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Review Matilda 1996: A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

Review Matilda 1996: A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

Review Matilda 1996 is a critical assessment of the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s novel of the same name. It evaluates the film’s performances, direction, screenplay, and other elements to provide an informed opinion and analysis for readers.

Reviewing films like Review Matilda 1996 serves multiple purposes. It informs audiences about the quality and suitability of the film, providing valuable guidance for decision-making. Additionally, it contributes to critical discourse on cinema, analyzing artistic choices and exploring cultural significance. A notable historical development in film criticism is the rise of online platforms, enabling wider access to reviews and fostering diverse perspectives.

This article will delve into the various aspects of Review Matilda 1996, examining its strengths, weaknesses, and broader implications within the cinematic landscape.

Review Matilda 1996

A critical review of a film considers various essential aspects to provide a comprehensive evaluation. These aspects are crucial for understanding the film’s overall quality, strengths, weaknesses, and significance.

  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Performances
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
  • Screenplay
  • Editing
  • Music

For instance, in the case of “Review Matilda 1996,” these aspects play a vital role in evaluating the film’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, the performances of the young cast, Danny DeVito’s direction, and the film’s overall message about childhood, imagination, and the power of standing up to authority. By examining these aspects, a reviewer can provide a nuanced analysis of the film’s strengths and weaknesses, helping readers make informed decisions about whether or not to see it.


The plot is the backbone of any film, providing the framework for the narrative and driving the characters’ actions. In the case of “Review Matilda 1996,” the plot is particularly important as it adapts the beloved children’s novel by Roald Dahl.

  • Narrative Structure

    The film follows a linear narrative structure, beginning with Matilda’s introduction and her struggles with her family and at school. It then progresses through her discovery of her telekinetic powers and her use of them to help others, leading to a satisfying climax and resolution.

  • Character Development

    The plot allows for the development of Matilda’s character as she learns to embrace her powers and stand up for herself and others. It also shows the growth of Miss Honey, who transforms from a timid teacher into a strong and supportive figure for Matilda.

  • Themes

    The plot explores various themes, including the importance of imagination, the power of standing up to authority, and the value of friendship. These themes are woven into the narrative in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

  • Adaptation

    As an adaptation of a novel, the plot of “Matilda” remains faithful to the source material while also making some necessary changes for the cinematic medium. These changes are largely successful, preserving the spirit of the book while creating a visually engaging and emotionally resonant film.

Overall, the plot of “Review Matilda 1996” is well-structured, engaging, and thematically rich. It successfully adapts the beloved novel while also standing on its own as a compelling and entertaining film.


The characters in “Review Matilda 1996” play a vital role in bringing the story to life. They are well-developed, relatable, and each has their own unique motivations and personality traits. The film features a diverse cast of characters, from the titular Matilda to her classmates, teachers, and family members.

  • Matilda Wormwood

    Matilda is a bright and precocious young girl who discovers she has telekinetic powers. She is a complex and sympathetic character, and her journey of self-discovery is at the heart of the film.

  • Miss Honey

    Miss Honey is Matilda’s kind and supportive teacher. She believes in Matilda’s potential and helps her to develop her powers. Miss Honey is a positive role model for Matilda and represents the importance of having someone who believes in you.

  • Trunchbull

    Trunchbull is the tyrannical headmistress of Matilda’s school. She is a cruel and sadistic woman who takes pleasure in tormenting her students. Trunchbull is a one-dimensional villain, but her over-the-top performance is entertaining and adds to the film’s comedic elements.

  • The Wormwoods

    Matilda’s parents and brother are selfish and neglectful. They are more interested in their own pursuits than in Matilda’s well-being. The Wormwoods represent the dangers of unchecked materialism and the importance of family support.

The characters in “Review Matilda 1996” are essential to the film’s success. They are well-developed, relatable, and each has their own unique role to play in the story. The film’s exploration of childhood, imagination, and the power of standing up to authority would not be as effective without its strong cast of characters.


In the context of “Review Matilda 1996,” performances play a critical role in evaluating the overall quality and impact of the film. The performances of the actors and actresses bring the characters to life and help to convey the film’s themes and messages. In the case of “Matilda,” the performances are particularly noteworthy for their authenticity, charm, and comedic timing.

One of the most striking performances in the film is that of Mara Wilson as Matilda. Wilson perfectly captures the character’s intelligence, wit, and determination. She is also able to convey Matilda’s vulnerability and loneliness in a way that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. The supporting cast is equally impressive, with Danny DeVito delivering a scene-stealing performance as the villainous Trunchbull and Rhea Perlman providing a warm and supportive presence as Miss Honey.

The performances in “Matilda” are not only entertaining but also essential to the film’s success. They help to create a believable world and draw the audience into the story. The actors and actresses bring their own unique talents and personalities to their roles, resulting in a film that is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.


In the context of “Review Matilda 1996,” direction is a critical component that plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall quality and impact of the film. The director’s vision and execution determine how the story is told, how the characters are portrayed, and how the themes are conveyed. In the case of “Matilda,” director Danny DeVito brings his unique comedic sensibilities and keen eye for detail to create a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

One of the most notable aspects of DeVito’s direction in “Matilda” is his use of humor. The film is filled with witty dialogue, slapstick comedy, and over-the-top characters. However, DeVito never lets the humor overshadow the film’s heart and message. He finds a way to balance the comedic elements with the more serious themes of the film, creating a film that is both enjoyable and meaningful.

Another important aspect of DeVito’s direction is his work with the young actors in the film. Mara Wilson, who plays Matilda, gives a star-making performance, and much of the credit for that goes to DeVito’s direction. He creates a safe and supportive environment for the young actors to work in, and he brings out their best performances. The result is a film that is both authentic and heartwarming.

Overall, Danny DeVito’s direction is one of the key reasons why “Matilda” is such a successful film. He brings his unique vision and style to the film, and he creates a world that is both entertaining and meaningful. “Review Matilda 1996” would not be the same film without his direction.


In the context of “Review Matilda 1996,” cinematography plays a vital role in creating the film’s visual aesthetic and enhancing its storytelling. It encompasses various aspects of filmmaking, including camera work, lighting, composition, and color grading.

  • Camera Work

    The film’s camerawork is fluid and dynamic, utilizing a variety of shots and angles to create a visually engaging experience. The use of close-ups and wide shots effectively conveys the characters’ emotions and establishes the film’s setting.

  • Lighting

    The lighting in “Matilda” is carefully crafted to create a distinct atmosphere and mood. The use of natural light in outdoor scenes gives the film a warm and inviting feel, while the darker, more subdued lighting in the school scenes creates a sense of mystery and foreboding.

  • Composition

    The film’s composition is visually striking, with careful attention paid to the placement of characters and objects within the frame. The use of symmetry and asymmetry creates a sense of balance and tension, respectively.

  • Color Grading

    The color grading in “Matilda” is subtle yet effective, enhancing the film’s overall tone and mood. The use of warm colors in the scenes set in Matilda’s home creates a sense of comfort and security, while the use of cooler colors in the school scenes creates a sense of distance and alienation.

Overall, the cinematography of “Review Matilda 1996” is a key element in the film’s success. It creates a visually stunning and emotionally resonant experience that enhances the film’s storytelling and immerses the audience in Matilda’s world.


The screenplay is a crucial component of “Review Matilda 1996” as it provides the foundation for the film’s narrative and characters. It serves as a blueprint for the film’s production, guiding the director, actors, and crew in realizing the story’s vision. The screenplay’s quality significantly impacts the overall success and effectiveness of the film.

In the case of “Review Matilda 1996,” the screenplay successfully captures the essence of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, while also making necessary adaptations for the cinematic medium. It retains the novel’s core themes of childhood imagination, the power of standing up to authority, and the importance of having supportive figures in one’s life. The screenplay’s clever dialogue and memorable characters bring the story to life, creating a film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Furthermore, the screenplay’s structure and pacing contribute to the film’s overall impact. The film’s linear narrative allows for a clear and cohesive storytelling experience, while the pacing ensures that the film maintains a good balance between humor, drama, and suspense. The screenplay’s well-developed characters and their relatable struggles resonate with audiences, creating an emotional connection that enhances the film’s message.

In conclusion, the screenplay is a critical element of “Review Matilda 1996” that contributes to its success in various ways. It provides a roadmap for the film’s production, captures the essence of the novel, and creates a compelling and emotionally resonant story that appeals to audiences of all ages.


Editing plays a pivotal role in crafting the final product of “Review Matilda 1996,” shaping the narrative, pacing, and overall impact of the film. It involves a meticulous process of selecting, arranging, and refining the footage captured during filming to create a cohesive and engaging cinematic experience.

  • Narrative Structure

    The editor works closely with the director to determine the film’s narrative structure, ensuring a logical flow of events and a clear progression of the story. This involves decisions on the order of scenes, the duration of shots, and the use of transitions to guide the audience through the film’s emotional journey.

  • Pacing

    Editing also plays a crucial role in controlling the film’s pacing, creating a rhythm that keeps the audience engaged and invested in the story. The editor uses techniques such as varying shot lengths, cutting on action, and adjusting the speed of the footage to create a sense of urgency, suspense, or reflection.

  • Emotional Impact

    Through the selection and arrangement of shots, the editor can manipulate the emotional impact of the film. By juxtaposing different images, using slow motion or freeze frames, and employing sound effects and music, the editor can evoke specific emotions in the audience, enhancing the film’s dramatic impact.

  • Character Development

    Editing can also contribute to character development by shaping the way the audience perceives and relates to the characters. The editor can use techniques such as parallel editing to show different perspectives of the same event, or use flashbacks and flashforwards to reveal a character’s backstory and motivations.

In conclusion, editing is an essential aspect of “Review Matilda 1996” that encompasses various facets, including narrative structure, pacing, emotional impact, and character development. Through careful selection, arrangement, and refinement of the footage, the editor helps to shape the film’s overall tone, mood, and impact, guiding the audience on an immersive and emotionally resonant cinematic journey.


In “Review Matilda 1996,” music serves as a vital component that enhances the film’s storytelling and emotional impact. The film’s soundtrack, composed by David Newman, seamlessly integrates with the narrative, capturing the film’s whimsical nature, heartwarming moments, and poignant themes.

The film’s opening sequence sets the tone with a playful and energetic melody that introduces the young protagonist, Matilda. As the story progresses, the music adapts to the evolving emotions, providing emotional depth and resonance. During scenes of Matilda’s struggles at home and school, the music shifts to a more somber and reflective tone, evoking empathy and understanding.

One particularly notable use of music occurs during the iconic “When I Grow Up” sequence. The song’s upbeat tempo and empowering lyrics perfectly complement Matilda’s determination and aspirations, creating an unforgettable moment that encapsulates the film’s central themes. The music not only heightens the emotional impact of the scene but also serves as a powerful anthem for children and adults alike.

In conclusion, the music in “Review Matilda 1996” is not merely a background element but an integral part of the film’s success. It enhances the narrative, conveys emotions, and creates a lasting impression on the audience. The film’s soundtrack is a testament to the power of music to elevate and enrich cinematic experiences.

FAQs about Review Matilda 1996

This section addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) about “Review Matilda 1996,” providing concise and informative answers to clarify various aspects of the film and its review.

Question 1: What is “Review Matilda 1996”?

Answer: “Review Matilda 1996” is a critical evaluation of the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel of the same name. It examines the film’s various elements, including its plot, characters, performances, and overall impact.

Question 2: Is “Matilda” a good movie?

Answer: Yes, “Matilda” is generally considered a good movie due to its engaging story, well-developed characters, strong performances, and positive messages about childhood, imagination, and standing up to authority.

Question 3: Who directed “Matilda”?

Answer: Danny DeVito directed “Matilda.” He is known for his comedic style and has directed several other films, including “Batman Returns” and “Hoffa.”

Question 4: Who plays Matilda in the film?

Answer: Mara Wilson plays Matilda in the 1996 film adaptation. She is known for her portrayal of young girls in other films, such as “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”

Question 5: What are the main themes of “Matilda”?

Answer: “Matilda” explores various themes, including the importance of imagination, the power of standing up to authority, the value of friendship, and the challenges of childhood.

Question 6: Is “Review Matilda 1996” suitable for children?

Answer: While “Matilda” is a children’s film, “Review Matilda 1996” is a critical review intended for a more mature audience. It analyzes the film’s technical aspects, themes, and broader cultural significance.

In summary, “Review Matilda 1996” provides a comprehensive analysis of the film, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, and significance. It offers valuable insights for viewers interested in a deeper understanding of “Matilda” and its enduring appeal.

Moving forward, the following sections will delve into specific aspects of “Review Matilda 1996” in greater detail, exploring its critical reception, historical context, and cultural impact.

Tips for Writing “Review Matilda 1996”

In this section, we present practical tips to guide you in crafting a comprehensive and insightful review of “Matilda.” Follow these recommendations to enhance your critical analysis and effectively convey your thoughts and insights.

Tip 1: Understand the Source Material: Begin by thoroughly reading Roald Dahl’s novel, “Matilda,” to gain a deep understanding of its plot, characters, and themes. This will provide a solid foundation for your review of the film adaptation.

Tip 2: Analyze the Film’s Adaptation: Evaluate how effectively the film translates the novel’s essence to the screen. Consider the changes made, if any, and discuss their impact on the story and characters.

Tip 3: Evaluate the Performances: Assess the performances of the cast, particularly Mara Wilson as Matilda. Examine their portrayal of the characters, their emotional depth, and their ability to bring the story to life.

Tip 4: Discuss the Film’s Themes: Identify the central themes explored in the film, such as the power of imagination, the importance of standing up to authority, and the challenges of childhood. Analyze how these themes are conveyed and their significance to the story.

Tip 5: Evaluate the Film’s Technical Aspects: Consider the film’s cinematography, editing, and music. Discuss how these elements contribute to the overall atmosphere, mood, and impact of the film.

Tip 6: Provide a Critical Perspective: Offer a balanced and well-argued critique of the film. Identify its strengths and weaknesses, providing specific examples to support your analysis.

Tip 7: Consider the Film’s Cultural Impact: Discuss the film’s reception and its impact on popular culture. Explore its enduring appeal and its relevance to contemporary audiences.

Tip 8: Write Clearly and Concisely: Craft your review in a clear, concise, and engaging style. Use precise language, avoid jargon, and ensure your writing is well-organized and easy to follow.

Incorporating these tips into your writing will enable you to produce a well-rounded and insightful “Review Matilda 1996” that effectively analyzes the film’s adaptation, performances, themes, and cultural significance.

As we move to the concluding section, these tips will serve as a valuable guide for synthesizing your thoughts and crafting a compelling review that engages readers and contributes to a deeper understanding of “Matilda.”


This comprehensive analysis of “Review Matilda 1996” has delved into the multifaceted aspects of the film adaptation, providing a critical evaluation of its strengths, weaknesses, and cultural significance. The review highlights the film’s successful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel, capturing its essence while making necessary cinematic changes.

The performances of the cast, particularly Mara Wilson as Matilda, are lauded for their authenticity, emotional depth, and ability to bring the characters to life. The film’s exploration of themes such as imagination, childhood challenges, and standing up to authority resonates with audiences, making it an enduring and beloved classic.

In conclusion, “Review Matilda 1996” serves as a testament to the power of cinema in capturing the magic of childhood and inspiring audiences of all ages. It encourages us to embrace our imaginations, challenge authority when necessary, and celebrate the transformative power of friendship and kindness.

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