BY FIONA MACKIE
NETFLIX announced yesterday on Twitter that the online streaming service will be remaking Roald Dahl’s best known books in animation form.
This will include well – known favourites Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, along with The BFG, George’s Marvellous Medicine, and The Twits.
Roald Dahl is still incredibly popular with his works today, despite his last book Esio Trot being released in 1990, the same year he died. Since passing away, the following year two books were published posthumously called The Minpins and The Vicar of Nibblewicke.
As of 2015, Dahl’s books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and are available in 59 languages. The biggest seller of Roald Dahl’s books is the 2007 edition of The Twits, with 302,300 copies sold. However, if combining figures across all editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the book is a clear winner with 990,711 copies sold.
Dahl’s The BFG, released in 1982, is a personal favourite of all of his books. An extension of short story Danny, the Champion of the World, the book is dedicated to his late daughter Olivia, who died of measles complications at the age of seven in 1962.
In 2016, Steven Spielberg directed and produced the big screen adaptation of the book, which achieved critical acclaim from audiences. The film received an approval rating of 75 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, with Scott Mendelson of Forbes describing the film as “a charming, intelligent, and witty little adventure movie with strong special effects work in the service of a most unassuming story.” The centenary edition of the book was released in February of 2016, with a copy being released with the film’s poster as a new cover in June. The two editions sold over 40,000 copies and charted in the Children’s Top 10 book chart in July.
The news of the Netflix project came as a surprise to some fans, with many expressing their excitement for the new films.
Matilda is a clear favourite among many fans on Twitter, with the book being the top voted for in a poll. James and the Giant Peach came last, despite being the first novel Roald Dahl wrote for children.
Now, Netflix has in their hands the books that defined many childhoods and are the inspiration for many authors and illustrators today.
Bestselling children’s author Cathy Cassidy has been a fan of Roald Dahl’s work for many years. She said: “Roald Dahl’s books have brought so much joy to children and adults alike for decades. I have always enjoyed his books and shared them with my own children. I think it’s wonderful to watch his creations come alive on screen and I can’t wait to watch!”
Melissa Cobb, a spokesperson for Netflix, said: “We have great creative ambition to reimagine the journeys of so many treasured Dahl characters in fresh, contemporary way with the highest quality animation and production values.”
Production is set to start creating the animated series in 2019.