Roald Dahl’s popular children’s books are about to get a breath of new life at Netflix.
In a press release Tuesday, the streaming giant and The Roald Dahl Story Company jointly announced that the award-winning author’s beloved collection of stories is expanding in the form of “original animated event series” and specials on Netflix.
With a promise to “remain faithful to the quintessential spirit and tone of Dahl,” the deal will build “out an imaginative story universe that expands far beyond the pages of the books themselves.” It will also mark the first time that Dahl’s work, which has been adapted to live-action before, will be represented in animation versions.
“Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories,” Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, said in a statement. “This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”
“Immersing ourselves in the extraordinary worlds of Roald Dahl stories has been an honor and a massive amount of fun, and we are grateful for the trust the Roald Dahl Story Company and the Dahl family have placed in our team to deliver more moments of shared joy to families around the world,” Melissa Cobb, vice president of kids and family content at Netflix, added.
The list of titles in the agreement between Netflix and the Roald Dahl Story Company includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG, The Twits, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Boy – Tales of Childhood, Going Solo, The Enormous Crocodile, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, Henry Sugar, Billy and the Minpins, The Magic Finger, Esio Trot, Dirty Beasts, and Rhyme Stew.
Notably missing from the deal is Dahl’s The Witches, which last saw a film adaptation in 1990 and is currently in the process of a remake set to be directed by Robert Zemeckis. Also missing are Fantastic Mr. Fox and James and the Giant Peach.
The partnership comes as Netflix makes a major family entertainment push, which has seen the announcements of a stop-motion adaptation of Pinnochio as well as an adaptation from the Lois Lowry novel The Willoughbys. The push has also put a focus on animation, with the streaming giant opening its own in-house animation studio.
Production is set to begin on the first of the Netflix Dahl animated series in 2019. No release dates have yet been announced.