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

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:

Meet the four young stars of Broadway's new musical 'Matilda' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Move over, Annie! Broadway has some new pint-size leading ladies vying for the spotlight: the four very young stars of the stage musical version of Roald Dahl’s classic Matilda, which begins performances March 4 before an official April 11 opening at the Shubert Theatre. The Royal Shakespeare Company production, already a hit in London, follows a precocious little girl who must overcome bad parents, a lonely childhood, and a vicious headmistress.

Nine-year-old Sophia Gennusa and 10 year-olds Oona Laurence, Bailey Ryon, and Milly Shapiro will share the role Billy Elliot-style, rotating performances. In this exclusive clip, the quartet of Broadway first-timers display both an imaginative energy and a sense of mischief that helped get them the gig. As the girls sing in the show, “Sometimes you have to be a little bit naughty.”

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read more:
Get pumped for ‘Matilda the Musical’ on Broadway — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Ross Family Movie Challenge: ‘Matilda’ vs. ‘A Cat in Paris’
EW Stage hub

Get pumped for 'Matilda the Musical' on Broadway- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

What’s your favorite Roald Dahl book? The Witches, The BFG, and James and the Giant Peach are all good choices, but no one can deny that Matilda‘s the real classic. Well, the book is finally making its Broadway debut this spring (25 years after the publication of Dahl’s original story) when Matilda the Musical opens on April 11 at the Shubert Theatre — and we’ve got an exclusive teaser trailer with fans and those involved in the production (including the actresses playing Matilda in the different showings) talking about their excellent source material. READ FULL STORY

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