Oscar-nominated filmmaker Phil Johnston (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph) has adapted The Twits, the children’s novel penned by Roald Dahl in the 1980s, into an animated feature set to hit Netflix in 2025.
The pic, which Johnston co-wrote with Meg Favreau, is the first screen adaptation based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. The novel has been translated into 41 languages and sold 16 million copies worldwide.
With animation by the Brixton-based studio Jellyfish Pictures (The Boss Baby, The Bad Guys), the pic follows Mr. and Mrs. Twit, the meanest, smelliest, nastiest people in the world who also happen to own and operate the most disgusting, most dangerous, most idiotic amusement park in the world, Twitlandia. But when the Twits rise to power in their town, two brave orphans and a family of magical animals are forced to become as tricky as the Twits to save the city.
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Synopsis reads: A hysterically funny, wild ride of a film (chock-full of the Twits’ beloved tricks–from the Wormy Spaghetti to the Dreaded Shrinks), The Twits is also a story for our times, about the never-ending battle between cruelty and empathy.
“I’ve always been attracted to reprehensible characters. I don’t know what this says about me and I don’t want to look into it. The point is, The Twits was my favorite book when I was a kid. I love the Twits and their terrible tricks,” Johnston said in a statement announcing the feature.
“I love that they lack self-awareness, personal hygiene, and any inkling of human decency. And I love this movie because it reminds us that twits like the Twits, whose default emotions are anger and vengeance, can’t be allowed to win in our world.”
Co-directors on the feature are Katie Shanahan and Todd Demong. Producers are Johnston and Maggie Malone, with Daisy West co-producing. Netflix said the pic will be their first animated release in an upcoming line-up of Dahl adaptations, including Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and an animated Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feature.
Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company in September 2021.
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