The BFG trailer was released earlier this week and although it is a teaser, it looks great. Roald Dahl has a good record for producing great source material which subsequently become very good films. There have been a few missteps but they are mostly top quality, with the poorest of them being when the director/screenwriter decides to change the source material.
Looking at “The Roald Dahl Collection” that my wife owns, it soon occured to me that there are very few Roald Dahl books which haven’t had the movie treatment. Some are very famous, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Matilda. Others may have snuck past without anyone realising, like Danny the Champion of the World or last year’s BBC adaptation of Esio Trot.
They haven’t all been adapted though and I thought it was time to complete the Roald Dahl movie collection and highlight some that need to reach the big screen – starting with one of my favourites:
The Twits is a fantastic book. It was one of my favourite’s growing-up and could be made into a delightfully disgusting movie. The tale of a revolting, warring married couple, who play pranks on each other and then meet their comeuppance at the hands of the monkeys they’ve kept prisoner is a children’s movie dream and could be a great, animated classic.
George’s Marvellous Medicine
This was another well-known favourite which shocks me for having not been made a movie yet. The tale of the young boy who gets revenge on his grouchy, cruel Grandma with a strange concoction that is his “medicine.” The effects are imaginative and make for another, very funny and charming potential movie.
The Magic Finger
A lesser known story but one that is yet to be made. Another revenge based tale, this time about a girl with a magic finger. This is more transforming and mischief at the hands of cruel adults that Roald Dahl seems to relish in.
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Another story which seems to be forgotten in Roald Dahl’s collection. This tale isn’t revenge based but is instead the ingenious idea of a boy starting a window cleaning service with a giraffe, a monkey and a pelican. The story progresses in the usual way; with a Royal appointment!
Boy and Going Solo
The most extraordinary books that Roald Dahl wrote. If you were to read both Boy and Going Solo without prior knowledge you’d get the tale of a boy who gets up to mischief (and ultimately canings from the headmaster) including placing a rat in a sweet jar to get free confectionery or using soap shavings to stop another boy snoring!
That boy then grew up in Going Solo to become a fighter pilot in Africa, surviving plane crashes, snake bites and the war itself! Eventually, with a life as exciting as that, he became an acclaimed children’s author!
These books are ripe for adaptation because they are the true stories of Roald Dahl’s life and comprise his autobiography. A great pair of books which demonstrate that fact can be just as fascinating as fiction.
Overall, the final books in Roald Dahl’s children collection that haven’t been adapted. I can’t see it taking long, especially if Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is as good as the first trailer looked. For The Twits, Boy and Going Solo, it can’t be too soon!