David Walliams’ family-friendly films -
perfect for a BritBox kid’s movie night
Comedy actor David Walliams is most famous for Little Britain, Come Fly with Me and (my absolute favourite) Big School, but he’s also a best-selling children’s author. In fact, his funny stories have become so popular with the little ones that Walliams has been hailed as the new Roald Dahl for the 21st century.
Several of his successful books have been adapted for telly by the BBC, so if you are looking for some brilliant films for the kids this summer, you’ll find two of Walliams’ funniest on Britbox:
This adaptation of Walliams’ novel is the story of 12-year old Joe and his dad Len, who get rich quick by inventing a new toilet roll - Bumfresh. Their sudden wealth gives them everything they could ever want - or does it?
The cast includes the fabulous Catherine Tate (who also starred with Walliams in Big School) as a glam 40-something hand model and Len’s new gold-digging girlfriend. Star Wars and Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis appears as himself in the role of Len and Joe’s celebrity butler. Opera-lovers will also enjoy a special cameo performance by Bryn Terfel. And look out for David Walliams playing Mrs Trafe, a dinner lady at Joe’s school who’s so not good at cooking.
In a BBC interview, Walliams said, “I am thrilled we have put together an all-star cast for this adaptation. The script is even bigger and better than the book”.
Billionaire Boy is a whimsical, heartfelt story about what’s really important in life. Not too moralistic or preachy, but there’s a big lesson to learn between the laughs.
Another Walliams’ novel adapted for telly, now streaming on BritBox.
The impressive cast includes Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville as a rather posh tramp befriended by a little girl called Chloe. Sheridan Smith is magnificent as Chloe’s snobby, overbearing, wannabe-MP mum, while Johnny Vegas plays a former rockstar turned henpecked husband and dad to Chloe and her overachieving sister. Once again, David Walliams makes a guest appearance, this time as the smarmy Prime Minister.
When the lonely Chloe invites the vagrant Mr. Stink to move into her garden shed, she soon sniffs a whiff of mystery around a man who thinks one bath a year is more than enough. It turns out this smelly squatter has a few secrets up his stinky sleeve.
I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as some of Walliams’ other stories, but it’s still a touching tale about empathy and friendship. Other themes include bullying, egotism, sibling rivalry and homelessness, but in the usual kid-friendly-Walliams’ style, these are sensitively wrapped in gentle humor. Overall, it reminded me of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.
Both of these made-for-TV movies have a bit of a Christmassy feel, but not too much, meaning these films can still be enjoyed by the whole family all year round.
Also recommended - my personal favourite of all Walliams kid’s stories, available on DVD and in paperback:
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