Why you need to watch Netflix's Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl crossover

Roald Dahl never looked so good

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
(Image credit: Netflix)

What's better than one new Wes Anderson film? Four new Wes Anderson films, and you shall have them. The visionary director has adapted four lesser-known Roald Dahl tales into shorts for Netflix.

The four shorts also all feature mostly the same primary actors including Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade. With rave reviews for the flagship film in the collection, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and three excellent offbeat shorts that are well worth a watch.

Whether you plan to watch them one at a time or all in a row to form a feature-length anthology, here's the lowdown on each story.

1. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: 27th September

The first and longest short of the collection. This 39-minute film sees Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, a struggling gambler who arrests a slump by learning a mysterious technique from "The man who sees without using his eyes".  

Interestingly many believe that Dahl wrote this story as a satirical swipe at critics who moaned that his works never had a happy ending, so expect something sugary sweet. It (and all the other films in the collection) is presented almost as a monologue to camera, with sets being visibly constructed and deconstructed around characters as they talk. 

2. The Swan

The Swan

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: 28th September

Another Dahl story featured in his short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, this is a brisk 17 minute story of a genius young boy being ruthlessly bullied. It features the tensest scene of the collection. 

As well as Ralph Fiennes, this story also stars Rupert Friend and young Asa Jennings as lead character Peter. I won't spoil too much but the short story at least is a touch darker than Henry Sugar's tale. Perhaps those critics had a point Roald? 

3. The Rat Catcher

The Rat Catcher

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: 29th September

This wasn't actually in the Henry Sugar collection, but 1954's Someone Like You so clearly Anderson has specifically chosen it and has something special in mind. As you might expect it centers around a professional rat exterminator and some talking rodents.

Ralph Fiennes put in some fine work as the creepy title character but I would still argue this is perhaps the most 'out-there' of the movies in this collection.

4. Poison


(Image credit: Netflix)
  • Release date: 30th September

Poison has been adapted before when Alfred Hitchcock did his own TV version of this story in 1958, so there are big boots to fill. 

This is a very simple story of a man in India who wakes to find a poisonous snake in his bed, and features Cumberbatch (in his pyjamas), Fiennes, Kingsley and Dev Patel- with Fiennes playing the author himself. Of the three shorter films, this might be the best, with Patel in particular giving a very strong performance.

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.