Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical takes the stage musical and crams it into a Netflix movie. The result is a musical that dances exuberantly onto the screen with barely any flair.
Beloved children’s novels getting turned into cinematic musicals isn’t groundbreaking. However, few capture the wit, and spunky attitude of its source material thanks mainly to its cast of children and the scarry but amazing Emma Thompson as Agatha Trunchbull. In fact, there’s no arguing with the songs. And the young actors are uniformly excellent, most notably Alisha Weir as Matilda, who has a wonderfully intelligent face and a pinging singing voice.
Sadly, much of the story’s inherent darkness has been considerably watered down into something overly sweet and sentimental. Let’s play on cinematic emotions and skip any darkness. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical takes the narrative and world of a child and puts it on an adult’s terms. It completely misunderstands why so many children around the world adore these stories – because they were written for them and not their parents.
In addition, if you’re going to remake a classic by relying heavily on the source material, you better invest in it. The musical starts slow with the worst CGI you would ever see (unless you saw Falling for Christmas recently). The whole production felt cheap, and the set design was extremely poor. I couldn’t get over the obvious green screen work and the lack of any attention to details when it comes to set design.
There’s no room for any middle ground here. Take it or leave it.
Should you watch it?
The musical is great thanks to its kids. They do all the heavy lifting to make what’s clearly a cheap remake watchable.
Where can I watch it?
You can stream Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical exclusively on Netflix everywhere.