Roald Dahl would have been 99 years old today, and to celebrate his birthday why not watch one of the movie adaptations of his novels? Click on each movie title for our Movies4Kids review, and check out the clips below, too.
A new film version, directed by Steven Spielberg no less and written by Melissa Mathison (the pair also worked together on classic kids weepy ET: The Extra Terrestrial) is being released in summer 2016. In the meantime, watch this lovely 1989 animated version featuring David Jason as the voice of the Big Friendly Giant and Amanda Root as little orphan Sophie.
Fantastic Mr Fox
There has been an opera version of Dahl’s story, but kids will prefer this stop-motion animated comedy featuring the voices of George Clooney, Bill Murray, Mery Streep and Michael Gambon.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
The second film version of perhaps Dahl’s most famous book (see Willy Wonka, below), this has director Tim Burton reteaming with his Edward Scissorhands leading man Johnny Depp for a suitably dark version of the story. There is also, of course, a terrific stage musical version of the story currently in London’s West End.
James And The Giant Peach
A superb stop-motion animated version of the story, featuring Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon and David Thewlis as some of the creatures James meets inside the giant peach.
Nicolas Roeg – best known for grown-up movies like Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth – directed this adventure that stars Angelica Huston as the leader of a group of witches. Rowan Atkinson, Brenda Blethyn and Jane Horrocks also star.
Danny The Champion Of The World
Jeremy Irons stars with his son Samuel in this lovely movie adaptation of Dahl’s novel made in 1989, originally for TV.
Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
A 1971 adaptation of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, with Gene Wilder as chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka. Dahl disowned the film because he felt there was too much emphasis on Willy and not enough on Charlie, and because he hated some of the changes to his original screenplay.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay – based on Ian ‘James Bond’ Fleming’s novel – for this beloved classic that features one of the scariest characters ever to appear in a family movie (the child catcher, of course).
Adapted into a successful stage musical and also this comedy movie starring Mara Wilson as Matlida, and Danny DeVito (who also directed) and Rhea Perlman as her nasty parents.