The BFG (Roald Dahl)

The BFG is a children’s novel by Roald Dahl.
Finished on: 18.7.2016

Sophie lives in an orphanage that isn’t exactly the best place as Mrs Clonkers, who runs it, isn’t exactly a good person. But then one night Sophie watches as a huge person in a cloak runs through the city of London, blowing something into people’s bedrooms with a weird trumpet. And then that person sees her watching and simply grabs her. Soon, Sophie finds herself in the country of giants, the mysterious cloakwearer turning out to be a giant himself. Fortunately for Sophie, he’s the smallest and only friendly giant which is why he calls himself the Big Friendly Giant. But when Sophie hears what the other giants are up to every night, she knows that she has to do something.

I’ve loved Roald Dahl ever since I read Matilda as a child, but somehow, The BFG had passed me by so far. It’s a wonderful book and one of Dahl’s more linguistically inventive ones as well – and that is saying something.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: David Greig (book), Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics), Scott Wittman (lyrics)
Based on: Roald Dahl‘s novel
Cast: Joe Butler-Smith, Noah Crump, Johnny Evans-Hutchison, Zachary Loonie, Jonathan Slinger, Barry James
Seen on: 23.10.2015

Charlie (either Joe Butler-Smith, Noah Crump, Johnny Evans-Hutchison or Zachary Loonie) lives with his parents and two sets of grandparents in a small house in the shadow of the huge Wonka chocolate factory. The factory has been closed to people for years, although chocolate is being produced, and nobody has seen the eccentric owner Willy Wonka (Jonathan Slinger) in just as long. But then exciting news is announced: Wonka will hide five golden tickets in his chocolate bars and whoever gets them can visit the factory on a guided tour. Charlie hopes that the one chocolate bar he gets for his birthday every year will be the lucky one. But as ticket after ticket is found, his chances dwindle.

I love Roald Dahl and since we saw the charming Matilda production in London last year, I was happy to give Charlie a try as well. Unfortunately the show doesn’t quite reach the heights it could have, although it is fun, entertaining and – no pun intended – sweet.

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Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Dennis Kelly (book), Tim Minchin (music and lyrics)
Based on: Roald Dahl‘s novel
Cast: Craige Els, Haley Flaherty, James Clyde, Kay Murphy, Lisa Davina Phillip, Jason Winter, Joshua Wyatt, Lottie Sicilia, Violet Tucker, Matilda Shapland, Tasha Chapple

Matilda (Lottie Sicilia, Violet Tucker, Matilda Shapland, Tasha Chapple – unfortunately I don’t know which version I saw) is extremely smart. Which makes her more than stand out in her family – neither her parents (James Clyde, Kay Murphy) nor her brother (Joshua Wyatt) are very intelligent. Or even interested in intellectual pursuits. So Matilda is looking forward to school where she hopes everything will be better. And her teacher Ms Honey (Haley Flaherty) is everything Matilda could have hoped for. But there is also the children-hating, sadistic headmistress Trunchbull (Craige Els) whose mission it is to make everybody miserable.

I really love the novel this is based on. And when I read that Tim Minchin had written the music, I knew that I had to see the show (how lucky that we happened to go to London). And my expectations were high. Fortunately, they were fulfilled.

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Re-Watch: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a movie by Ken Hughes, based on the novel by Ian Fleming. It was written by Roald Dahl and stars Dick van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Gert Fröbe, Heather Ripley and Adrian Hall.

Jemima (Heather Ripley) and Jeremy (Adrian Hall) fall in love with a car that is about to be wrecked. So they ask their father, inventor Caractacus (Dick van Dyke) to buy it for them. He actually succeeds in putting the money together and actually repairing the car. Together, they and Truly (Sally Ann Howes), who gets pulled into their lives by accident go for a picnic. But that’s just the beginning of the adventure.

They showed the movie in the cinema on Christmas Eve and since my sister asked me to babysit my nephew for the day, I had the perfect excuse to go and see it again. Unfortunately it doesn’t stand the test of time quite as well as it should have.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox is the newest stop-motion animation movie by Wes Anderson, based on the book by Roald Dahl, starring the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzmann, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, Jarvis Cocker and Willem Dafoe.

Mr. Fox (George Clooney) is a great thief, but sometimes, he risks too much. When Mrs. Fox (Meryl Streep) gets pregnant, he promises her that he would quit stealing.
A few years later, the Foxes move into a new tree, right across the three biggest and meanest farmers around, Boggis, Bunce and Bean (Michael Gambon). And Mr. Fox can’t help himself – he takes up the thieving again, bringing on problems not only for his family but for all the animals around him.

Even though the plot stayed basically the same as in the book, not much of Roald Dahl is left in the movie. Which in itself is not a bad thing (but a pity). Unfortunately, Anderson outwhimsied himself [(c) deadra] and just got way over the top with this film, at least for me.

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