Five for Families: Films based on Roald Dahl books

Posted July 13, 2016

Here are five movies from various platforms that families may want to consider. Because not all are appropriate for younger children, age recommendations are included.

Roald Dahl's stories of an oversized peach, a magical chocolate factory and a girl with special powers have jumped from the page to create some iconic films. The imagination of the British storyteller continues to entertain children with the recent release of "The BFG." Here are five family friendly films based on Dahl books for families to consider.

In theaters: 'The BFG'

A young orphan girl, Sophie, meets the only good giant from a land of unfriendly giants after she spots him from the window of the orphanage. The Big Friendly Giant, or BFG as she calls him, does not want her to tell others about him and the two become friends. The kind and gentle giant is tormented by the other giants, and Sophie enlists the help of the Queen to help defeat the bad giants. The Dove Foundation awarded the film its "Family-Approved" seal for all ages and called "The BFG" a "wonderful film" that "features adventure, fantasy, great special effects and a good cast." The website notes that parents should consult the content listing to make their own informed decisions. The film is rated PG for action/peril, some scary moments and brief rude humor. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'

This musical tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor but kind boy who finds a golden ticket and wins a tour inside a strange chocolate factory. Parent Previews says the "story serves up some powerful morals" as Charlie's character and honesty are tested with financial security. The film is rated G but the website alerts viewers of "brief nightmarish scenes" and disobedient children given "bizarre consequences." recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older

Amazon Video 'James and the Giant Peach'

A young orphan living with his mean aunts escapes on a journey to New York City inside a giant peach. states that the film contains a few scary scenes but emphasizes the lessons of “courage, loneliness, friendship, loss, tenacity and the struggle to make dreams come true.” The website also calls "James and the Giant Peach" a "well-crafted" film that is "ripe entertainment." recommends the film for viewers ages 6 and older.

iTunes 'Matilda'

A young girl discovers she has special powers that she uses to cope with her “nasty parents” and “horrible school,” according to Parent Previews. The story ultimately has a happy ending for all the characters, but the website warns that younger children may be frightened by portions of the film and that it may be difficult for children to differentiate between sarcasm and depicted reality. recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.

Amazon Video: 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'

A fox leaves his idyllic family life and slips back into his wild, animal instincts. His actions jeopardize his family, and he must save them and the local animal community from the farmer. Common Sense Media calls the relationships between the family "surprisingly touching and believable" and the film "charming (and) heartwarming." recommends the film for viewers ages 7 and older.



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