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Taika Waititi And Famous Friends Read Roald Dahl For Covid-19 Relief

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BY May 22, 2020
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Acclaimed director and delightful human being Taika Waititi has teamed up with the Roald Dahl foundation to raise funding for Covid-19 relief. Waititi will read James And The Giant Peach cover to cover in an ongoing video series. And he is bringing some of his famous friends along for the ride. Chris and Liam Hemsworth; Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Nick Kroll appear in the first two installments out now on Youtube. Other actors slated to appear include Lupita Nyong’o; Mindy Kaling, Cate Blanchett, Kumail Nanjiani, Billy Porter, Tessa Thompson, and many more.

The ongoing video series with Waititi and friends reading James And The Giant Peach is available for free on Youtube. The 10-part video series will also feature family friendly activities. Fans and kids will be able to craft and experiment alongside the famous celebrities.

Dahl And Waititi Pair Well Together

Taika Waititi Talks Direct Star Wars Movie Gage Skidmore Featured Comic Con Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

The pairing of Roald Dahl and Taika Waititi makes sense, as both are known for their surrealist humor and quirky stories. Waititi also recently signed on to adapt two Dahl stories into animated features for Netflix. One of these shows will focus on Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. The other will be an original take on the Oompa Loompas created by Waititi in partnership with the Dahl Foundation. Although Netflix has committed to adapting more of Dahl’s stories in the future, it is unclear if James And The Giant Peach will be one of them.

James And The Giant Peach Is A Children’s Story About Isolation

The story is timely for our ongoing quarantine life. In the book, James is lonely and isolated after the death of his parents. His two mean Aunts take him in, but make his life miserable. When he drops some magic beans by an old tree, a giant peach grows and James sets off on a series of wacky adventures. The book is hailed as Dahl’s first classic children’s novel, setting the tone for the rest of his career.

James Henry Trotter lives with his two horrid aunts, Spiker and Sponge. He hasn’t got a single friend in the whole wide world. That is not, until he meets the Old Green Grasshopper and the rest of the insects aboard a giant, magical peach!

James And The Giant Peach Image via Penguin Random House

The Roald Dahl Story Company will donate £1 million to COVID-19 impacted charities. Among these are Partners In Health and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, which provides health support staff for sick children in the UK. The Roald Dahl Story Company will also match donations to Partners In Health up to £823,000.

The first two videos in the series are available now on Youtube. New episodes will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6pm BST. The official Roald Dahl website also has a page dedicated to activities for kids stuck at home during the pandemic. So keep your kids entertained with the help of Roald Dahl!

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BooksPop CultureBooksCharityChildren's BooksRoald DahlTaika WaititiVideo Series

Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

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