193 voters

Roald Dahl Movie Characters Who Look Like You Want Them To

583 votes 193 voters 3.8k views15 items

List RulesVote up the Roald Dahl movie characters who are most faithful to the book descriptions and illustrations

Roald Dahl is one of the most celebrated authors of the modern era. While much of his work was targeted towards children, there's no denying that he went to some pretty adult places that could be appreciated by people of any age. Roald Dahl movies, or rather their adaptations, have in many ways become just as iconic as his books. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach are just some of films that have successfully translated the spirit of Dahl's books to the big screen with many more sure to come.

But how close to the books are the characters we see onscreen? Are they even supposed to look like the people being presented? Well, one way to tell is to check out the book's illustrations. Luckily, Dahl had a close collaborator named Quentin Blake who worked on the pictures for many of his books. Comparing the film characters to Blake's illustrations gives us a pretty good idea for how to judge the Road Dahl films with their translation from page to screen.

Which ones were the closest? Scroll down and find out.

  • Photo: Quentin Blake/20th Century Fox
    Mr. Fox is a sly guy, always one step ahead of the three farmers trying to drive him away. Quentin Blake's illustration evoke's Oliver Twist or another Victorian era street-wise con artist. Wes Anderson, who worked hard to faithfully adapt the book, Fantastic Mr. Fox, kept to a similar look in many scenes but wasn't afraid to have some fun with a short sleeved button down shirt and tie. 
  • Photo: Quentin Blake/Wolper Pictures, Ltd.
    Gene Wilder wasn't the first choice for the role, but once he auditioned the part belonged only to him. Visually speaking, Wilder and Blake's illustration are lifted straight from the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The hat, bow tie, purple coat, and cane are all elements present in every version of the character, including the more faithful 2005 Tim Burton adaptation. 

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  • 7

    Grandpa Joe

    Photo: Quentin Blake/Wolper Pictures, Ltd.
    Quentin Blake's Grandpa Joe certainly seems more chipper than his live action counterpart, who stylistically seems based off the depression era. The actor who portrayed the actor in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Jack Alberton, went on to win an Oscar for The Subject Was Roses, which also starred Roald Dahl's wife. David Kelly, who played Grandpa Joe in the 2005 Tim Burton film, which is a closer adaptation of the book, also sports a similar look. 
  • Photo: Lane Smith/Walt Disney Pictures
    Everyone's favorite daring centipede makes a faithful translation from book to screen. While the Quentin Blake version sports a bow tie, the centipede from James and the Giant Peach always kinda had the vibe of a prideful blue collar worker, which the movie gave by putting the character in 1930s era lower class garb. Oh, and the cigar's a pretty nice touch as well.