Matilda (1996) Script


NARRATOR: Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same.

Some will grow to be butchers or bakers or candlestick makers.

Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad.

One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse.


Most parents believe their children are the most beautiful creatures ever to grace the planet.

Others take a less emotional approach.

HARRY: What a waste of time. ZINNIA: And painful.

And expensive. $9.25 for a bar of soap?

Well, I had to take a shower, Harry. $5000?

I'm not paying it. What are they gonna do, repossess the kid?


HARRY: There's no way out. Make a U-turn.

All right.

ZINNIA: Harry! HARRY: All right.

ZINNIA: Harry!

KID: The Wormwood guy's back!

NARRATOR: Harry and Zinnia Wormwood lived in a very nice neighborhood, in a very nice house.

But they were not really very nice people.

HARRY: Get out of the street, you little dodos!

NARRATOR: The Wormwoods were so wrapped up in their own silly lives that they barely noticed they had a daughter.

Had they paid any attention to her at all, they'd have realized she was a rather extraordinary child.

Oh, my gosh, Matilda, now look what you did!

They named her Matilda.

ZINNIA: You're supposed to eat the spinach. Ooh!

Ew, ew, ew. Ew, ew, ew!


You're better off raising tomatoes.

NARRATOR: By the time she was 2, Matilda had learned what most people learn in their early 30s:

How to take care of herself.

As time went by, she developed a sense of style.

Every morning, Matilda's brother, Michael, went to school.

Bye, Mom. Get out of here.

Her father worked selling used cars Make money. for unfair prices. And her mother took off to play bingo.

Soup's on the stove. Heat it up if you get hungry.

Matilda was left alone.


That was how she liked it.


♪ On my way, on my way ♪

♪ On my way, on my way ♪

♪ I would like to reach out my hand ♪

♪ I may see you I may tell you to run ♪

♪ On my way, on my way ♪

♪ You know what they say About the young ♪

♪ Well, pick me up with golden hand ♪

♪ I may see you ♪ NARRATOR: By the time she was 4, Matilda had read every magazine in the house.

One night, she got up her courage and asked her father for something she desperately wanted.

A book? What do you want a book for?

To read.

To read? Why would you wanna read when you got the television set sitting right in front of you?

There's nothing you can get from a book that you can't get from a television faster.

Get out of the way!

NARRATOR: Matilda already knew that she was somewhat different from her family.


She saw that whatever she needed in this world, she'd have to get herself.

Bye. Ciao.

There's fish fingers in the microwave.

NARRATOR: The next morning, after her parents left, Matilda set off in search of a book.


Where are the children's books, please?

In that room right over there.

Would you like me to pick you out one with lots of pictures in it?

No, thank you. I'm sure I can manage.

NARRATOR: From then on, every day, as soon as her mother went to bingo, Matilda walked the 10 blocks to the library and devoured one book after another.


When she finished all the children's books, she started wandering around in search of something else.

Mrs. Phelps, who had been watching her with fascination for the past few weeks, offered Matilda some valuable library information.

You know, you could have your very own library card.

And then you could take books home and you wouldn't have to walk here every day.

You could take as many as you like.

That would be wonderful.

NARRATOR: So Matilda's strong, young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships onto the sea.

These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message:

You are not alone.


Any packages come today?


Where did all this come from?

The library.

The library? You've never set foot in a library. You're only 4 years old.

Six and a half.

You're 4. Six and a half.

If you were 6 and a half, you'd be in school already.

I want to be in school. I told you I was supposed to start school in September. You wouldn't listen.

Get up. Get UP!

Get out here. Give me that book.

Dearest pie, how old is Matilda? Four I'm 6 and a half, Mommy. Five, then.

I was 6 in August. You're a liar.

I wanna go to school. School!

Out of the question. Who would be here to sign for the packages?

We can't leave valuable packages sitting out on the doorstep.

Now, go watch TV like a good kid.

You know, sometimes I think there's something wrong with that girl.

Hm. Tell me about it. Mm.

Hey, dip-face, have a marshmallow. Have another marshmallow, dip-face!



NARRATOR: Sometimes Matilda longed for a friend.

Someone like the kind, courageous people in her books.

It occurred to her that like talking dragons and princesses with hair long enough to climb, such people might exist only in storybooks.

But Matilda was about to discover that she could be her own friend.

That she had a kind of strength she wasn't even aware of.

I'm great! I'm incredible!

Michael, pencil and paper, in the kitchen.

Did we sell some cars today, honeydew?

Did we!

Does that mean I can get that new TV?

Yeah. Son, one day you're gonna have to earn your own living.

It's time you learned the family business.

Sit down. Write this down.

All right. The first car your brilliant father sold cost $320.

I sold it for $1158.

The second one cost $512. Mm-hm.

I sold it for $2269.

Wait, Dad, you're going too fast. Just write.

The third cost $68. I sold it for $999.

And the fourth cost $1100.

I sold it for 7839 big American boffos.

Harry! What was my profit for the day?

Could you repeat the last one--? $10,265.

Check it if you don't believe me.

You're a little cheat. You saw the paper.

From all the way over here?

Are you being smart with me?

If you're being smart with me, young lady, you're gonna be punished.

Punished for being smart?

For being a smart aleck.

When a person is bad, that person has to be taught a lesson.

Person? Get up!

Get up. NARRATOR: Harry Wormwood had unintentionally given his daughter the first practical advice she could use.

He meant to say, "When a child is bad."

Instead he said, "When a person is bad."

And thereby introduced a revolutionary idea that children could punish their parents.

Only when they deserved it, of course.






HARRY: Michael, come into my room.


My boy, today's the day I take you to the shop. What do you say?

I don't know. What do you say, Dad?

I say appearance is nine-tenths of the law.

People don't buy a car, they buy me.

Which is why I personally take such pride in my appearance.

Well-oiled hair, clean shaved, snappy suit.

Now, run along and get ready for a big day of learning, kid. Heh.

It's gonna be a big day of learning too.

There's a sucker born every minute. We're gonna take them for all they got.

Give me the cookies.



Okay, my boy, heir to the throne.

Today we diddle the customer.

What's wrong with you? What are you looking at?

Lovekins, where's my breakfast?

Here we are, my heartstrings. Aah!

Snickerdoodle, what did you do to your hair?

My hair?


Give me those things. Give me that. Where are you going with those?

Give me those. Get in the car. Go on.


Like buying stolen car parts, never stay secret for long.

Especially when the FBI gets involved.

9:17, suspect exits domicile.

I've got 9:18.

9:17 is correct.


Michael, one day all this will be yours.


HARRY: See this junker? I paid $100 for it.

She's got 120,000 miles on her.

Transmission shot, bumpers have fallen off.

What do I do with her? Hm?

I sell her.

We really should weld these bumpers on, but that takes time, equipment, money.

So we use Super Super Glue instead.

Go ahead, put it on there.

Won't it fall off?

Definitely. Isn't that dangerous?

Not to me, okay?


The sawdust quiets the gears, and lets the engine run as sweet as a nut for a couple of miles. Ha-ha-ha. Daddy, that's cheating.

Of course it's cheating. Nobody ever got rich being honest.

20 years ago, we could turn the numbers back by hand. But--

Here, take my hat.

But the feds like to test the ingenuity of the American businessman.

Two-directional drill.

You run it backwards, the numbers go down.

Watch the speedometer.


See? Yeah.

Daddy, you're a crook.

What? This is illegal.

Here, keep drilling.

Do you make money? Do you have a job?

No, but don't people need good cars?

Can't you sell good cars, Dad?

Listen, you little wiseacre.

I'm smart, you're dumb. I'm big, you're little. I'm right, you're wrong.

And there's nothing you can do about it.




Harry, I won! I won!

I hit the double bingo! Aah!

Come on, everybody! I'm taking you all to Café Le Ritz.

Let me see the money. Never mind.

Double bingo, huh? Ooh.

God, your hair looks awful. I hope they let you in.

They'll let me in. MATILDA: Here's your hat, Daddy.

Get in the car.

Go on, get in.

How much?

It's for me to know and you to find out.


It's nice to go out sometimes. Yeah.

You never take us out.

Of course I do. I took you to the Flipper.

I don't remember any of the Flipper. HARRY: The fish joint.

You found that comb in the bouillabaisse.

ZINNIA: Oh, yeah. I like that joint.

Bonjour. This way, please.

Harry, take your hat off.

I can't. This is a nice place.

You can't wear a hat inside.

HARRY: I can't take it off.

Harry, nobody cares what your hair looks like.

What's with this hat? I can't get it off. I can't get it off.

Just a minute. I'm gonna yank this hat off. I'm pulling it.


ZINNIA: I think your head swelled up really bad.


You're pulling the skin! You're such a baby! Stop it!

Fibers are fused to the head! Fibers are fused?

What is that supposed to mean? Give me that hat!



HARRY: I will not be the figure of ridicule!

I want respect, and I want it now!


I still don't see how you glued your hat on, Harry.

I mean, I know you say you didn't, but obviously you did.

I did not glue my hat to my head.

The hat shrunk, the fibers fused to my hair. Ow.

ZINNIA: Baby, wait a minute. I'm getting it now.

I'm getting it. One more.

Oh, my God.


From now on, this family does exactly what I say, when, exactly when, I say it!

Here's your hat, Harry. Give me that.

And right now, we are eating dinner and watching TV.

Are you ready to get sticky with Mickey?

Shut your light off.

I'm just giving it away!

But for those idiots out there who don't know how to play, here's how it goes.

For each correct answer, they'll move one step closer to our cube of cash.

Once in our cube of cash, any money that sticks to your gooey body, you get to take home.

Hi, Dad.

Are you in this family?



Are you in this family?

Dinnertime is family time. What is this trash you're reading?

It's not trash, Daddy, it's lovely.

It's called Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Moby what?

This is filth! Trash! Here. It's not mine! It's a library book.


I'm fed up with all this reading! You're a Wormwood, you start acting like one!

Sit up and look at the TV.

MAN: Producers are not liable for any skin irritation that may result from playing our game.

Get real sticky and get cash for free.

All right, that's enough. Let's get sticky!





I didn't do it.

Of course you didn't do it, you little twit.

I told you that was a cheap set.

It's not a cheap set, it's a stolen set.

Put your light on!


NARRATOR: Was it magic or coincidence?

She didn't know.

It is said that we humans use only a tiny portion of our brains.

Matilda might never have discovered her own great strength of mind were it not for the events that began on the very next day.

TRUNCHBULL: I need a car, inexpensive but reliable.

Can you service me? HARRY: In a manner of speaking, yes.

Welcome to Wormwood Motors.

Harry Wormwood, owner, founder, whatever.

Agatha Trunchbull, principal, Crunchem Hall Elementary School.

I warn you, sir, I want a tight car, because I run a tight ship.

Oh, yeah, huh? Well, uh-- My school is a model of discipline.

“Use the rod, beat the child," that's my motto.

Terrific motto. You have brats yourself?

Yeah, I got a boy, Mikey, and one mistake, Matilda.

They're all mistakes, children. Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one.

Uh-huh. Well, since you're an educator, I'm gonna make you a great deal.

You had better. Let's do business.

Thank you.

Enjoy it.

Hey, you, you're going to school. I am?

First thing tomorrow.

Yeah, yeah, okay, okay. You'll get a real education at this place.


NARRATOR: Matilda had always wanted to go to school because she loved to learn.

She tried to imagine what her new school would be like.

Go ahead.

Go ahead.

NARRATOR: She pictured a lovely building surrounded by trees and flowers and swings.

Well, there was a building and children.

So regardless of what Crunchem Hall looked like, she was happy to be there.

Hey, wait up!

NARRATOR: After all, any school is better than no school at all.

Isn't it?



TRUNCHBULL: You, detention.

You're too small. Grow up quicker!

Heads up! Shoulders back! Stomachs in! Stand straight.

Hey- sorry-

TRUNCHBULL: Detention for you.

That's okay. It's much better than being out there.

Is that my teacher?

No, that's the principal, Miss Trunchbull.

You've gotta be kidding. Uh-uh.

You squirts better skedaddle. I'm not kidding.

The Trunchbull likes to snap a whip in there to see who's trying to hide.

TRUNCHBULL: Stomach in!

Change those socks! Too pink.

I'm Matilda. Lavender.

I'm Hortensia. MATILDA & LAVENDER: Hi.

She doesn't really hit children with that riding crop, does she?

No, it's mostly for scare.

What she does is worse.

Like yesterday, in the second grade, the Trunchbull makes a weekly visit to every classroom to show the teachers a thing or two about handling kids.

And Julius Rottwinkle ate two M&M's during her lesson. MATILDA: And she caught him?

HORTENSIA: Of course.



Was Julius okay? After being thrown out the window?

Of course he wasn't okay. He lived, if that's what you mean.

The Trunchbull used to be in the Olympics.

Shot put, javelin, hammer throw.

HORTENSIA: The hammer throw is her specialty.

So she does this all the time? Better than being put in the choky.

Choky? HORTENSIA: Yeah, the choky.

It's a tall, narrow hole in the wall behind a door.

You have to stand in a drippy pipe with jagged edges.

And the walls have broken glass and nails sticking out.

TRUNCHBULL: Get inside, you festering ball of pus!

MATILDA: She puts kids in there? HORTENSIA: I've been in twice.

Sometimes she leaves you in there all day.

Didn't you tell your parents? HORTENSIA: They didn't believe me.

I mean, would your parents believe it?

TRUNCHBULL: Sixty lines after school: “I must obey Miss Trunchbull."


TRUNCHBULL: Out of my way. Here she comes.

Ahh, fresh meat.

Amanda Thripp.

Yes, Miss Trunchbull.

What are those? What's what, Miss Trunchbull?

TRUNCHBULL: Hanging down by your ears.

You mean my pigtails?

Are you a pig, Amanda? No, Miss Trunchbull.

Do I allow pigs in my school?

My mommy thinks they're sweet.

Your mommy is a twit!

You'll chop those off before school tomorrow or I will--

But-- But?!

I don't-- But? Did you say "but"?

What? Hammer throw.


I'll give you "but"!

CHILD 1: Good loft! CHILD 2: And excellent release.


Think she'll make the fence? Gonna be a close one.



Quiet! Get to class before I throw you all in the choky.


What's my teacher like?

TRUNCHBULL: Run, run, run. Faster! Get in.


NARRATOR: But Matilda's teacher, Miss Honey, was one of those remarkable people who appreciates every single child for who she or he is.

I scooped these up for you, Miss Honey.

Oh, how lovely. Thank you, Amanda.

Okay, listen up, everybody. We have a new student with us today.

This is Matilda Wormwood. I'd like you to sit over here with Lavender.

Now, you all remember how scary your first days at school were.

So I'd like you to be especially nice to Matilda and make her feel welcome, all right?

Could you get her workbook for her, please?

Yes, Miss Honey. You can sit down.

NARRATOR: Miss Honey was a wonderful teacher and a friend to everyone.

But her life was not as simple and beautiful as it seemed.

Miss Honey had a deep, dark secret.

Though it caused her great pain, she did not let it interfere with her teaching.

Well, Matilda, you've come on a very good day, because we're going to review everything that we've learned so far.

Now, it's all right if you don't understand any of this because you're brand-new.

But if you do know an answer, just raise your hand. Okay?

All right. We've been working on our two-times tables.

Would anyone like to demonstrate?


Let's do some together.

Two times four is? CHILDREN: Eight.

Two times six is? CHILDREN: Twelve.

Two times nine is? CHILDREN: Eighteen.

Excellent! You've been practicing.

Pretty soon you'll be able to do any multiplication, whether it's two times seven... CHILDREN: Fourteen.

Very good. Or 13 times 379.


I beg your pardon?

I think that's the answer.

13 times 379.



it is.


Matilda, you know how to multiply big numbers?

I read this book last year on mathematics at the library.

You like to read?

Oh, yes, I love to read.

What do you like to read?

Everything, but lately I've been reading Darles Chickens.

Charles Dickens. I could read him every day.

So could I.

All right, everyone, take out your workbooks and let's start with section three.

I'll be back in a moment.

TRUNCHBULL: Yippee! Gotcha right in the neck! And you. Woo-hoo!

Yes! You-- Come in, come in, whoever you are.


Almost got you.

Good to see you, Jen. Good, good, good.

Time for one of our little heart-to-hearts?


Actually, it's about the new girl in my class, Miss Trunchbull, Matilda Wormwood.

Her father says she's a real wart. A what?

A carbuncle, a blister, a festering pustule of malignant ooze.

Oh, no, Matilda Wormwood is a very sweet girl, and very bright.

A bright child?

Yes. She can multiply large sums in her head.

So can a calculator.

Well, I think she might be happier in an older and more advanced class.

Ah, I knew it!

You can't handle the little viper, so you're trying to foist her off on one of the other teachers.

No, no, no, Miss Trunchbull. Yes!

Typical, slothful cowardice.

Listen to me, Jen.

The distance the shot put goes depends upon the effort you put into it.


If you can't handle the little brat, I'll lock her in the choky!

Get it? Yes, ma'am.

One day, Jen, you'll see that everything I do is for your own good, and the good of those putrescent little children!



ZINNIA: Get back at Tiffany. Before.

When she was having that-- Mom, I'm home.

ZINNIA: How was school? School was great.

My teacher lets me do sixth-grade work. Look.

Algebra and geography. Hold on a minute.

Can't you see I'm in the middle of an important phone call?

Well, you just asked me how school was.


What else was she supposed to do? The baby wasn't his.

Well, it was really great.

No way. They gotta be implants.

The principal is insane. She threw a girl over the fence by her hair.

It would change your life too if you waxed yours, I'm positive.

I have the most wonderful teacher.

Mine are driving me crazy.

I'm telling you, six hours a day at school is not enough.

I'll say.

Hiyah. Whack to the belly! A smack to the face. Another smack to the face!

Burns is hurt. He's on the ropes, ladies and gentlemen.


Saved by the bell.

Packages at this hour? Come here.

What? Okay.


We don't give money. We don't like charities. We don't buy raffle tickets.

Mr. Wormwood.

I'm Jennifer Honey. I'm Matilda's teacher.

What has she done now?

You! Go to your room right now! Right now. Beat it!

Look, whatever it is, she's your problem now.

No, there is no problem.

Then beat it. We're watching TV.

Mr. Wormwood, if you think watching some rotten TV show is more important than your daughter, then maybe you shouldn't be a parent.

Now, why don't you turn that darn thing off and listen to me?


All right, come in. Get this over with.

Mrs. Wormwood's not gonna like this. Come on, get in.

Close the door.

Who is it? Some teacher.

Says she's gotta talk to you about Matilda.

What did you do that for? He had Velasquez on the ropes.

What do you want?

I'm sure you're aware by now that Matilda has a brilliant mind.

Yeah, right. Mikey, get me a beer.

Her math skills are simply extraordinary.

She's reading material that I-- Want one?

Oh, no, thank you, dear.

Material that I didn't see until my second year of college.

Oh, college. Great, college.

I really feel, with private instruction that she'd be ready for college in just a few short years.

Look, Miss Snit.

A girl does not get anywhere by acting intelligent.

I mean, take a look at you and me.

You chose books. I chose looks.

I have a nice house, a wonderful husband, and you are slaving away teaching snot-nosed children their ABC's.

You want Matilda to go to college? Ha-ha-ha.

College! I didn't go to college. I don't know anybody who did.

Bunch of hippies and cesspool salesmen. Ha-ha-ha.

Don't sneer at educated people, Mr. Wormwood.

If you became ill, heaven forbid, your doctor would be a college graduate.

Or say you were sued for selling a faulty car.

The lawyer who defended you would've gone to college too.

What car? Sued by who?

Who you been talking to? Nobody.

Oh, dear, I can see we're not going to agree, are we?

No. I'm sorry I burst in on you like this.


ZINNIA: We ought to sue her for interrupting our show.

Tell me about it.

Why's he in the middle of the ring?

ZINNIA: He's standing in the middle of the ring because it's over.

[WHISPERING] Thank you.

HARRY: We missed it? [WHISPERING] Tomorrow.

ZINNIA: Great, it's over. Who won?

How do I know? You shut it off!

HARRY: Was it my fault that she came in the middle of the fight?

TRUNCHBULL: Hop to. Hippity-hop.

The entire school will go to the assembly room immediately.


What's up? Beats me.

Bruce Bogtrotter.



Would little Brucey come up here, please?


He lives on my block.

This boy, Bruce Bogtrotter, is none other than a vicious sneak thief.

You're a disgusting criminal, aren't you?

I don't know what you're talking about.

Cake. Chocolate cake.

You slithered like a serpent into the school kitchen and ate my personal snack!

Do you deny it?


Well, it's hard for me to remember a specific cake.

This one was mine.

And it was the most scrumptious cake in the entire world.

My mom's is better.


It is, is it?

How can you be sure unless you have another piece?

Sit down, Bog.



Here we go.

Smells chocolaty, eh?

Now, eat it!

I don't want any, thank you.

Eat it!

Don't eat it.

BOY: She wouldn't give him cake.

It's poison. Something's up.


Mm. Mm-hm. Yeah.



You look like you enjoyed that, Brucey.

Yes, ma'am.

You must have some more.

Oh, no, thanks.

But you'll hurt Cook's feelings.

Huh? Cookie.


She made this cake just for you to have on your very own.

Her sweat and blood went into this cake and you will not leave this platform until you have consumed the entire confection!

Entire confection.

See you at lunch. Thank you, Cookie.

Rotten kids. You wanted cake, you got cake.

Now, eat it!


Poor Brucey.


LAVENDER: He's going to puke.

I can't look. Is he going to puke?

Without a doubt.


Bruce looks real bad.

Give up? Ha-ha-ha.

You can do it, Brucey!

You can do it, Bruce!

Yeah, you can do it!

Go, Bruce!

CHILDREN: Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!






Stop! Silence!



TRUNCHBULL: Shut up! The entire assembly will stay five hours after school and copy from the dictionary.

Any children who object will go straight into the choky together!

MAN [ON RADIO]: Rescue 8 out of Station 8, Los Angeles County.

This was a Code R, an official way of saying we've caught a bad one.

The kind of accident where death itself holds a stopwatch on us.

Young lady, where were you?

Miss Trunchbull kept the whole school late because this boy ate some chocolate cake.

That's the biggest lie I ever heard. You see those packages over there?

They were left out for the world to see because you weren't here to take them in.

I don't think it's fair, bumpkins. What?

You get all this stuff from catalogs, and I don't get anything.

It's not catalogs, it's car parts, sweetness. It's business.

Oh, if it's business, why don't you have it sent to the office?

Because the cops may be watching the office.

The cops are watching the house.

What? They're parked outside right now.

You are such an ignoramus.

Those are speedboat salesmen. Really nice guys.


Speedboats? There are no lakes around here.

Yeah, but some people like to go away on the weekends.

Some people have fun. And some people are cops.

They are not cops. Are too.

They are not. I ought to know if there's cops watching my house.

Now, go to bed, you lying little earwig.

NARRATOR: With the FBI watching her father and the Trunchbull terrorising her school, it was a rare, happy moment when Matilda could just play with her friends.

A frog! A frog! A frog!

What is it, Lavender? A frog!

LAVENDER: It's a salamander.

It's a chameleon. MATILDA: It's a newt.

“Any of the small semiaquatic salamanders from the genus Triturus."

“Some are brightly colored and secrete irritating substances."


TRUNCHBULL: How could you keep going...?

Useless, flaming car!


Sell me a lemon?

You're heading for the choky, young lady!

Choky? Teach you a lesson.

What lesson?

You and your father think you can make a fool out of me!

My father? The guy with that stupid haircut!

I'm nothing like my father. You're the spitting image.

The apple never rots far from the tree.

LAVENDER: Miss Honey!

Miss Trunchbull teaches our class today, Lavender.

Please get a water pitcher. But Miss Honey--

Shh, shh. Quickly. She'll be here any second. Come on.

Make sure the water's cold, Lavender. Hurry. Vinnie, cover the fish.

Put away the art projects. Put away anything colorful.

Oh, Charlie, won't you get those crayons for me.

NARRATOR: Most great ideas come from hard work and careful planning.

Of course, once in a while, they just jump out at you.

HONEY: Raina, cover the birds and beetles. Hurry! Hurry!

I hear her coming. Okay, now, last time, some of you forgot yourselves.

Don't speak unless you're spoken to. Don't laugh. Don't smile.

Don't even breathe loudly.

TRUNCHBULL: Don't breathe at all.

Morning, Miss Trunchbull.

CHILDREN: Good morning, Miss Trunchbull.



TRUNCHBULL: I have never been able to understand why small children are so disgusting.

They're the bane of my life.

They're like insects. [MOUTHING] Where's Matilda?

TRUNCHBULL: They should be got rid of as early as possible.


My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no children at all.

Do you agree, Miss Honey?

Now, you, front of the class!


Are you okay?

TRUNCHBULL: Next time I tell you to empty your pockets, you'll do it faster, won't you?

BOY: Yes, Miss Trunchbull. TRUNCHBULL: Miss Honey.

This could be the most interesting thing you've ever done.

Sit down, you squirming worm of vomit!

Thank you, Miss Trunchbull.

Get up!

Can you spell?

Miss Honey taught us how to spell a long word yesterday.

We can spell "difficulty."

You couldn't spell "difficulty" if your life depended on it.

She taught us with a poem.

[IN HIGH-PITCHED VOICE] A poem, how sweet.

What poem would that be? Mrs. D, Mrs. I CHILDREN: Mrs. F-F-I Mrs. C, Mrs. U Mrs. L-T-Y

[IN NORMAL VOICE] Why are all these women married?

Mrs. D? Mrs. I? You're supposed to be teaching spelling, not poetry!

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why small children take so long to grow up.

I think they do it deliberately just to annoy me.


Shh, shh, shh, Shh.


What's funny? Hm?

Come on, spit it out. Speak up.

I like a joke as well as the next fat person.

Ah! It's a snake. It's a snake!

It's a snake! Uch!

One of you tried to poison me. Who?


I knew it!

I just thought you'd like to know, it's not a snake. It's a newt.

What did you say? It's a newt.

Stand up, you villainous sack of goat slime! You did this.

No, Miss Trunchbull.

Did you act alone, or did you have accomplices?

I didn't do it.

You didn't like the choky, did you?

Thought you'd pay me back, didn't you?

Well, I'll pay you back, young lady.

For what, Miss Trunchbull? For this newt, you piss-worm!

I'm telling you, I didn't do it!

Besides, even if you didn't do it, I'm gonna punish you because I'm big and you're small, and I'm right and you're wrong.

And there's nothing you can do about it.

You're a liar and a scoundrel, and your father's a liar and a cheat.

You're the most corrupt lowlifes in the history of civilization.

Am I wrong'? I'm never wrong.

In this classroom, in this school, I am God!




You! I didn't move.

You did this!

How could she possibly have done it when she was sitting way over here?

I'll be watching you, each and every one.

When you turn the corner, when you go to your cubbies to get your smelly coats, when you skip merrily to lunch, I'll be watching you, all of you, and especially you.

Oh, sweetheart, I'm sorry.

Thanks for not telling. Best friends don't tell.

She can really dance.

I'm gonna clean up this mess, and then I'll come and help you fill the bird feeder, okay?

I'll be out there in a minute.

Miss Honey? Yes, Matilda?

Miss Honey, I did it.

Did what? I made the glass tip over.

Oh, sweetheart, don't let Miss Trunchbull make you feel that way.

Nobody did it. it was an accident.

I did it with my eyes. Watch, I'll prove it to you.

It's wonderful you feel so powerful.

Many people don't feel powerful at all.

[WHISPERING] Come on, tip over, you glass. Glass, tip over. Tip over.

Come on, tip over. Tip over, glass.

It's all right, Matilda.


[IN NORMAL VOICE] I really did do it, Miss Honey.

One of the odd things about life is sometimes you can do something until you wanna show someone, and then you can't.

Or sometimes you think something's broken and then you take it to be fixed--

This isn't like that.


I don't know.

Maybe I made myself tired.

Matilda, would you like to come over to my house this afternoon?

I'd like that very much, Miss Honey.



MATILDA: I just stare very hard, and then my eyes get all hot, and I can feel the strongness.

I feel like I can move almost anything in the world.

You do believe me, don't you?

Oh, I believe that you should believe in whatever power you think you have inside of you. Believe it with all your heart.

That's where Miss Trunchbull lives.

MATILDA: Why is there a swing?

A girl I know used to live in that house. Her life was good and happy.

When she was just 2 years old, her mother died.

Her father was a doctor, and he needed someone to look after things at home, so he invited the mother's stepsister to come and live with him.

But the girl's aunt was a mean person who treated the girl very badly.

MATILDA: The Trunchbull. HONEY: Yes.

And worst of all, when the girl was 5, her father died.

MATILDA: How did her father die?

HONEY: The police decided he'd killed himself.

MATILDA: Why would he do such a thing?

HONEY: No one knows.

The end is happier.

She found a small cottage.

She rented it from this lovely rhubarb farmer for just $50 a month and she covered it in honeysuckle, and she planted hundreds of wildflowers and she moved out of her wicked aunt's house and she finally got her freedom.

Good for her.

Do you know why I told you this? No.

You were born into a family that doesn't always appreciate you, but one day, things are gonna be very different.

Should we go inside and have tea and cookies?

Yes, please. Okay.

This is the cottage from your story. Yes.

The young woman is you.

But then--

No. Yes.

Aunt Trunchbull.

When I left my home, Aunt Trunchbull's home, I had to leave all my treasures behind.

Treasures? Photographs of my mother and father, and a beautiful doll my mother gave me with a china face.

Lissy Doll, I called her.

Would you like some milk? Yes, please.

Why don't you run away?

I've often thought about it, but I can't abandon my children.

And if I couldn't teach, I'd have nothing at all.

You're very brave, Miss Honey.

Not as brave as you.

I thought grownups weren't afraid of anything.

Quite the contrary.

All grownups get scared, just like children.

I wonder what Miss Trunchbull is afraid of.


MATILDA: There she is.

Shot put.

HONEY: Hammer throw.



Back, back, back, back!

She's afraid of a cat?

Black cats. She's very superstitious.






MATILDA: Poor kitty.

Oh, he's all right. Hopefully.

Let's go get your treasures. No, Matilda.

Well, she's gone. Come on.

Matilda! Miss Honey.

TRUNCHBULL: Come on, move, you piece of junkyard fodder.

Shift, you-- No, no.

HONEY: My house.

Oh, my.

My father's portrait used to hang there.

MATILDA: Whoever painted the Trunchbull must have had a strong stomach.

A really strong stomach.



We should go.

Father's chocolate box.

After supper, he'd take a chocolate, cut it in half, and he'd always give me the bigger half.

When he died, Trunchbull would count them so I couldn't even sneak one.

She'd take a chocolate, bring it to her lips and say:

Much too good for children.

Have one.

No, she'd notice.

Where's Lissy Doll? Upstairs.






HONEY: Matilda.


You filthy-- Crush the little weasel!

HONEY: This is my room.

That's my dad.

MATILDA: What's his name? Magnus.

I used to call him King Magnus and he called me Bumblebee.

I don't think Magnus killed himself.

Neither do I.

Is that Lissy Doll?

TRUNCHBULL: Wormwood, you useless, used-car-salesman scum!

I want you around here now with another car!

Yes, I know what caveat emptor means, you lowlife liar!

I'm gonna sue you. I'm gonna burn down your showroom!

I'm gonna take that no-good jalopy you sold me and shove it up your bazooga!

When I'm finished with you, you're gonna look like roadkill!

You what? Ha, ha, you--



Come on.

Shouldn't we hide or something? Yeah. Yeah, go.

Go to the end of the hall, down the stairs and out the kitchen door.

I'll distract her.


Who's in my house?!

Come out and fight like a man!













HONEY: Come on, come on.

Come on, over there.

Some rats are gonna die today.


Oh, my goodness.

Feel my heart.

Weren't you the most scared you've ever been in your whole life?


Come on, let's go.

She shouldn't be allowed to treat people like that.

Somebody's gotta teach her a lesson. I know.

We'll wait until she leaves again, then we'll go get your doll.

What? Just kidding.

HONEY: Come here.

Matilda, promise me you will never go back in that house again.

I promise.

Okay. Come on.


Ha-ha-ha. So he came home with $2000 cash and he threw it up in the air and we both just swam in it like we were on The Million Dollar Sticky.

Do you like that show?

I love that show.

That was the old days.

Now he's got money in banks all over this planet, and does he give me a dime?

Matilda, this is Bob and Bill. They're cops.

They are not cops. They are Ace Powerboat salesmen.

Babyface, I'm starved!

Hi, Harry.

Who are you?

What is this, a hot tub party? Get the hell out of here!

I slave all day, I come home, you're entertaining a couple of surfer-dude bodybuilders.

They're cops, Dad.

You interested in time-share? Get out of here.

You don't let me talk to people. I am in a cage, Harry.

I need to talk to somebody besides our stupid kids.

Oh, yeah? A man is entitled to come home and find dinner on the table without having to wade through male strippers!

Dad? What do you want?

Yell at me, okay? HARRY: Shut up and leave us alone!

Yell at me again. HARRY: Yell at you?

I'll come in and pound your miserable hide!

What do I have to do to gain respect around here?!

I'm gonna give you a tanning like you've never had in your life!

My word is my law! You understand?! Law!



NARRATOR: No kid likes being yelled at, but it was precisely Harry's ranting and raving that gave Matilda the key to her power.

To unlock that power, all she had to do was practice.

You're a little cheat. What, are you stupid?

I'm smart, you're dumb. The apple never rots far from the tree.

I think there is something wrong with that girl.

I'm right, you're wrong. Hey, dip-face, here's your book.

You're a Wormwood. It's time you started acting like one!


♪ Little bitty pretty one Come on and talk to me ♪

♪ Lovey dovey lovey one Come sit down on my knee ♪

♪ Tell you a story Happened long time ago ♪

♪ Little bitty pretty one I've been watchin' you grow ♪ MAN [ON RADIO]: That was my personal favorite played especially for all you little bitty pretty ones moving and grooving on this sunny afternoon.

Playing music to make you smile, so you'd better not touch that d--


Shouldn't we have a search warrant to do this?

No, this guy's dirty.

Once we show this tape in court, Wormwood's goose is cooked.

I'm sure that box is full of stolen car parts.

AGENT BILL: You've been taping all week.

How about letting me handle that camera for a while?

AGENT BOB: You know how to use it?

You know about the zoom and the white balance?

You know how to adjust the eyepiece? I can handle it.

Besides, it's my turn.

Yeah, your turn to drop it.

I won't drop it.

Come on.

You two men are gonna be in a lot of trouble very soon.

It's the female minor.

AGENT BOB: Aren't you supposed to be in school, young lady?

I really hope you have a search warrant.

According to a constitutional law book I read in the library, if you don't have one, you could lose your job or even go to federal prison.

It's your father who's going to federal prison.

And you know where you'll end up? In a federal orphanage.

If you cooperate, we'll make sure it's a nice orphanage.

AGENT BILL: The kind with food and teeny-weeny cockroaches.

AGENT BOB: What do you say?


There's another crime in the making. Your car's about to run a stop sign.

NARRATOR: So she bought a little time for her dad to come to his senses.

But now Matilda had bigger fish to fry, much bigger.



Hey, dip-face, where are you going?


Hey, dip-face, have a carrot.


HARRY: Chew your food. You're an animal.

NARRATOR: Having power isn't nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.

And what Matilda had in mind was nothing short of heroic.



Come here. Come on. Lissy Doll, come on.

Come, Lissy. Come on, doll. Please. Come on.

Come on, Lissy. Please come here.



[CLOCK cum/nus]


[CLOCK cum/nus]

Leave me alone!





[CLOCK cum/nus]







Miss Honey! Miss Honey, you'll never believe what I got you.

Oh, Matilda.

Matilda. Oh, I also brought you this.

I ate mine last night.


I will be teaching your class today.

NARRATOR: In the time it took Miss Honey to get very, very nervous, Matilda had formulated a plan.

She is really raving mad.

What is it your father used to call you? Hummingbird?

Bumblebee. I'm sure she knows the doll's missing.

And he called her Trunchbull?

No, I suppose he called her Agatha. Yes, that's--

She called him Magnus, right? Yeah. Yes.

Maybe I could go back to the house and put the doll back while she's still at school.

Tsk. No, I can't do that. Calm down, Miss Honey. Really.

It's gonna be okay, I promise.

Sweetheart, you promised you wouldn't go back in that house again.

I didn't. I was on the garage roof. I did it with my powers.

Okay, on the garage roof with your powers.

All right, I need to think. Let's see.


Powers. Mm-hm.

I think I've got them down. Watch this.

No more Miss Nice Girl.

TRUNCHBULL: Get inside. Inside! Quickly, run!

Run! Get against the wall! Against that wall. Quickly!

Don't make me wait.


And hold the newt.

Join the ranks. Move!

I am here to teach you all a lesson.

Sometimes in life, horrible and unexplainable things happen.

These things are a test of character.

And I have character.

Form a line across the room! Quickly! Run, run, run! Don't keep me waiting.

Fill this gap!

I expect you're wondering what I'm talking about. Hm?


A child came to my house.

I don't know how, I don't know when, I don't know why.

Miss Trunchbull, may I--? No, you may not.

But I know a child came.

So did you know it was illegal to enter someone's home without their permission?

CHILDREN: Yes, Miss Trunchbull. Sir.

Stand straight! Stomachs in! Shoulders back!

Do any of you recognize... this?


[IN HIGH-PITCHED VOICE] Let's play a game. Shall we?

Who was wearing a pretty red hair ribbon yesterday and isn't wearing one today?

Can you answer me that?

[IN NORMAL VOICE] Who does this disgusting ribbon belong to?

I shall personally see to it that the demented, drooling, slime-breathed little Lilliputian who owns this disgusting ribbon will never see the light of day again. You.

Miss Trunchbull, I was the one who was at your house last night. I know what--

I broke your arm once before, I can do it again, Jenny.

I am not 7 years old anymore, Aunt Trunchbull.


Shut your holes!

You will be put away in a place where not even the crows can land their droppings on you.


GIRL 1: The chalk. BOY 1: The chalk.

BOY 2: Chalk. GIRL 2: The blinds.


"A." CHILDREN: "Agatha...

this is Magnus.

Give my... little Bumblebee... her house... and her money."

Money? CHILDREN: "Then get out of town.

If you don't, I will get you.

I will get you like you got me.

That is a promise."









No, no, Miss Trunchbull, please don't throw him.


Woo-hoo-hoo! Woo-hoo!





GIRL 1: Lavender! GIRL 2: Lavender!

GIRL 3: Neat! BOY 2: That's cool.

BRUCE: It's the Trunch.

Wow! Hey, you guys, look at this.


Let go.


Wow. Cool. I didn't know I could do that.

Pretty good, huh?






NARRATOR: And the Trunchbull was gone, never to be seen or heard from, never to darken a doorway again.

Miss Honey moved back into her father's house.

HONEY: Teatime.

Of course, Matilda was a frequent visitor.

Did you know that the heart of a mouse beats at the rate of 650 times a minute?

My, where'd you learn that? In a book.

It beats so fast, it doesn't sound like beating at all. it sounds like it's humming.

A porcupine's heart beats 300 times a minute.

All right. HARRY: Quick!

ZINNIA: Hey, you.

Hey, we're leaving. Let's go. Get in the car. Hurry up.

Let's wrap up these cookies. Come on, we're leaving. Now.

I'd be happy to walk her home.

Well, nobody will be there. We're moving to Guam.

Come on, let's go. Guam?

Daddy's not gonna be in the auto business anymore.

I don't want to leave.

But we're going on a permanent vacation.

Yeah, and we gotta beat the speedboat salesmen to the airport.

I love it here. I love my school. It isn't fair.

Miss Honey, please don't let them take me.

Get in the car, Melinda. Matilda.

HARRY: Whatever. I want to stay with Miss Honey.

ZINNIA: Well, Miss Honey doesn't want you.

Why would she want some snotty, disobedient kid?

Because she's a spectacularly wonderful child, and I love her.

Adopt me, Miss Honey. You can adopt me.

Look, I don't have time for all these legalities.

One second, Dad, I have the adoption papers.


Hey, where'd you get those? From a book in the library.

I've had them since I was big enough to Xerox.

Are you hearing this, Harry?


All you have to do is sign them. I'll be an only child again.

Shut up! I can't think with all these sirens.

What do you think, pumpkin?

You're the only daughter I ever had, Matilda.

And I never understood you, not one little bit.

Who's got a pen?

Here. Thanks.


NARRATOR: And doing, perhaps, the first decent thing they ever did for their daughter, the Wormwoods signed the adoption papers.

And here. Okay.

All right, come on. Here. Turn around.

You're not gonna be calling us for support payments or something like that, huh?

Oh, no, no. We'll have everything we need. Don't worry.

All right, here. Let's roll.



NARRATOR: So Harry and Zinnia got away.

And as bad as things were before, that's how good they became.

♪ On my way ♪ NARRATOR: Miss Honey was made principal of Crunchem Hall, which had to add an upper school because children never wanted to leave.

And Matilda found, to her great surprise, that life could be fun.

And she decided to have as much of it as possible.

After all, she was a very smart kid.

♪ I would like to hold my little hand ♪

♪ And we will run, we will ♪

♪ And we will crawl, we will ♪

♪ I would like to hold my little hand ♪

♪ And we will run, we will ♪ NARRATOR: But the happiest part of the story is that Matilda and Miss Honey each got what they had always wanted:

A loving family.

And Matilda never had to use her powers again.

Well, I mean, almost never.

♪ On my way, on my way ♪

♪ On my way, on my way ♪

♪ On my way ♪

“Call me Ishmael.

Some years ago, never mind how long precisely, having little or no money in my purse and nothing particular to..."