Roald Dahl in Cinema

Matilda
Matilda

2016 is the centenary year of one of the most beloved children's authors of all time. Roald Dahl's unique ability to tap into young people's imaginations, voices, and anxieties remains unparalleled and has resulted in a number of brilliant film adaptations of his work. All are fantastic in their own right and serve as the perfect way to encourage young people today to discover the writing of one of the greatest authors of the 20th century, ensuring that his work continues to be passed from generation to generation.

You can also check out our Dahl-themed podcast suitable for primary-aged clubs.

Matilda

CertPG

Age group5–11

Duration98 mins

Matilda(1996)

Adaptation of the popular Roald Dahl book about a girl with sunny self-reliance and special powers who attends a school with a bullying headmistress.

Dahl’s classic story of a young genius battling against her neglectful parents and terrifying headmistress is a delightful film taking in themes of kindness, bullying and learning, all with a little sprinkling of magic. The film is perfect for instilling a love of reading and curiosity, whilst also discovering to stand up for yourself and others.

Read more
Fantastic Mr Fox

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration85 mins

Fantastic Mr Fox(2009)

Stop-motion animation version of Roald Dahl's woodland tale that combines a beautiful old-fashioned aesthetic with Wes Anderson's trademark dialogue.

This stop-motion animation from Wes Anderson appeals to all ages. An all-star cast provide the voices for the residents of Squab farm, as, led by the cunning Mr. Fox they set about giving farmers Boggus, Bunce and Bean their just desserts. Perfect for introducing young people to notions of heroes and villains, celebrating difference and exploring Dahl’s playful language.

Read more
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration95 mins

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory(1971)

Visually brilliant 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation about a little boy who wins a tour of the maddest sweet factory in the world!

The much-loved story of Charlie Bucket, who wins a golden opportunity to take a tour of the greatest – and most mysterious – chocolate factory in the world has a suitably eccentric musical adaptation here. The film has developed a cult following, with Gene Wilder’s performance as Willy Wonka arguably never bettered. As continuingly delightful as an Everlasting Gobstopper.

Read more
James and the Giant Peach

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration79 mins

James and the Giant Peach(1996)

Stuck with his evil aunts, James creates a magical, enormous peach. Befriending the charming insects inside, he attempts an escape.

The strange story of James escaping from his hated aunts inside an enormous, magical peach was exquisitely brought to screen using a mixture of live action and stop-motion adaptation. A classic adventure story, about learning to overcome your fears.

Read more
The Witches

CertPG

Age group5–14

Duration87 mins

The Witches(1990)

A brilliantly creepy Roald Dahl adaptation about a 9 year-old orphan who has a run in with some witches during a holiday with his grandmother.

Celebrated director Nicholas Roeg was the perfect choice to bring Dahl’s creepy story of an orphan boy stumbling across a witches convention in the hotel he is staying in with his grandmother. Heaps of fun, but also genuinely scary at times, you may want to turn yourself into a mouse and scurry away at times, but don’t, because this adaptation is one of the best!

Read more
Danny, The Champion of the World

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration94 mins

Danny, The Champion of the World(1989)

A father and son live happily together until their home is threatened by a local businessman.

This gentle story of a boy and his father fighting to stop some land developers from taking over where they live remains charming, nostalgic, and terrific fun. The film can also be used to explore notions of animal welfare, as well as encouraging young audiences to come up with various devious plans of their own!

Read more
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration110 mins

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005)

Roald Dahl's classic confectionary tale comes to life in this entrancing film from Tim Burton.

This lavish, colourful adaptation from Tim Burton – who was drawn to the story for its understanding that “children can be adults” - uses all of its vast budget to put Dahl’s extraordinary imagination on screen like never before. With Johnny Depp front-and-centre as Willy Wonka, this musical extravaganza is as much fun as swimming in chocolate.

Read more
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

CertU

Age group5–14

Duration146 mins

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang(1968)

An unsuccessful inventor rescues an old car which acquires magic properties...

Roald Dahl served as screenwriter on one of the most endearing children’s films of all time. Based around a struggling inventor rescuing an old car which acquires magical properties, the film fits in with the true golden age of Hollywood family musicals. Just watch out for the chilling Child-catcher, who is still sure to give audiences of all ages nightmares!

Read more
Load more

Viewing 0 of 0 films in list