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In this video, we take a look at the fantastic stories by Roald Dahl, and their big screen adaptations.
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A Look at Roald Dahl Movie Adaptations
Several of its best selling novels have been transformed into cinemas most iconic films. Welcome to watchmojo.com and today we’ll be taking a look at beloved children author Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl was born in Wales and lived from 1916-1990 long before becoming an author. He was a young rebellious prankster who clash with his authority figures. One of his pranks resulted in his expulsion from his hometown cathedral school.
As a result, his parents sent him off to several boarding schools in England where he became the victim of abuse. This eventually inspired him to pen his darker children stories such as Matilda and The Witches. Both narrators portrayed adults as villains and were told from a child’s point of view.
Many of the fantastical elements of Dahl’s stories came from the mythical Norwegian tales. His mother used to tell him before bed. Dahl also wrote the story of the BFG which told the tale of a friendly giant who was isolated from the rest of his fellow giants.
What's interesting is that Dahl himself achieve giant like proportions as he measured an impressive six feet, six inches tall. Some of Dahl stories were so dark in tone but they have been subject to censorship. One such example is his masterpiece, James and the Giant Peach. A tale inspired by the lost of his father that was brought to the screen by Tim Burton in 1996.
Fortunately, Dahl was also inspired by the lighter moments that he experienced in his youth such as when Cadbury sent boxes of chocolates to his school to be tested by the students. This caused Dahl to fantasize about inventing a new chocolate bar that could get the attention of Mr. Cadbury himself. His flight of fancy became the inspiration for one of his most beloved stories of all time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a tale that has been told twice on the big screen.
The first version Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory had the author’s direct involvement but an anger Dahl parted from the project as the studio altered many of the elements of his story to suit their commercial interests. Once, such change was the title from Charlie to Willy Wonka as during the Vietnam War. Charlie was a nickname for the Vietcong and a fascinating move Tim Burton again sought to bring Dahl vision to the big screen by directing the 2005 remake which portrayed Dahl’s original source material even more closely than studios had allowed decades earlier.
Roald Dahl had a unique life that’s stretch beyond producing children stories. As an adult, he served as a wing commander in the British air force and as an agent of the British foreign intelligence service. This experience as an espionage in war helped him write more mature themes for the various screen play adaptations of novels by Ian Fleming including James Bonds You Only Live Twice. However, his love of flight and fantasy merge with the release of 1968 Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang.
Over his lifetime, many of his short story collections have been adapted for television. His tales of the unexpected anthology became a television series and his more mature stories which venture far from children tales became episodes on Alfred Hitchcock presents. However, his writings for Playboy Magazine have yet to be option for television or film. Since his death, Roald Dahl’s beloved collection of stories has become incredibly enticing for film studios seeking to capitalize on their appeal.
West Anderson’s 2009 version of the fantastic Mr. Fox has been considered a special event as Dahl’s widow rarely grants permission to adapt Dahl’s stories to the big screen. Filmmakers must meet her rigorous standards as she continues to diligently preserve the integrity of Dahl’s original creative vision.