Wes Anderson, known for his infrequent film releases, has made 2023 a special year for fans with two offerings. Following the highly anticipated release of “Asteroid City” this summer, the acclaimed filmmaker is once again treating fans this fall with a set of new short films titled “Wes Anderson’s New Shorts,” available on Netflix. This collection comprises four short films, all based on the imaginative short stories of renowned author Roald Dahl. Anderson takes on the roles of writer, director, and co-producer for these films.
The initial film, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” draws inspiration from Dahl’s 1977 collection, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More,” which also serves as the foundation for the second film, “The Swan.” The third and fourth films, “The Ratcatcher” and “Poison,” respectively, are independent adaptations from Dahl’s other works of the same titles.
In each of “Wes Anderson’s New Shorts,” a rotating cast of actors takes on various roles across the different films. For example, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as both the titular character and Max Engelman in the first film, while in the fourth film, he portrays a character named Harry. Similarly, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, Rupert Friend, and Richard Ayoade will be seen in multiple roles.
These short films mark Anderson’s second foray into adapting Dahl’s work, following the critically acclaimed, Academy-nominated animated film, “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” released in 2009. Now, 14 years later, with “Wes Anderson’s New Shorts” on Netflix, viewers are eagerly anticipating the return to the nostalgic charm of Dahl’s stories in live-action.
As for the release, “Wes Anderson’s New Shorts” will be available for streaming on Netflix from September 27, 2023. “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” will be the first to arrive, followed by each subsequent film a day after.
Following its global premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival on September 1, 2023, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” had a limited theatrical release on September 20.
While Netflix has released a trailer for the first of the four short films, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” no trailers have been released for the other three. Nevertheless, the available trailer gives a taste of what to expect. True to Anderson’s signature style, it presents a magical, dreamlike experience, reminiscent of strolling through a picture book. In just one minute, the trailer brings Dahl’s fantastical tales to life through Anderson’s masterful storytelling and vivid imagination, all while incorporating sardonic humour—a perfect encapsulation of Dahl’s unique narrative style and eccentric characters.