics, Comicbook/BlueBeetle Ted Kord is shot through the head by a villain after refusing to give in; in ''B&B'', he dies stopping a missile attack on America. Likewise, Ray Palmer had a HeroicBSOD after his wife went nuts and became a murderous villain, handing the Atom mantle to Ryan Choi, who was later killed. In this series, Palmer handed the mantle without the tragedy and retired to South America, while Choi had a TenMinuteRetirement.
*** Another example is the ''ComicBook/EmperorJoker'' storyline. [=B:TBaTB=] very loosely took a 2000 ''Superman'' story arc of a {{Mad|God}} GodEmperor resembling SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker and made it the Caped Crusader's own story in 2010. In the comics, the story opens up InMediasRes, with Superman waking up in [[CardboardPrison Arkham Asylum]] and breaking out of there, only to discover a WorldGoneMad. He later discovers that [[GreatGazoo Mr. Mxyzptlk]] [[DidYouJustScamCthulhu had been scammed into giving 99.99% of his powers to the Joker]], turning him into a [[AGodAmI god-like]] RealityWarper who twists the world in his own way; [[ImAHumanitarian eats up everyone in China]]; kills SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor, Batman, and everyone associated with the latter (except Supes, of course) repeatedly day after day, all in graphic and bloody ways, leaving the Dark Knight traumatized; later [[WipeThatSmileOffYourFace removes Batman's mouth so he can't speak]]; turns Harley Quinn into a constellation; literally [[AndShowItToYou steals Supes' heart]]; and brings up ApocalypseHow Class X-4 by blowing up the entire universe near the end; Superman eventually defeats him by asking him if he would try to take the Dark Knight out of existence, only for the Clown Prince of Crime to realize he can't; Joker's powers are surrendered to Mxy and the universe is eventually restored. In this cartoon series, Bat-Mite replaces Mxy; the reason that Bat-Mite gives the Joker all of his powers is by accident, as he was only trying to help Batman out in the fight; the Clown Prince of Crime destroys the universe during his VillainSong, right in the middle (rather than the end) of the episode, and recreates his VillainWorld of playing cards; he keeps his henchmen, Harley Quinn, Bat-Mite and Joker-Mite alive while repeatedly killing Batman ([[GoryDiscretionShot in less graphic]] and more comedic ways) and bringing him back to life for hours instead of days; the worn-out Batman [[ReversePsychology begs the villain not to take away his sanity]]; the Joker renders Harley mute instead of turning her into a constellation and goes on a [[JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind journey to the center of Batman's mind]] to try to toss away his files (instead of ripping out Supes' heart); and it all culminates in the Dark Knight (rather than the Man of Steel) showing the Joker an AlternateUniverse in which Batman doesn't exist, resulting in Joker's VillainousBreakdown, allowing Bat-Mite to get his powers back and restore the universe in seconds.
--> '' '''Batman:''' "In a world without Batman, you are '''sane'''."''
** The prior Batman show, ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', also managed to get some of this trope in. The show's treatment of [[MagnificentBastard Hugo Strange]], [[EvilIsCool the Riddler]], [[WellIntentionedExtremist Poison Ivy]], and especially [[TragicVillain Clayface]] are among some of the most well-regarded things in the show due to boiling them down to their most basic natures and then adding elements that made them stronger characters.
** ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' manages to do this, using older characters like Dick Grayson as well as more recent ones like Miss Martian. The show also gives modernized redesigns to some of the campier DC characters. Like ''The Brave and the Bold'', ''Young Justice'' also uses numerous shout-outs and mythology gags, as well as a few nods to the [[Comicbook/YoungJustice 90's comic book of the same name]].
** ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperheroes'' brought several outdated costumes and looks and made them sleeker and more futuristic. For example, Bouncing Boy newly sports spiky hair and goggles and his limbs disappear when he bounces, which looks a lot less ridiculous. Also, the comics explained ComicBook/{{Superboy}} being in [[Comicbook/{{LegionOfSuper-Heroes}} LOSH]] despite PostCrisis Supes ''not'' having been Superboy as a teenager by way of [[VoodooShark a complicated explanation involving parallel universes that aren't really parallel universes since there aren't parallel universes anymore]]. Oooookay. The series? Teen Clark was a civilian when he was taken to the future, and only wears the spandex while there.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''. It adapts the broad strokes of the original Spider-Man comics while bringing in characters, plot elements, and designs from the more recent ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' comics and the popular live-action ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'', making a cartoon that is recognizable to both older and younger fans.
* The 1980s ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' cartoon did make one notable improvement. The [[Comicbook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage comics by Eastman and Laird]], and most subsequent adaptations, depict Splinter as a rat who learned ninjutsu by copying the movements his human master made while training, before mutating and gaining human characteristics. In the 1980s cartoon, the human master himself is mutated by gaining rat characteristics, and retains all his ninja knowledge, which he then passes on to the Turtles. This improvement is kept in [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 the 2012 cartoon]].
** The [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 cartoon]] also distilled the Mirage series while adding its own twists and variety.
** So far, [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 the 2012 cartoon]] has been a distillation of the entire [[Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Ninja Turtles franchise]]. Scenes, character traits, whole characters, and whole episodes have been taken from previous series and given a fresh coat of paint. To name a few examples, we have:
*** From multiple continuities: the Rat King, [[note]]a scientist who uses Kraang mutagen to give himself psychic powers, then he gets horrifically burned in a lab accident, inhales airborne mutagen and develops a psychic connection to rats[[/note]] and the flight to the farmhouse [[note]]which seems to occur about once in every continuity[[/note]]
*** From the 80s cartoon: the turtles' obsession with pizza, the Kraang, [[note]]now an entire species of alien brain creatures[[/note]] Irma, [[note]]April's best human friend and now, [[spoiler: the body suit for a Kraang spy named Kraang Sub-Prime]][[/note]] Mutagen Man, [[note]]Now an InUniverse fan of the turtles who deliberately mutated himself, hoping to get awesome powers. [[GoneHorriblyWrong It didn't work]].[[/note]] fly-mutant Baxter Stockman, [[note]]originally African-American, like he was in the comics and the 2003 series[[/note]] Bebop and Rocksteady, [[note]]formerly known as Anton Zek and Ivan Steranko, introduced in Season 1 as allies of the Shredder, and mutated in Season 3 after they [[YouHaveFailedMe failed him one too many times]].[[/note]] and Muckman and Joe Eyeball [[note]]Their introductory episode is practically a moment-by-moment remake of their original episode from the 80s series. Here, however, Joe is Muckman's actual eyeball and acts as [[TheConscience his conscience]].[[/note]]
*** From the 80s movies: Tokka and Rahzar, [[note]]specifically, Raphael's pet turtle Spike, became a huge blue mutant turtle [[CompositeCharacter calling himself Slash]] and one of Shredder's already mutated [[TheDragon Dragons]] was "extra-mutated" into a zombie-like dog-creature, the two also made a blink and you'll miss it cameo in TurtlesForever as part of Hun's mutant army.[[/note]] Raph holding vigil over the unconscious Leo while at the farmhouse, [[note]] In the movie, the roles were reversed. [[/note]] and Casey and Donnie working on a car while trading alphabetized insults
*** From the 80s Toy Line: a toy-only character called Pizza Face [[note]]Now, a Jabba the Hutt-esque blob monster that can spawn sentient pizzas that, when eaten, turn people into mindless zombies. And he has a [[ImAHumanitarian taste for human flesh]].[[/note]]
*** From the 2003 cartoon: Mikey's innate talent, [[note]]In most continuities, Mikey is portrayed as having the most raw talent of all his brothers, but without the mental disciple to make full use of it. The 2003 and 2012 cartoons are the only ones to explicitly state this and to make it a plot point.[[/note]] Mikey's pet cat, [[note]]Now Ice Cream Kitty, a mutated cat who is now half-ice cream[[/note]] the Purple Dragons gang, and the Earth Protection Force
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeRenegades'' is a rather successful attempt at this, blending elements from the original comic book, 80s cartoon, and [[Film/GIJOeTheRiseOfCobra Rise of Cobra]] movie tossed into a blender with Series/TheATeam.
* Reviews of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' commonly state that this show takes many of the good points of the films (intense action scenes and realistic robot designs) while following thematics that were established by ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' or ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' has [[WordOfGod showrunner]], Michael Jelenic [[http://tv.ign.com/articles/117/1176532p2.html articulating this]] as his general aim for the series. Also, series composer Kevin Kliesch worked [[EnforcedTrope under a demand]] to rearrange and truncate the [[WesternAnimation/ThunderCats original's]] Theme Tune from [[http://www.examiner.com/soundtracks-in-national/kevin-kliesch-interview-part-2-a-new-thundercats-series-for-a-new-generation two minutes to ten seconds]] while retaining its signature elements.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'' drew on not only the classic Silver Age stories, but a number of the modern elements and bits of ''TheUltimates'' as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' does this with the previous generations of ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' cartoons, combining fantasy and adventure elements of the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTVSpecials original]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie G1]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyAndFriends cartoons]] with the SliceOfLife style of ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales Tales]]'', and most of the main cast are re-imagined [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyG3 G3 characters]] such as Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity. The result was extremely successful, to say the least.
** The book adaptation of the Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks spinoff has a different ending to one of the scenes made into a short. In the short, DJ Pon-3 puts in earphones after Principal Celestia takes them away. In the book, Celestia takes them away because there's a fire drill.
* ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' has the episode ''The Penniless Princess'', which is their adaptation of ''Literature/ALittlePrincess''. Unlike many of their episodes based on other source material, it's a straight-up adaptation, staying rather faithful to the source material, but they do simplify the story a lot by cutting out characters, combining scenes, and making the message more obvious.
* The first season of the 90's ''Literature/TheMoomins'' series combined selected contents from both Tove Jansson's novels and her comics into a single episodic narrative while merging [[CompositeCharacter characters]] and events, simplifying and streamlining TheVerse and adding some [[AdaptationExpansion original contents into the mix]]. The result is something of a more consistent middle ground between the mood of the comic and the [[CerebusSyndrome various moods of the novels]].
* The HBO AnimatedAdaptation of ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'' has a refined, more coherent plotline, more sympathetic characters, and viciously batters the AnimationAgeGhetto.
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