Thursday 1 September 2016


Re-released as part of the Roald Dahl On Film season that celebrates the centenary of his birth, a special "Scratch 'n Sniff" version of Matilda is now touring cinemas.

I'll be honest that I've always been sceptical of this sort of 'stunt cinema'. I blame it on too many dodgy 3D films spoiling what could have been a pure cinema experience and a level of old man apathy. But on a quiet Bank Holiday Monday with a film that I already know I like, why not give something new a try?

Using a card with ten differently scented circles on it to scratch off throughout the film and a somewhat rudimentary process where a member of the cinema team sits at the front of the screen and shines a torch at the appropriate point of the film, we got to discover the delights of fresh pancakes and fish paste accompanied by the delighted chatter of little voices eager to take part.

Scratch 'n Sniff Cinema have previously created screenings for The Wicker Man and The Goonies, but this is by far the biggest film they have done to date. The often gross and gloopy works of Roald Dahl fit this medium extremely well, and DeVito's film is not only a delight to see on the big screen, but the ideal adaptation to undergo such a process. It's a curious array of scents with an unmistakable synthetic funk filling the cinema screen as they all got scratched away, and although there's a certain amount of suspension of disbelief needed to fully immerse yourself in the fragrances, the whole experience made for a wonderfully fun and smelly time.

Engaging young audiences with cinema is an incredibly important thing to do to, and this certainly did that. Captivating the young and old members of the audience alike, this newly scented version of Matilda is a family favourite made more fragrant.

If you're interesting in joining seeing where Matilda is showing next, visit the Film Hub Wales website, or for more information about all of the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations, visit

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