Net­flix is turn­ing Roald Dahl works into an­i­mated shows

The Peterborough Examiner - - Arts & Life - WENDY LEE

Net­flix said Tues­day that it will bring an­i­mated se­ries and spe­cials based on the work of ac­claimed chil­dren’s au­thor Roald Dahl to its li­brary, in­clud­ing “Char­lie and the Choco­late Fac­tory,” “Matilda” and “The BFG.”

The Los Gatos, Calif., stream­ing-video gi­ant said it will “re­main faith­ful to the quin­tes­sen­tial spirit and tone of Dahl while also build­ing out an imag­i­na­tive story uni­verse that ex­pands far be­yond the pages of the books them­selves.”

Stream­ing com­pa­nies are in­vest­ing in orig­i­nal an­i­mated se­ries as they take aim at fam­i­lies and chil­dren. Net­flix is ex­pected to spend $1.1 bil­lion — or 11 per cent of its orig­i­nal-con­tent bud­get — on an­i­ma­tion this year, ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by ven­ture cap­i­tal firm Loup Ven­tures.

Pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies be­hind an­i­mated se­ries have told the Los An­ge­les Times that one ben­e­fit of work­ing with stream­ing ser­vices such as Net­flix is the plat­form they pro­vide to reach a global au­di­ence. Stream­ing com­pa­nies also pay rates that are com­pet­i­tive with ca­ble TV.

Ti­tles in­cluded in Net­flix’s agree­ment with the Roald Dahl Story Co. also in­clude “The Twits,” “Char­lie and the Great Glass El­e­va­tor,” “Ge­orge’s Marvel­lous Medicine,” “Boy —Tales of Child­hood,” “Go­ing Solo,” “The Enor­mous Croc­o­dile,” “The Gi­raffe and the Pelly and Me,” “Henry Sugar,” “Billy and the Min­pins,” “The Magic Fin­ger,” “Esio Trot,” “Dirty Beasts” and “Rhyme Stew.”

Terms of the deal were not an­nounced. Adap­ta­tions of Dahl’s books have had a mixed track record in Hol­ly­wood. Some movies, such as Dis­ney’s 2005 “Char­lie and Choco­late Fac­tory,” were hits, gen­er­at­ing $475 mil­lion in world­wide ticket sales, while Stephen Spiel­berg’s 2016 ver­sion of “The BFG” was a flop. The Spiel­berg movie, which cost $140 mil­lion to make, grossed just $183 mil­lion in world­wide ticket sales, ac­cord­ing to Box Of­fice Mojo.

Pro­duc­tion on the first an­i­mated se­ries is to be­gin next year.

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