Reinventing literary classics for children

By | Entertainment
The Big Friendly Giant by Roald Dahl.Credit@THE BFG illustration © Quentin Blake"

The talents of Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg are set to unite this 2016, bringing Dahl’s beloved children’s literature classic “The BFG” to motion picture. The CGI adaptation may follow the previous success of Dahl novels ‘James and the Giant Peach’, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, in one of the author’s many novel to film adaptations.

The fantasy adventure follows the novels plot of the story of a young girl and a giants’ unlikely friendship, in which the gentle and charming giant whisks her away to the ‘Dream Country’ where he teaches her of the magic and mystery of dreams. 

This year may also demonstrate a current wave of novel to film adaptations seeing “Alice and the Looking glass” reinvented alongside ‘The BFG’ this year. The film may also contribute to marking the revival of the novel form for children, with the adaption having the ability to ensure a new generation of young people are able to engage with the story; expanding audiences of all ages to enjoy the works of Roald Dahl.  Additionally, it may mark the exploration of a modern and innovative way available to re-tell stories of a previous era, such as the form of an aesthetically vibrant 3D experience. The adaptations ability to also re-emerge the moral questions of the novel, for example the relationship between humans and ideas of ‘Other’, in this case the giants, may also instil a sense of belonging amongst children.

‘The BFG’.Credit@Flickr

Speilberg commented on the timeless magic of Roald Dahl stories stating “I think it was kind of genius of Roald Dahl to be able to empower the children. It was very, very brave of him to introduce [the] combination of darkness and light which was so much Disney’s original signature in a lot of their earlier works, like in ‘Dumbo,’ ‘Fantasia,’ ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella,’ and being able to do spooky, however also be redemptive at the same time and teach a lesson, an enduring lesson, to everyone. It was a wonderful thing for Dahl to have done, and it was one of the things [which] attracted me to want to direct this Dahl book.” Steven Spielberg’s role as the Director may also generate a larger level of appeal to the movie, following the renowned success as a global award winning director of children’s movies such as, ‘The Adventures of Tin Tin’.

The July 2016 release date of the film may be set to mark the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and therefore may heighten the level of current interest in the literary figure. With his stories available in 59 languages and with more than 200 million book sales worldwide, the centenary celebrations may expand across a global scale. The Visit Wales website has documented a variety of arts organisations seeking to come together for a series of events, seeking to mark his legacy. Roald Dahl 100 aims to build on the Dylan Thomas centenary success in 2014. They may include National Theatre Wales, Wales Millennium Centre and Literature Wales, who have unveiled details of a programme of events celebrating all things Dahl, who may have the ability to take the wonders of Roald Dahl and his characters far and wide.

This may also coincide with the Land of Song project in schools, inspired by Dahl and an exhibition of illustrations by principal Dahl artist Quentin Blake, which may align with World Book day. These events, alongside the release of Disney’s ‘The BFG’ may contribute to the expansion of the Roald Dahl readership, as well as a new generation of interest in Roald Dahl events. Likewise, individuals may look into other film adaptations of novels as ways to engage in children’s literary classics.

How may the 2016 film ‘The BFG’ engage new audiences to the 1980s classic?


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