* ApprovalOfGod: Not the film itself (see below) but Roald Dahl was ecstatic when Anjelica Huston was cast as the Grand High Witch. After Spike Milligan wasn't cast as Willy Wonka, Dahl had given up requesting casting decisions for adaptations of his book. But she had been his personal favourite for the role.
* CrossCastRole: The witch extras were played by men in drag. The exceptions are the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) and Miss Irvine (Jane Horrocks).
* DisownedAdaptation: Creator/RoaldDahl allegedly hated the film version so much that he stood outside cinemas with a megaphone telling people not to watch. (He was sick at the time and actually died later that year, so that should give you an idea of how much he hated it.) There was at least ''one thing'' he liked about the movie, though: Anjelica Houston's performance as The Grand High Witch.
* PlayingAgainstType: Rowan Atkinson as a serious hotel manager, who's the OnlySaneMan to the rest of the wacky characters.
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: The production company folded after the film was completed, and it languished for over a year until Warner Bros picked it up and released it.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Before Anjelica Houston was cast, Creator/{{Cher}}, Eartha Kitt, Fiona Fullerton, Geneviève Bujold, Starr Andreef, Olivia Hussey, Creator/SigourneyWeaver, Frances Conroy, and Liza Minnelli were all at some point considered for the role of The Grand High Witch.
** An ending more in line with the book's was filmed but test audiences disliked it. So instead [[spoiler: an ending where Luke is turned back into a boy, with the same being implied to happen to Bruno too]] was inserted. As noted above, Dahl was not happy with this change.
* WrittenInInfirmity: Mai Zetterling (Grandma) really did have a missing finger, which was exploited for the film. A marginal example, as Grandmamma has a missing thumb in the book too.