In the long line of book to movie adaptations, Disney’s The BFG releases this Friday. And we can’t wait to watch it. The movie is based on Roald Dahl’s children’s fiction of the same name. But this is not the first time that Dahl’s work will entertain us on the big screen. In fact, when it comes to children’s movies, Dahl has always been a favourite.
Before the release of The BFG, we take a look at five popular children’s movies adapted from Dahl’s books.
One of the most loved children story, Matilda is the story of a child genius, Matilda Wormwood. At the age of one & a half, she speaks like an adult. By the age of three, she has already taught herself to read. But unfortunately, her parents don’t understand her gift, and consider her older brother Michael a much more worthy child. She eventually discovers her power to move objects with her mind, and learn to become her own person. The movie adaptation, released in 1996, made minor changes to the story, and kept true to the spirit of the original work.
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
Probably one of Dahl’s most popular works, this is the story of Willy Wonka, Charlie Bucket, the five golden tickets, and the incredible chocolate factory. The story follows Charlie Bucket, a poor boy, who wins a golden ticket to enter the mysterious chocolate factory of Willy Wonka. Along with his grandfather, and four other winners of the golden ticket, Charlie enters the factory, and receives the best surprise of his life. The book has been adapted twice for the big screen. The first time (1971) it was made into a musical production. The second version released in 2005, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. But the film was not as appreciated as the first version.
Did you know Dahl refused to be associated with the 1971 version? It seems he did not approve of the changes made to the story. Critics mention that the 2005 version is closer to Dahl’s original work. Would he have approved of this version? We’ll never know.
One of Dahl’s scariest works, this is the only book where the protagonist is never given a name. This is the story of a young orphan who lives with his grandmother and their adventure with a group of witches. The film adaptation released in 1990 but with an alternate ending. Although the least known name on this list, the movie remains special as this was the last Dahl story to be adapted in his lifetime.
James & the Giant Peach
Dahl’s bias towards underdogs is evident in every story. James & the Giant Peach is no different. When James Henry Trotter is orphaned at the age of four, he is sent to live with his two horrible aunts. James is abused, and treated like a slave. He finds escape through a tunnel inside a giant peach, where he makes friends with a group of human-sized insects – Old Green Grasshopper, Centipede, Miss Spider, Silkworm, Ladybird, Glowworm and Earthworm, and sets off on an adventure. The movie adaptation released in 1996, and was a combination of live-action & stop-motion animation. Although there were some major differences between the book & the film, it remains a favourite with both children & adults.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Most of Dahl’s protagonists are humans. But this was the first time that his protagonist was an animal. In fact, it was an all animal cast. This was the story of Mr. Fox who loves to steal from the three irritable farmers – Bean, Boggis & Bunce. But when the farmers decide to dig him out of his home, along with his family, Mr. Fox comes up with a plan to not only save his family, but all the other animals living underground. The film released in 2009, and was completely made in stop-motion animation. This is also the most loosely-based adaptation, with major changes made to the story line & the characters.
We bet you didn’t know that this is not the first time The BFG is coming to the big screen. This story made its big screen debut in 1989 as an animated film.
Will you be going to watch The BFG in theatres? Tell us in the comments below.