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Matilda (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  2 August 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 81,472 users  
Reviews: 157 user | 40 critic

Story of a wonderful little girl, who happens to be a genius, and her wonderful teacher vs. the worst parents ever and the worst school principal imaginable.



(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
FBI Agent
FBI Agent
Brian Levinson ...
Sara Magdalin ...
Gregory R. Goliath ...
Luther (as Goliath Gregory)
Fred Parnes ...
Leor Livneh Hackel ...
Julius Rottwinkle


A grouchy couple are parents to a very sweet girl, Matilda. Unlike her bratty brother and mean parents, Matilda becomes a very sweet and extremely intelligent 6 year old girl, who is very keen to go to school and read books. After a while, her parents send her to school with the worst principal in the world, a very sweet teacher, and good friends. While trying to put up with her parents' and principal's cruelty, she starts to unwittingly unleash telekinetic powers, destroying a television and making a newt fly onto the principal. With enough practice, Matilda starts to learn to control her telekinetic powers and soon using them on her principal so she can drive her away from the school. Written by anonomys

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A little magic goes a long way. See more »


Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for elements of exaggeRated meanness and ridicule, and for some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roald Dahl's Matilda  »

Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,209,000 (USA) (2 August 1996)


£16,461,008 (UK) (11 April 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As a child, Miss Honey had a doll named Liccy Doll. One of the producers of the film is author Roald Dahl's widow, Liccy Dahl. See more »


In the scene where the newt jumps on Miss Trunchbull, you can see the math problems are perfectly written on the chalkboard before Miss Trunchbull backs into the board. When she moves forward, two of the problems are smudged and one is mostly erased. In the next shot, all of the problems are intact again. See more »


[asked to sign Matilda's adoption papers]
Zinnia Wormwood: You're the only daughter I ever had, Matilda. And I never understood you, not one little bit... Who's got a pen?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening and closing credits are displayed over various colored backgrounds. See more »


Featured in Special Collector's Edition: Especial sonido (2011) See more »


Little Bitty Pretty One
Written by Bobby Day (as Robert Byrd)
Performed by Thurston Harris
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of our favorite family movies
4 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My daughters (ranging from age 9-16) have loved this movie for several years. I am normally a very sensitive person and wasn't disturbed by the macabre tone of the movie. Somehow the movie remains upbeat as Matilda is able to find someone who will love her even though her parents don't appreciate her. Young Mara Wilson shines as Matilda. Each time I watch this I am amazed at her talents at such a young age. I haven't heard of her making any films lately...I hope this is by her own choice.

In addition, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Pam Ferris, and Embeth Davidtz all were wonderful in their roles as Matilda's parents, principal and teacher, respectively. I have read the book, and yes, it is different as far as the setting goes, but in my opinion, they've kept the main ideas quite intact. Movies are almost never the same as books, because by definition they can't be. We have enjoyed watching this as a family for at least 5 years now and will continue to. I just wish they'd release a special edition DVD with COMMENTARY. I'd love to hear from Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman about the making of this someday classic movie. At least it is in my family. My criterion for a classic? We are constantly quoting its script to each other.

UPDATE: They DID release a special edition. It does have some fine extras, but I have to wonder why in the world didn't they offer a widescreen edition? That is a big disappointment.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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