Trivia / Matilda

The book

  • Technology Marches On: In today's age of cell phones with cameras, Mrs. Trunchbull's violent actions against the children "whom nobody would believe if you would have told them" wouldn't remain a Dark Secret long, as they'd undoubtedly catch these actions and post them to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and this would prompt a lot of police visits to the school.
  • What Could Have Been: When the book was still in the works, the protagonist was intended to be male, continuing the trend of little-boy protagonists in other Roald Dahl books.

The movie

  • Acclaimed Flop: The movie was not a box office success, but was received very well from critics and audiences for staying true to the book. It gained a bigger audience on video and on television. Matilda is one of a multitude of acclaimed flops to have come from a Roald Dahl story.
  • Creator Cameo: The portrait of Magnus, Miss Honey's father, is a portrait of Roald Dahl.
  • Creator In-Joke: Miss Honey named her doll 'Liccy Doll'. Roald Dahl's daughter, who was a producer on the film, is called Liccy.
  • Directed by Cast Member: Danny DeVito is the director, the narrator, and Harry Wormwood, as well as serving as one of the producers.
  • Large Ham: It's quite clear that Pam Ferris had quite a blast as the evil Trunchbull.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman play utterly rotten parents to Matilda. Mara Wilson describes the two of them as lovely people whom she loved working with.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Mara Wilson mentioned that she and her siblings were longtime fans of the book, and that she put a very serious effort into doing the role properly as the book and character meant so much to her. It is the role she is best identified with, feels is the closest to real life personality, and feels she did the best performance of. She later gave her approval and acclaim to Matlida The Musical.
  • Real-Life Relative: Zinnia Wormwood is Danny DeVito's wife Rhea Perlman.
  • Throw It In: A minor example; As Matilda prepares to go on her first day of school she wears a blue sweater, but Mara Wilson thought it was too itchy and didn't like wearing it. So for the next scene when she gets in the car Wilson took off the sweater and left it folded on her lap.
  • What Could Have Been: Originally, Mariska Hargitay was supposed to have played Miss Honey, while Richard Donner was supposed to direct.

The musical

  • Dawson Casting: The older children are played by adults and they look it. It seems odd when they show up in Revolting Children.
    • Intentionally so: to a five year old on her first day at school, the place is full of intimidating giants who look like this.
    • Also Matilda is supposedly a 5 year old. But is played by 9 - 12 year olds. But baring in most of them are Older Than They Look. However original Matilda Kerry Ingram could pass on her own but next to the others not so much.
    • A special mention goes to Sophia Kiely who was 12 by the time she left looked nothing like her age. Also she is regarded as one on the best Matilda's
    • Heather Tepe, of the Broadway production, is currently a swing for Lavender, Nigel, Amanda, Eric, Alice, and Tommy.
    • Beatrice Tulchin, Broadway's original Amanda (who is supposedly near Matilda's age), began the role at 11 1/2 and finished at 13 1/2.
    • On the 2015 National Tour, 20 year-old Megan McGuff played 10 year-old Hortensia, who is normally played by child actresses close to the character's age.

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