Roald Dahl is one of the most acclaimed authors and has been thrilling children with this tales of adventures for generations.



The BFG is the latest to get a big screen makeover as Steven Spielberg is behind the first live-action adaptation of this classic.

To celebrate the release of The BFG this week, we take a look at some of the Dahl adaptations that have been released over the years.

- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a movie that is over forty years old and is one of the most famous Roald Dahl adaptations.

The movie was based on the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and saw Gene Wilder take on the central role of Willy Wonka while Mel Stuart was in the director's chair.

Peter Ostrum played Charlie Bucket in the film while Jack Albertson, Roy Kinnear, Julie Dawn Cole, and Leonard Stone were just some of the other actors who were on board.

Upon release in 1971, the film was a moderate success - making more money at the box office when it was re-released over twenty years later.

However, the movie has gained a cult following and is one of the most memorable Dahl adaptations. Sadly, Dahl was not a fan of the film and was disappointed that the movie focused more of Willy Wonka than on Charlie Bucket.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

- The Witches (1990)

Roald Dahl returned to the big screen in 1990 when an adaptation of The Witches was released.

Directed by Nicolas Roeg, The Witches follows Luke, a young boy who stumbles onto a witch convention and must stop them, even after he has been turned into a mouse.

The movie marked the return of Roeg to the director's chair for what was his first feature since Track 29back in 1988, Allan Scott was also on board, having turned Dahl's book into a screenplay.

Anjelica Huston was the big name on the cast list as she took on the role of Eva Ernst aka the Grand High Witch. Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson, Jane Horrocks, and Bill Paterson were just some of the other names that were on board.

The Witches was met well by the critics upon release - Huston's performance and the makeup that was used in the film came in for particular praise. However, it was a film that went on to struggle at the box office.

The Witches

- James and the Giant Peach (1996)

We saw quite a few Dahl adaptations in the nineties and James and the Giant Peach was one of them, released back in 1996.

Hard to believe that this film is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year but it was a movie that mixed live action with some wonderful stop-motion animation.

Henry Selick was in the director's chair for the film while Tim Burton served as producer. This was only the second feature film of Selick's career and came three years after the success of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which was also a project with Burton.

Paul Terry took on the role of James while Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes played James' aunts in the live-action segments. Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, and David Thewlis were just some of the stars who lent their voices to the film.

James and the Giant Peach is a wonderful tribute to the imagination of Dahl as an enchanting world has been created that still looks amazing.

James and the Giant Peach was a hit with Dahl's widow, with the critics, and went on to pick up a string of award nominations, including Best Animated Feature at the Annie Awards.

Randy Newman was also nominated for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score for his work on the film; losing out to Emma.

James and the Giant Peach

- Matilda (1996)

1996 was a great year if you were a Roald Dahl fan because Matilda was another film that was also released into cinemas. It remains a much-loved adaptation of a popular book.

Matilda marked the return of actor turned filmmaker Danny DeVito to the director's chair and was the fourth feature of his career; following on from Throw Momma from the Train, The War of the Roses and Hoffa.

As well as being in the director's chair, DeVito also took on the role of Mr. Wormwood alongside Mara Wilson, who starred as Matilda. Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris were also on board.

This adaptation may have moved away from the book a little, but it captured the heart and the spirit of the book nonetheless. Wilson gives a terrific performance in the central role and captures this character perfectly.

The movie was a bit critical hit and went on to gross over $62 million at the global box office - making back its $36 million budget.


- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

When it comes to Roald Dahl books being adapted for the big screen, there is currently none more successful than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory back in 2005.

Tim Burton has already served as producer on James and the Giant Peach and now he moved into the director's chair to bring his own flair to this well-known story.

The movie saw the filmmaker reunite with Johnny Depp, as the Oscar-nominated actor took on the role of Willy Wonka - a part that was perfect for him. Freddie Highmore starred as Charlie Bucket while David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Christopher Lee, and Noah Taylor were all on board.

While Burton does may fun additions to this tale, Charlie, and the Chocolate Factory is closer to the original than the 1971 film. It is a movie that is dark and Depp gives and funny and sometimes creepy performance as Wonka.

Thrown in some terrific visuals - and Burton tried to stay away from digital effects as much as he could - and you have a film that really is great for all the family.

The collaboration of Burton, Depp, and Dahl was a huge box office success as the film went on to gross $475 million worldwide. It finished the year as the eighth highest-grossing movie.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

- Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a Roald Dahl book that was published back in 1970 and was adapted for the big screen in 2009 by filmmaker Wes Anderson.

The visionary filmmaker was in the director's chair for the movie and teamed up with Noah Baumbach to turn Dahl's book into a screenplay. This was the first film for Anderson since The Darjeeling Limited and the first time that he had tackled an animation project.

The movie follows an urbane fox who cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

George Clooney brought the character of Mr. Fox to life and was joined on the cast list by Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray Willem Dafoe, and Owen Wilson.

Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the most original animated movies to hit the big screen in 2009 and was another triumph for Anderson - it really is a true visual treat. It is almost as is Anderson was destined to adapt one of Dahl's books as they both have such a wonderful sense of imagination.

Fantastic Mr. Fox a movie that was met incredibly well by the critics but did struggle a little at the box office. The film took $46.4 million worldwide - just making back its budget of $40 million.

The movie went on to be nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscar and Golden Globes but was to lose out to Pixar's Up.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The BFG is released 22nd July.

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