Roald Dahl

Active - 1967 - 2020  |   Born - Sep 13, 1916   |   Died - Nov 23, 1990   |   Genres - Children's/Family, Fantasy, Thriller, Musical

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Best known as a beloved writer of children's stories and of rather eccentric short stories, Roald Dahl also worked on a few screenplays. Much of his popularity with children stemmed from his fantastical and sometimes disturbing characters and his refusal to talk down to his younger audiences. Many of Dahl's books allowed children to view life's dark side, their fears and concerns, in a way that was funny and safe. His books often caused controversy for his low regard for corruption and hypocrisy amongst adults and other authority figures. Dahl published his first children's story, The Gremlins, in 1943. He originally wrote the story for Walt Disney, who wanted to make an animated film. The book was designed as a companion to the film. Perhaps because the plot, about cute but evil little Gremlins who sabotage British fighter planes during the Battle of Britain, was a little tasteless in regards to WWII, the project was never completed, though a few copies of the book were printed. Dahl's first screenwriting credit (shared with collaborator Harold Jack Bloom) was for the fifth James Bond movie You Only Live Twice (1967). As a solo screenwriter, he adapted a book by Joy Crowley into The Night Digger (1971) and adapted his own classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory into the favorite children's movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). Many of Dahl's books, including The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, and Mathilda have been adapted into feature films by other screenwriters.

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