Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy film co-produced and directed by Danny DeVito from a screenplay by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord, based on the 1988 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film stars Mara Wilson as the title character with DeVito (who also served a dual role as the narrator), Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, and Pam Ferris in supporting roles. The plot centers on the titular child prodigy who develops psychokinetic abilities and uses them to deal with her disreputable family and the tyrannical principal of her school.


Young genius Matilda Wormwood is neglected and mistreated by her used car salesman father Harry, her cheery bingo-obsessed mother Zinnia, and her older brother, Michael. Smart and independent, she finds solace in the fictional worlds of books at the public library. When Matilda's parents refuse to enroll her into school, she puts hydrogen peroxide in her father's hair tonic and glues his hat to his head. Harry catches Matilda reading Moby-Dick, rips it up, and forces her to watch game shows on television. Matilda becomes increasingly enraged until the television explodes.