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Matilda (1996)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  2 August 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 80,494 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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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


Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. 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?


The films official trailer featured music from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Harry Belafonte's "Jump in the Line" which was featured prominently in _Beetlejuice_. See more »


Just after Miss Trunchbull suspects there is someone in her house, she comes over to the foyer area and looks up. At this point, Matilda and Miss Honey are looking through the banister and we can clearly see that Miss Trunchbull is looking directly at them. So they really would have been caught. See more »


Matilda: Why don't you run away?
Jenny: I've often thought about it, but... I can't abandon my children. And if I couldn't teach, I'd have nothing at all.
Matilda: You're very brave, Miss Honey.
Jenny: Not as brave as you.
Matilda: I thought grown-ups weren't afraid of anything.
Jenny: Quite the contrary. All grown-ups get scared, just like children.
Matilda: I wonder what Miss Trunchbull is afraid of.
See more »

Crazy Credits

  • Mr. Speaker

  • Sir Isaac

  • Wayne

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Features Pray for Death (1985) See more »


Send Me On My Way
Written by Michael Glabicki, Liz Berlin, John Buynak, James Dispirito (as James DiSpirito), Jim Donovan (as James Donovan), Patrick Norman, and Jenn Wertz
Performed by Rusted Root
Courtesy of Mercury Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Americanized, but still good
12 December 2002 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

One of my most highly-anticipated films, 'Matilda' is both a treat and a disappointment. The casting of Mara Wilson as the title character is ingenious - the little girl exudes the qualities set forth in Roald Dahl's classic. Unfortunately, the filmmakers apparently could not resist the urge to alter the book, in which Matilda is British and lives in a small village. The movie version, of course, depicts Matilda as American, but what's worse, that she lives in a larger area. This detracts somewhat from the bucolic setting of the book, although not enough to create a starkly different environment.

The casting of Embeth Davidtz as "Miss Honey" was another great choice. While not what I had pictured from the book, Miss Davidtz captures the warmth and energy of the young teacher. Pam Ferris, as the grotesque "Miss Trunchbull," is simply outstanding. Both her demeanor and her looks bring the book's character alive.

'Matilda,' while straying from the book's true form, is still highly enjoyable to watch, especially for those of us who have read the Dahl's masterpiece. Those who enjoy 'Matilda' should also enjoy the movie adaptation of ``The Witches," another Roald Dahl classic.

56 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Pretty person = good person? LiveryOfSeisin
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SOOOO how did she get her powers? uriel_zuno
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