If there’s one thing that South African kids — and kids the world over — get, it’s the writing of Roald Dahl. This British writer’s books are fantastical and just the right amount of disgusting (Snozzberries!) needed to capture the imagination of the young ‘uns… and the older ‘uns who remember reading the books when they were a lot closer to the ground. Well, you’re all going to get a chance to relive the childhood wonder that Dahl’s books inspire — Netflix has announced that it is making animated features of (most of) Roald Dahl’s works.
The streaming company is making animated versions of many of Dahl’s iconic works. Netflix describes these as “event series and specials”, which sounds to us like a range of lengths from animated short to brief series’ (The Henry Sugar tales would make for a weird kid-friendly Black Mirror knockoff) to full-length feature films. Which properties will get which treatment are yet to be announced.
Netflix has the rights to, and is adapting, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, George’s Marvellous Medicine, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Billy and the Minpins, The Magic Finger, Esio Trot, Dirty Beasts, and Rhyme Stew. Dahl’s autobiographical works Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo are also included on that list. Missing from the list are The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach — the rights for those may live elsewhere at the moment. In the case of The Witches, Robert Zemeckis is playing with that one at present.
Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, said in a statement “Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories. This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Co. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”
It means quite a lot that the family has given their blessing for this project, making us hopeful about some great adaptations to come. Production will start in 2019, so expect a bit of a wait before the Vermicious Knids and friends show up.