Matilda

 (37,744)
6.91 h 38 min1996X-RayPG
The larger-than-life tale of a little girl gifted with genius intelligence and magical powers - which she uses to survive her self-absorbed parents and an evil private school principal. A subversively charming family hit!
Directors
Danny DeVito
Starring
Mara WilsonDanny DeVitoRhea Perlman
Genres
ComedyFantasyKids
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
Embeth DavidtzPam FerrisPaul ReubensTracey WalterBrian LevinsonKira Spencer HesserKiami Davael
Producers
Danny DeVitoMichael ShambergStacey Sher
Studio
TRISTAR INTERNATIONAL
Rating
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

37744 global ratings

  1. 90% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 6% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 2% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Old EagleReviewed in the United States on September 5, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
More Enjoyable In Blu Ray, but get it for the Cast Reunion Feature!!
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I've had the DVD for years, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Purely an impossible fantasy, but great family fun, delightful. Re-watched it many times and always found it heart warming. I ordered this BluRay "Special Edition" because I've always found increased enjoyment of almost any standard definition dvd when viewed in high definition. I received the new BluRay disk today The greatly improved resolution, sound quality is there as expected. BUT! A great surprise was the added 'Special Edition' cast revisit, and reunion. This feature is worth the price of the disk alone! Easily! This type of thing is very often a 'so what' ... ho-hum. Not this one. So very enjoyable, I sat and ooo'd and aaah'd, and laughed hard all the way through. I always wonder throughout many movies about what happened to the actors, how they fared, later, after the movie was finished. This is an exceptionally well done 'check-in' with most of the Matilda cast. Years removed. If you enjoyed this movie, you will totally enjoy this great special feature. Mr Devito did an excellent job in bringing the cast together again. The scene 'replays', re-enactments, with cast members as they are now, reprising their original roles, are a real treat. Great fun all round. Thanks, Mr. Devito! Given her horrendous, vicious, monstrous role, very hard to believe Pam Ferris turns out to be a warm, very nice person!! Pleasure (and a relief!) to 'meet' the real you, Ms. Ferris!
37 people found this helpful
Kel RossReviewed in the United States on July 8, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Much too good for children
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Matilda is THE ULTIMATE ROLE MODEL for any kid. If you want your children to grow up with solid, team-building ethics- this movie is a must watch. I was the exact age of the main character when this movie came out and I truly believe it made me a cooler person. (I stopped believing that I had powers a few years ago.) I feel that I read more books growing up because Matilda made reading cool, and I feel like I befriended the underdogs with a bigger heart. And looking back- the Trunchbull is the ULTIMATE antagonist..

Mrs. D, Mrs. I, Mrs. F-F-I. Mrs. C, Mrs. U, Mrs. L-T-Y!
22 people found this helpful
Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on February 24, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Childhood Classic Remastered for Blu-ray!
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It’s Carrie for children in this adorable family comedy!

Danny DeVito’s children’s comedy classic Matilda (1996) remains a childhood favorite of mine and a wonderful family movie for any generation. Writers Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord tenderly adapt Roald Dahl’s kids book alongside Danny DeVito’s unique style and creative direction. Their refreshing writing is hilarious and witty. Matilda feels like a real neglected child and all the cruel adults are unbelievably mean with the lone exception of a kind teacher. After Swicord’s peerless writing for Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 Little Women, I believe her words can really endear you to her girls. She understands a young woman’s mind.

Mara Wilson gives one of the all time great child actress performances as Matilda Wormwood. She is so naturalistic and sad looking. You believe this kid is smart and dejected. Her eyes and facial acting convey an inner loneliness that made Wilson the perfect Matilda. She’s relatable and magically charming. Danny DeVito’s acting is superb as he channels a hothead Joe Pesci type with a used cars salesman into Matilda’s cruel father Harry Wormwood. Rhea Perlman is funny as the airhead flirt that is Matilda’s mother Zinnia Wormwood.

Embeth Davidtz is lovely as the caring, nurturing, and intelligent teacher to Matilda named Miss Jenny Honey. She is remarkably charismatic and kind. You are immediately drawn to her character once she’s introduced. Likewise, Kiami Davael is nice as Matilda’s first friend Lavender.

I must mention the secondary villain aside from Danny DeVito’s negligent father figure. Pam Ferris is a whirlwind of cruel energy as Matilda’s vicious principal: Agatha Trunchbull. Her screaming disdain for children is genuinely frightening and absolutely entertaining. The way the sound department creates heavy thuds for her stamping around as she yells out when she charges is certainly frightening imagery for kids. She eats up the scenery with reckless abandon.

Paul Reubens aka Pee-wee Herman even has a cameo role as FBI Agent Bob alongside Tracey Walter as FBI Agent Bill.

DeVito’s heartfelt tone and playful narration give Matilda’s sweet message of being true to yourself and kind to others a resonant warmth. Matilda certainly has that 1990’s authentic feel to it. Like The Pagemaster, Matilda wants you to read books, visit libraries, attend school, make friends, play together, and pursue higher education. It’s quite wholesome really. I’ve always loved Matilda ever since I was a kid, but it holds up as an adult too!

I highly recommend Matilda for all families for laughs, tears, and thrills from Danny DeVito at his most sincere.

DeVito directed Matilda as if it’s an avante-garde arthouse film with odd and resplendent choices everywhere. DeVito crafts each scene like a child’s fantasy of how they see their parents and teachers. DeVito chooses to place the camera at Matilda’s eye level always, so that we as the audience see her perspective better. Danny DeVito’s direction is both cute and scary as the scene requires. Stefan Czapsky’s cinematography is neat with Dutch angles and intriguingly framed shots of many faces together and fun extreme close-ups for comedic effect. Matilda is seriously well shot and directed with effortless pacing.

Tight editing from editors Lynzee Klingman and Brent White keep Matilda’s story moving right along into a succinct 98 minutes. David Newman’s score is gentle and dreamy with a warm 90’s tone and playful attitude to his melodies. He fits Matilda’s backdrop aptly. Thurston Harris’ “Little Bitty Pretty One” is a cute choice for Matilda’s theme song as she learns her telekinetic powers for the soundtrack. It’s uplifting and playful just like the girl and movie. I really love Rusted Foot’s “Send Me on My Way” for the playful pancake scene and the finale’s closing.

In all, Matilda is a charming and clever little movie with excellent and innovative filmmaking from Danny DeVito. With Mara Wilson’s lead actress performance, Matilda remains one of the very best children’s films for any family to enjoy together.
9 people found this helpful
Jeffrey SReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Children's Film
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I am a retired elementary school teacher and a great fan of Roald Dahl books. I used to love taking a few minutes after lunch to read books to my students. They grew to love literature as a consequence. Especially with the Roald Dahl books, as a special treat, when the book was finished, we would watch the movie and then compare and contrast the difference between the two.
This movie is faithful to the storyline and beautifully produced. It's the story of a brilliant little girl born into a family of money-grubbing con artists who don't appreciate her intelligence. She finds a kindred spirit in her Kindergarten teacher.
There's lots of humorous scenes and the story is a triumph of good over evil. Actually, I admit that, as an adult, I still watch this movie from time to time. It's great entertainment for all ages.
Parents: try reading the book with your kids (ages 9 and above) and then watch the movie when you've finished the book. It's a great family activity.
5 people found this helpful
Lenore ;)Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
I love that good triumphs evil and love wins
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My daughter Amanda, Who is 26 years old now, and special needs love's this... I bought several copies throughout the years, from VHS to dvds. I believe she gets the positive message that we can do just about anything! Amanda tries to control the T.V. which makes me chuckle, but in all of us is a little Matilda waiting to get out.
I love that good triumphs evil and love wins. That knowledge is power, and we cannot really control anything, but ourselves. So When we want a better life, we make it for ourselves.
34 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on July 9, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A great family movie!
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I loved this movie growing up and it was so much fun to watch my children (6yo and 4yo) experience it as well. It's a classic story that is entertaining for the whole family. Matilda is such a wonderful role model. Both of my kids had their nose in a book the day after watching this film. <3
15 people found this helpful
Poor NapoleonReviewed in the United States on November 27, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good Dahl adaptation, but might be a little scary
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Matilda has always been a fantastic movie to me and, despite some very obvious changes from the book, captures the spirit of Dahl perfectly. The characters of her parents and Miss Trunchbull are suitable antagonists, not valuing her precociousness and value she places on education or intelligence.

As Matilda, Mara Wilson shows off her own precociousness and is absolutlely heavenly in the role. Danny Devito and Rhea Pearlman play despicable well. Some viewers have trouble with how evil these characters can be, especially Miss Trunchbull. I can speak to working at a movie theatre when this movie was out and parents walking out with their kids demanding a refeund. Well, the point of Dahl is overcoming really wretched adults, and this movie captures it beautifully, empowering Matilda to the end. However, be cautious with the young ones, as they might see it a little frightening. I think this is a good age 9/10 up movie.

The blu-ray is a definite step up from the DVD, delivering a hi def presentation and FINALLY delivering the movie in widescreen. Avoid the budget DVD, as it is fullscreen. Extras are scarce, but the bluray has a new retrospective on the film. Not in depth, but nice nonetheless.
12 people found this helpful
Kane AndersonReviewed in the United States on September 5, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Widescreen!!
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If you have any other version of this it most likely has a 1:33 aspect ratio (trimmed for square tv screens). I always wanted to see the whole picture, which I assumed was 1:85 (most comedies are). I was shocked to discover this was filmed in 2:35 aspect ratio. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the bottom line: If the picture doesn't have black lines on top and bottom you're only seeing half the movie. There are things left and right of Matilda you are missing! Buy this and Matilda becomes a whole new movie.
5 people found this helpful
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