Netflix reveals plans to adapt Roald Dahl stories

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG and Twits to receive animated treatment

Roald Dahl: Netflix is turning his stories into an animated series. Photograph: Ronald Dumant/Getty

Roald Dahl: Netflix is turning his stories into an animated series. Photograph: Ronald Dumant/Getty

 

Beloved Roald Dahl classics including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Esio Trot; The Twits and The BFG are set to get the Netflix treatment next year, with the streaming giant and the author’s estate announcing a slew of animated adaptations and plans for a “story universe” that would go beyond Dahl’s published work.

On Tuesday, Netflix confirmed it had secured the rights for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; the sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator; The BFG – most recently adapted by Steven Spielberg in 2017 – The Twits; Matilda; George’s Marvellous Medicine; Boy: Tales of Childhood; Going Solo; The Enormous Crocodile; The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me; Henry Sugar; Billy and the Minpins; The Magic Finger; Esio Trot; Dirty Beasts; and Rhyme Stew.

Not included in the deal are novels such as James and the Giant Peach; Danny the Champion of the World; or Fantastic Mr Fox, which was most recently adapted by Wes Anderson in 2009.

Netflix confirmed that production will begin on the first of the Dahl animated series in 2019, but no schedule has been announced.

“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,” said Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl. “This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”

Netflix said it intends to be faithful to “the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl”, but also announced that it would be “building out an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves”.

“Immersing ourselves in the extraordinary worlds of Roald Dahl stories has been an honour and a massive amount of fun,” said Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s vice president of kids and family content.

Netflix’s move into animation comes after years of licensing films and series from Disney, which has plans to launch its own streaming service in 2019. The move will see Disney remove its content from third-party services, in the hopes that fans will follow.

Netflix is now investing hundreds of millions of dollars into animation and has unveiled several films and series, including a stop-motion adaptation of Pinocchio to be directed by the Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro, an original animated series by the Book of Life director Jorge Gutiérrez, called Maya and the Three, and an adaptation of the Lois Lowry children’s book The Willoughbys. Guardian

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