Roald Dahl is one of the most famous names in children's literature and has been entertaining kids for decades. His books have sold a whopping 250 million copies worldwide, something that is likely to rise more and more as time goes on. In fact, Dahl has even been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century."
It doesn't come as a surprise that a large amount of Dahl's work has made it onto the big screen. And the majority of these films have earned big bucks at the box office, so the stories work well on the page and on the big screen. Here are 10 Roald Dahl movies that will captivate kids.
10 The BFG (2016)
The BFG has been adapted for film twice: once in 1989 and then again in 2016. The story is classic Roald Dahl: the main character, Sophie, has had a somewhat distressing start to life. Sophie has lived in an orphanage ever since her parents died when she was a baby.
Sophie also has insomnia, which causes her to stay up all night reading. One night, she meets the BFG, otherwise known as the big friendly giant. The movie is faithful to the original story and also applies the latest special effects. Plus, it doesn't shy away from the darker elements of the Roald Dahl world, unlike previous Dahl adaptions.
9 Danny The Champion Of The World (1989)
Danny Champion of the World tells the story of Danny and his father as they try to overcome the dastardly deeds of a local businessman. It's revealed that Danny was only four months old when his mother died (a common Roald Dahl feature) and as a result, he shares an even closer bond with his father.
The movie captures the idealistic scenery that Dahl creates in his book, but be warned, there are some scenes that children and adults might find distressing. For instance, Danny and his father engage in some pheasant poaching, which can be sad to watch.
8 Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (2005)
When it was first announced that Tim Burton had decided to add the Roald Dahl classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to his cannon of aesthetically pleasing film, the whole world held its breath, especially when it was then revealed that Johnny Depp would be playing the iconic Willy Wonka.
However, although the story remained faithful to the book, unlike the first attempt at the novel. Audiences were still a little unsure with regards to Depp's portrayal of the candy King. Depp was criticized for what seemed like a Michael Jackson tribute act, with some saying it ruined the movie entirely. But your kids will definitely enjoy this film.
7 Esio Trot (2015)
Esio Trot (which is "tortoise" spelled backward), is one of Roald Dahl's lesser-known pieces of work but also one of his best. The book centers on the life of Mr. Hoppy, a lonely old man who attempts to get the attention of his downstairs neighbor, the widow Mrs. Silver, by using her pet tortoise.
In 2015, the movie was turned into a feature-length television film for the British broadcasting company, the BBC. The movie, which stars the legendary Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench, received positive reviews and was loved by audiences all over the world.
6 The BFG (1989)
The BFG was published in 1982 and was quickly made into an animated movie just seven years later. The movie was first shown in the UK on Christmas day and is now regarded as a Christmas classic. Interestingly, the movie is just one of a select few that Roald Dahl got to witness firsthand before his untimely death in 1990.
Dahl praised the movie, which was unexpected due to his hatred of most other adaptations. In fact, it was even said that at one early screening, Dahl stood up and clapped once the movie had ended.
5 Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is extremely different from other Roald Dahl adaptations and as a result, it's now considered somewhat of a cult classic. The movie, which uses stop motion animation, was directed by the famed director Wes Anderson.
Like all Anderson movies, the film has a certain aesthetic that is not only beautiful but also slightly bizarre. The plot focusses on a fox who steals food for his family from the three mean farmers who live above the ground. The movie was very successful upon its release, even more so due to the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, and Bill Murray.
4 James And The Giant Peach (1996)
Roald Dahl first wrote James and the Giant Peach in 1961. However, it took a whopping thirty years for the book to be made into a feature-length film. The movie was produced by Tim Burton, who later went on to direct his own Dahl feature, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The movie is different and combines live-action with stop-motion animation, a concept that works here.
The plot features another Dahl trope, with the main character James Henry Trotter a young orphan whose parents were eaten by rhinos. James is then sent off to live with his abusive and awful aunts, Spiker and Sponge. The story then involves a giant peach, some magic and some talking insects, perfect for young children.
3 Matilda (1996)
Matilda is a firm favorite for young kids and one of the better-known books from the Roald Dahl cannon. The movie focuses on a young girl named Matilda Wormwood who is often ignored and abused by her parents and her brother. Matilda is also hounded by her school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who makes life miserable for the kids at school.
The movie was exceptionally popular upon its release and remains a classic to this day. In fact, the movie was recently turned into a play that also scored rave reviews at the West End and on Broadway.
2 Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory was one of the first Roald Dahl books to make it on the big screen. The movie, which came out in 1971, received rave reviews, with Gene Wilder's performance as the legendary Willy Wonka praised enormously. However, not everybody was happy, with the creator himself, Roald Dahl, appalled.
In fact, Dahl disowned the film, mainly because they changed the name of the film Willy Wonka & and the Chocolate Factory rather than the original title of, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl was also unimpressed with the musical numbers as well as the changes to the ending.
1 The Witches (1990)
The Witches is often voted as the best Roald Dahl book of all time, with the film also praised for its unique approach to children's book adaptations. The movie, which was released in 1990 and incidentally the same year that Roald Dahl passed away, centers around the little boy Luke who suffers the tragic loss of his parents, classic Dahl.
Luke is then raised by his Grandmother who schools him on the dangers of witches and how to spot them. The movie also stars the legendary actress, Angelica Huston, who plays the Grand High Witch.