6.8/10
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Matilda (1996)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
690 ( 112)

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3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Brian Levinson ...
...
Miss Phelps
Sara Magdalin ...
Matilda, 4 Years
...
Roy
Gregory R. Goliath ...
Luther (as Goliath Gregory)
Fred Parnes ...
Waiter
...
Lavender
Leor Livneh Hackel ...
Julius Rottwinkle
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Storyline

Matilda Wormwood is an exquisite and intelligent little girl. Unfortunately, Matilda is misunderstood by her family because she is very different from their ways of life. As time passes, Matilda finally starts school that has a kindly teacher, loyal friends and a sadistic principal. As she gets fed up with the constant cruelty, Matilda begins to realize that she has a gift of telekinetic powers. After some days of practice, Matilda suddenly turns the tables to stand up to her parents and outwit the principal. Written by Blazer346

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roald Dahl's Matilda  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,209,000, 4 August 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$33,084,249, 1 December 1996
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene where Matilda dances around the living room using her powers, the song that was played on set was Harry Belafonte's "Matilda". In the finished film, "Little Bitty Pretty One" by Thurston Harris plays over the scene instead. See more »

Goofs

On Matilda's first day of school, in the car and walking through the gates, she is holding a book. When Matilda enters the playground she is no longer holding it. See more »

Quotes

Agatha Trunchbull: I have never been able to understand why small children are so disgusting. They're the bane of my life. They're like insects: they should be got rid of as early as possible.
[makes spraying gesture]
Agatha Trunchbull: Psst! My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no children... at all. Wouldn't you agree, Miss Honey?
[Miss Honey briefly nods yes as she leaves to rescue Matilda from the Chokey]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Newts:
  • Mr. Speaker
  • Sir Isaac
  • Wayne
See more »


Soundtracks

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

A Quirky and Wonderful Slice of Magic & Youth
28 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Hi hi!

Danny DeVito touches on the viewpoint of children - and their imaginations - in this fantasy come to life: MATILDA.

Who of us as children didn't see the world in the powerful images of youthful, innocent eyes? The horrific Agatha Trunchbull, the kindly librarian, Mrs. Phelps? The annoying big brother 'Mikey', or the wondrous, perfect teacher, Miss Honey? Who of us as children didn't see that some things in life were wrong and wanted to put them right - if only we had magic powers!

Life as a child is fantastic and happy and exciting and scary. And in MATILDA we see all elements of childhood shine through by the intentionally ridiculous, over-the-top performances of Danny DeVito (Matilda's Dad), Rhea Perlman (Mom), and Pam Ferris (Ms. Trunchbull, the principal).

And yes, there is a scary element to the movie: The chase in Ms. Trunchbull's house; the "Chokey"; the spooky scene of Matilda taking back "Lizzie Doll" from Ms. Trunchbull while "haunting" her house. But this is the scariness of youth; shown from a safe distance for even the young audience. And despite the scariness - which kids KNOW exists - Matilda and Miss Honey and all their friends are victorious. Danny DeVito has demonstrated a lesson well-learned from the Disney animated films of yesteryear: The more evil the villain, the more noble and victorious the heroine.

To miss seeing MATILDA is to miss a heart-warming, hand-clapping, magical trip back to your childhood fantasies and ideals.


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