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Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl: 5 favorite movie adaptations and their magical messages

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Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Happy Birthday Roald Dahl!

Dahl, author of many a splendiferous tome, was always a champion for those without a big voice but with monstrously-sized dreams. Whether it be a teeny child genius, a wily fox, or a truly rotten character like the terrifying Trunchbull, the Grand High Witch, or Veruca Salt, Dahl sculpted a universe that brought the fleeting magic of childhood and our nemesis parents, to life.

The author, who died in 1990, would have been 97 years old today. Welsh-born and raised by Norwegian parents, Dahl developed his love for tall tales from his mother’s stories and his dad’s diary-writing habits. For the first decade and a half of his career, he wrote primarily stories for adults, according to his official website, before penning children’s classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, The Witches, and more. He died Nov. 23, 1990, when he was 74.

So do your part to commemorate this wonderful author, whether it’s by talking about your favorite Dahl book, throwing your own Roald Dahl Day celebration, dressing up as one of his indelible characters, and this goes without saying, diving into one of his books (and don’t dare look up until you’ve hit the final page).

To celebrate here are 5 of his book-to-movie adaptations and their memorable messages:

1. Matilda: Sometimes, parents can be villains, and being an adult doesn’t make them morally correct all the time.

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox: More than just a foxes versus farmers plot, Mr. Fox and his son Ash grapple with their ideas of self, are they their past or is it hereditary?

3. James and the Giant Peach: In this fantastical world of giant insects found inside a stone fruit, James finds friendship and the strength to keep dreaming in spite of adversity.

4. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: (I’m a sucker for the 1971 version.) Magic. Imagination. Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. This clip says it all.

5. The Witches: A familiar evil adults versus children theme runs rampant, but particularly a lesson about being skeptical of initial appearances.

What are your favorite Roald Dahl stories? Tell us in the comments.


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