Matilda The Musical was a miraculous gift



The poster for Matilda The Musical, an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book Matilda.

With certainty, I can claim I’ve watched the 1996 comedy, Matilda, at least 100 times. Additionally, I thoroughly enjoy musicals. 

Released on Netflix on Dec. 25, 2022, Matilda the Musical was a miraculous Christmas gift.

Following a young genius, Matilda, the audience watches as she combats the hardships of negligent parents and a wicked headmaster at her new school. With the guidance of books, creativity, and role models she meets along the way, Matilda perseveres through the unjust scenarios she’s thrown into. 

With this understanding of the plot, due to its parallels to the original movie, I still felt like I was going in with a limited understanding of the film. I  had heard snippets of the Broadway soundtrack and seen clips of dance breaks within the film, but still, I wasn’t prepared for such a well-done and feel-good experience.

This movie stayed immaculately true to its Broadway origins, both visually and by way of the actors’ performances. Bright colors and sets that seem like they could be recreated on a stage completely contrast the original movie—I surprisingly appreciated how separate of a film this felt to be. 

Every detail felt like the vision Roald Dahl had when he sat down to write this classic; impressive scenery painted many shots throughout the film, and each set was dressed with incredible intention. 

On top of the film’s enticing visual appearance, Matilda was portrayed perfectly by Alisha Weir. Only thirteen years old—twelve at the time of filming—Weir brought a perfectly professional and enthralling performance to the young character. She unquestionably proved to be a triple threat, and being impressed with her vocal register, it provided a performance that proved to be imposing. 

With such an astonishing cast, raving reviews from critics, and such carefully thought-out details, it’s challenging to find anything to dislike about the musical.

Weir, however, wasn’t the only child actor with impressive talent. It was apparent the cast was very carefully hand-selected, as each character seemed to be portrayed perfectly. It can also be noted that the young cast handled complex choreography with ease and precision.

More on the choreography, Ellen Kane is a genius. As a Tony-nominated Broadway choreographer, her roots excellently added to the ambiance of the film. says, “None of the choreography from the stage show is in the film. The film is completely new.” The movement was always entertaining and enhanced the film perfectly.

With such an astonishing cast, raving reviews from critics, and such carefully thought-out details it’s challenging to find anything to dislike about the musical. Rather than disdain, in some areas of the film, I did feel confused. Each piece of music is incredibly enjoyable, however, some of the musical numbers felt slightly random and lacked understandable transitions. Although a choosy observation, it still feels worth noting that every other aspect of the film was so cautiously thought out, and it seems there could have been more thought placed in the characters’ motivation for singing certain songs. 

No matter what chaos the film holds, it was spectacular. Even the buzz surrounding the film could only be described as that of a real movie—a truly great piece of cinema. For a fun, feel-good viewing experience I couldn’t recommend Matilda The Musical enough.