Announcing the winners of our Roald Dahl Review Writing Competition

01 Feb 2017

8 mins
The BFG window still
The BFG window still

We're delighted to announce that after receiving an incredible number of entries - totalling over 800 reviews! - that the winners of our Roald Dahl Review Writing Competition have been selected. Without further ado, big congratulations to Esha (aged 11) from The Crest Academy, London, for her review of The BFG; Faith (aged 9) from Meadows Primary School & Nursery, Telford for her review of James and the Giant Peach; and Sam (aged 10) from Giffnock Primary, near Glasgow, for his review of The Witches.

Having had their reviews chosen as the winners from hundreds of entries, our three champion scribes each receive:

  • A Roald Dahl Boxset of 15 books
  • A stop-motion animation do-it-yourself kit
  • A copy of The BFG on DVD

We'd like to thank every single person that left us a Roald Dahl review and entered the competition over the past few months - we're delighted to find that young people still have such a passion for one of the most beloved storytellers in British history - not to mention the incredible film adaptations of his work that continue to light up our screens. You can read all three of the winning reviews below, and check out more of our Roald Dahl articles, resources and film lists on our Roald Dahl page.

And if you enjoyed taking part, why not enter our brand new review writing competition for another chance to hone your critical skills and win more great prizes? Since we're launching it during National Storytelling Week (28 Jan - 4 Feb), this new competition will ask you to review films that feature stories from around the world. Find out how to enter, and which films are eligible, below.

Esha's winning review: The BFG

The BFG was an enthralling, enchanting movie, re-created from the previous 1990s version. The story covers a girl, still in her youth, who encounters a monster. Many children believe this monster to be a myth, however that was abolished when young Sofie met him, the BFG (Big Friendly Monster). Sofie is keen to save the being, mostly because she had witnessed the horror of how the other beasts control and manipulate him. This movie was amazing to watch, due to all the comedy and the storyline. I would rate this movie a 4/5. This is because the film, which was directed by Steven Spielberg (one of the greatest directors of today's age) could've caught more attention from the audience. In the beginning of the film, you start to really grasp the later events of the movie. Many special effects in this movie were realistic, such as the height of The BFG compared to the petite body of Sofie. However, in my opinion, these could have been more realistic in some areas. This movie had great expectations, and most of them were met to a great deal. You can see how this film relates to Roald Dahl's classic. 

The part I enjoyed the most was how Sofie and The BFG went to recruit Queen Victoria to help the duo get rid of the malicious monsters. Those couple of scenes in the movie gripped the audience, as well as made them laugh uncontrollably. However the part I liked least was the beginning, due to the fact that it didn't properly hook the audience. I would recommend this movie to anyone from the age of 6 to 99!

Esha, The Crest Academy, Roald Dahl competition winner

Esha, aged 11

Roald Dahl Review Writing Competition Winner

"It matters not your age, because reading is your own imagination from within, so if you're feeling down, grab your sense of individuality in the form of a book."

Faith's winning review: James and the Giant Peach

From the creators of Coraline and Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, based on the book by Roald Dahl, brings the confidence of following your dreams and never giving up.

James (Paul Terry) is a young boy, who has been an Orphan as his two loving parents died at the same time during the kidnapping and snacking of the great Rhino, who was made out of the strongest thunderstorms to ever exist in our world. He was slaved around by Aunt Sponge (Miriam Margolyes) and Aunt Spiker (Joanna Lumley), who lived in a dreadful place, which was even worse to James, as his bedroom was a basement covered in dust and webs, it was certainly a horrible place! On his great quest to get a real family that actually cared, he meets some amazing friends, the Centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), who solves and many problems as he causes, the sly Spider (Susan Sarandon), whom James saved from death the same day, the Lady bird (Jane Leeves), and old lady bug and but definitely not least, Grasshopper (Simon Callow), the one who loves to make a big noise just like grasshoppers do. 

Like any film, the action scenes all have quick cuts, while the calm atmospheres all have fairly slower cuts. No great differences in the editing, although during the Rhino appearance, the scenes were a bit slow compared to the over intense scenes. 

The animation on this film is amazing, especially the metamorphosis between the animated caterpillar and the realistic James during the dream James had. 

Not many close ups were in the film, it was mainly mediums and wide shots, the close ups were not needed. 

The music really stood out as this is a musical, this makes the film a great film, for its amazing background audio and the songs. Also any sound effects added to the film were all great, they stood out beautifully. 

This film focuses on confidence and dreams, to encourage the viewer to believe in themselves, and to always follow their dreams. It also takes the idea of love and family and puts it in the film to make the film that little bit nicer. It shows the viewer how to be the person anyone should be - curious and confident. 

The film is a great film which I suggest is a 6+ film, for its hilarious Henry Selick style and mythical story. For me this is a 10/10 film, as I loved the book and the film was no different!

Faith, Meadows Primary School & Nursery, Roald Dahl competition winner

Faith, Meadows Primary School & Nursery

Roald Dahl Review Writing Competition Winner

"I liked watching the film and liking it made it easier to write the review. Winning a prize like this is the biggest thing I've ever done. My Dad was so excited he screamed!"

Sam's winning review: The Witches

this is an amazing fantasy based on the book written by Roald Dahl. 

Luke and his grandmother go to a seaside hotel and are horrified to find out that the grand high witch is in the room bellow them and even more horrified to find out her terrible plot to get rid of all the children of England. Who will win the witches or Luke and his grandmother? 

This film was made in 1990 which was before cgi (computer generated images) and used makeup and face paint to use on all the creepy faces of the witches. They used animatronics for the animals. 

this film is definitely recommended for everyone especially Roald Dahl fans.

Sam, Giffnock Primary, Roald Dahl competition winner

Sam, aged 10, Giffnock Primary

Roald Dahl Review Writing Competition Winner

"I didn't really think I would win, but I'm really pleased that I did!"

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