Matilda, published in 1988, is one of Roald Dahl’s most charming and well-loved books. Before being made into a fantasy film for the ages in 1996, it was able to entertain and inspire children and adults all over the world. Mara Wilson gave an outstanding performance at the center of the film, but it was Danny DeVito’s direction, production, and co-starring role that really stood out. Matilda was a perfectly cast film with his then-wife, Rhea Perlman, as well as Pam Ferris and Embeth Davidtz. With no sequel or remake in the works (yet), moviegoers will have to wait and hope for another picture like Matilda. This has been made a little easier with the help of this list of features that should appeal to fans.
Table Of Content
- 1 Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
- 2 Home Alone (1990)
- 3 James And The Giant Peach (1996)
- 4 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
- 5 Spy Kids (2001)
- 6 Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- 7 Stuart Little (1999)
- 8 The Witches (1990)
- 9 Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)
- 10 Wonder (2017)
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
The Prisoner Of Azkaban’s opening sequence has a lot in common with Matilda’s. She and Harry share a home with a family who could care less about her and is constantly rude, mean, and favors their other child. Aside from that, they both have magical abilities that enable them to do a range of bizarre things. Pam Ferris, who plays Miss Trunchbull in Matilda and Aunt Marge in The Prisoner Of Azkaban, is the final link between these two films.
Home Alone (1990)
Kevin McAllister may not have the same ‘powers’ as Matilda, but he does have a talent for something: he can evaluate events in such a way that he can foresee people’s motions, while also having an exceptional capacity to build devices far beyond the quality that anyone else his age could reach. Their mutual capacity to find humor and fun in what are, for a child, horrible conditions creates an obvious link between the two films.
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James And The Giant Peach (1996)
James And The Giant Peach is the final Roald Dahl adaptation on our list. The plot of the 1996 film revolves around a little kid named James and his… a colossal peach Henry Selick created the surreal fantasy of the film, but Tim Burton’s production adds a layer of madness to the mix of live-action and animation. In James And The Giant Peach, as in other Dahl stories, there is a definite element of darkness mixed with humor and tenderness.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Finally, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest transports viewers to 1975 and one of the all-time great flicks. Anyone who has seen Matilda will enjoy this film on a technical level because it is so objectively good. The interest here, though, comes from a youthful Danny DeVito. Given that he directed, produced, and co-starred in Matilda, one of his earliest and most comic parts seems appropriate to include on this list.
Spy Kids (2001)
The naivety of the two main characters in Spy Kids is strikingly similar to Matilda’s character and the escapades she finds herself in.
Matilda’s training for her abilities is similar to how Carmen and Juni learn about their parents’ careers and prepare to become spies.
Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Isn’t Matilda’s power similar to that of the Force? She has the ability to use her mind in a way that allows her to control the movement of items she isn’t touching. Yoda moves an X-Wing while she moves a water jug. It is, without a doubt, a similar skill. Star Wars’ sci-fi may not have a strong relationship to Matilda, but for fans of her abilities, the entire Star Wars universe has much to offer.
Stuart Little (1999)
While The Witches is about people who are changed into mice, Stuart Little is about a mouse who is turned into a mouse. In fact, it’s a talking one. He stays with the Little family (who are diametrically opposed to Matilda’s family), and the film chronicles his growth as he learns to function in the human world. While Mrs. Little’s portrayal is similar to Miss Honey’s, and Stuart’s fictional father has some resemblance to Harry Wormwood, there is a parallel between Matilda and Stuart.
The Witches (1990)
The Witches, a 1990 film, was one of the best big-screen adaptations of a Roald Dahl book. It’s about Luke and a gang of witches who are hell-bent on converting every child into a mouse. Dahl’s whimsical dark humor pours through here, while aspects of surrealism, magic, and fantasy are all on show for all to witness.
Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)
Roald Dahl’s much-loved chocolate-centric Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is another Roald Dahl masterpiece. Mel Stuart directed the first musical adaption in 1971, taking spectators on a journey through a wonderful, surrealist universe. Charlie Bucket’s parents are charming, yet they live in filth. In the same way that Matilda tells the amazing story of Matilda and Miss Honey’s friendship, the film portrays the heartwarming and amusing story of Charlie and his family’s change of fortune.
Wonder was a heartwarming and moving comedy-drama released in 2017. It told the narrative of Auggie, a young kid with Treacher Collins Syndrome, and his battle to fit in (a genetic disorder that causes deformities in the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin). His growing acceptance, as well as the film’s overall upbeat tone, have strong parallels to Matilda.
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