Wes Anderson’s scrupulously handmade adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox comes out today, and Anderson has paid tribute to the acid-penned author throughout the process — from writing the screenplay at the Dahl-family estate to basing the look of one of the movie’s trio of foxicidal farmers on Dahl himself. But will reviewers think he nails this Roald Dahl classic, or will they decry his treatment of a beloved — if difficult — author?
After all, movies based on Dahl’s work haven’t always gotten the tone right. Dahl’s writing is astringent, and for a children’s author he has a refreshingly unsentimental view of family life and childhood innocence. Vulture takes a look back at the Roald Dahl cinematic canon, from Willy Wonka to The BFG to the James Bond movie you didn’t even know he wrote. Which movies were cruel enough to do justice to Roald Dahl? Which watered down Dahl’s caustic wit with sentiment? And what’s the best Roald Dahl movie of all time? You might be surprised.
(Note: Sadly, the 1988 British version of Danny, the Champion of the World — starring Jeremy Irons! — is unavailable in the U.S., so isn’t ranked on this list. In its place, enjoy this seven-minute YouTube free adaptation featuring a kid who really loves raisins.)