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Alfie

'Alfie had been with Mrs Silver for years and he lived on her balcony summer and winter. Planks had been placed around the sides of the balcony so that Alfie could walk about without toppling over the edge...' - Esio Trot

Alfie is a tortoise, and the much-loved pet of Mrs Silver. He lives on the balcony of her flat, beneath Mr Hoppy (who is secretly in love with Mrs Silver.) 

Mrs Silver worries about Alfie's size, but he doesn't appear to have many concerns himself. He has his own little house on the balcony and enjoys breakfasting on lettuce, tomato and celery. He hibernates in winter, and on his return is greeted joyously by Mrs Silver.

It's Mrs Silver's desire to see Alfie grow that sets Mr Hoppy's plan into action. He provides Mrs Silver with a spell that will, apparently, help Alfie do just that. Mrs Silver is delighted, and the stage is set for Alfie's grand adventure. Let's just say it involves a trip up to Mr Hoppy's, where he gets to meet a lot more tortoises...

BBC One's 2015 adaptation of Esio Trot sees the addition of a new character that does not appear in the original story. James Corden narrates the action of the film, charting Alfie's progress from Mrs Silver's to Mr Hoppy's and all the way in between...

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Centipede

'"Well, James, have you ever in your life seen such a marvellous colossal Centipede as me?"' James and the Giant Peach

The Centipede in James and the Giant Peach is a pest. But he is very proud of being a pest. He has 42 legs and wears a lot of shoes, which he asks James to help him remove at the end of that first day inside the Peach. He's also a jolly fellow who enjoys a joke, a song - and a little bit of teasing of poor old Earthworm...

In 1996 an animated film version of Roald Dahl's original story was released, with Richard Dreyfuss voicing the Centipede.

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Earthworm

"'I am not a slimy beast,' the Earthworm said. 'I am a useful and much loved creature. Ask any gardener you like.'" - James and the Giant Peach

The Earthworm appears in Roald Dahl's first famous book for children, James and the Giant Peach. He is one of a number of creatures James Henry Trotter meets aboard the Giant Peach.

He is a pretty morose creature - as the Ladybird tells James, "'He hates to be happy. He is only happy when he is gloomy. Now isn't that odd? But then, I suppose just being an Earthworm is enough to make a person pretty gloomy, don't you agree?'"

James is quick to point out the Earthworm's good points, though, later telling an audience of New Yorkers: "'He would be absolutely grand for digging subway tunnels and for making you a sewer.'"

The 1996 film version of James and the Giant Peach featured the voice of David Thewlis as the Earthworm.

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The Enormous Crocodile

'The Enormous Crocodile grinned, showing hundreds of sharp white teeth. "For my lunch today," he said, "I would like a nice juicy little child."' - The Enormous Crocodile

The Enormous Crocodile is a beastly creature. He lives in "the biggest, browniest muddiest river in Africa," and he is just about the beastliest crocodile there. Where the Notsobig crocodile eats only fish, The Enormous Crocodile wants to eat everyone in the jungle, from The Roly-Poly Bird to Muggle-Wump the Monkey. But his favourite food of all is a yummy-tasting child...

It's this that makes him leave the river to search out a tasty lunchtime treat, using his "secret plans and clever tricks" - even though the Notsobig One says he's the stupidest croc on the whole river. So will he be successful?

The Enormous Crocodile bears a strong resemblence to another horrid Croc: Crocky-Wock, who appears in Roald Dahl's Dirty Beasts (1983).

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Mr Fox

'On a hill above the valley there was a wood. In the wood there was a huge tree. Under the tree there was a hole. In the hole lived Mr Fox and Mrs Fox and their four Small Foxes.' - Fantastic Mr Fox

Mr Fox is clever. Far too clever for his local farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Still, even a very clever and cunning fox sometimes gets caught out - and when those devious farmers finally locate the whereabouts of Mr Fox's home, it puts him and his family in danger.

But Mr Fox is never beaten - and by trapping him and his family inside their foxhole, it looks like Boggis, Bunce and Bean might have accidentally shot themselves in the foot instead...

In 2009, director Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox featured George Clooney as "Foxy" Fox. In the film, his character was a newspaper columnist and the father of one son, Ash, as opposed to the four Small Foxes that appear in the original story. A nephew, Kristofferson, also lives with the family.

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Mrs Fox

'...Mrs Fox said to her children, 'I should like you to know that if it wasn't for your father we should all be dead by now. Your father is a fantastic fox.'" - Fantastic Mr Fox

Mrs Fox is the loyal and loving wife of Mr Fox, a husband who by her own admission is pretty fantastic. In Roald Dahl's original story she is also the mother to the four Small Foxes, although in Wes Anderson's 2009 animated film adaptation she has only one child, Ash, and also looks after her nephew, Kristofferson.

Wes Anderson also gave her the first name Felicity. In Roald's original tale she is simply Mrs Fox, but Felicity was the name of Roald's own wife. Wes's film adaptation draws on Roald's life in many other ways too, not least the locations of many of the sets which were based on areas in the Buckinghamshire countryside where Roald wrote the story.

Mrs Fox is a supportive wife, ably holding the fort while her husband is off poaching chickens and turning her hand to the creation of a superb feast.

In Wes Anderson's film adaptation, the character was voiced by Meryl Streep.

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Glow-worm

"'She isn't really a worm at all. Glow-worms are never worms. They are simply lady fireflies without wings.'" James and the Giant Peach

This is what the Centipede tells James Henry Trotter after he points out that the Glow-worm doesn't actually look like a worm at all, in Roald Dahl's early children's story James and the Giant Peach.

She might spend a lot of her time sleeping, but the Glow-worm provides the main source of light for James and his friends aboard the Giant Peach. As James says later, "...although this smacks a bit of eccentricity, it's really rather clever."

In the 1996 partially animated film version of James and the Giant Peach, Miriam Margolyes - who had also played Aunt Sponge - voiced the Glow-worm.

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Humpy-Rumpy

'A gigantic creature was standing in the slimy oozy mud on the river-bank. It was Humpy-Rumpy, the Hippopotamus.' - The Enormous Crocodile

Humpy-Rumpy lives on the river-bank next to the "biggest, brownest muddiest river in Africa," alongside the horrible Enormous Crocodile, who he tries to persuade not to eat the nearby children. He foils The Enormous Crocodile's plan to disguise himself as a tree in order to snap up a juicy child.

The Enormous Crocodile was published in 1978, and was the first Roald Dahl story to feature illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

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Ladybird (or Ladybug)

"'The number of spots that a Ladybird has is simply a way of showing which branch of the family she belongs to. I, for example, as you can see for yourself am a Nine-Spotted Ladybird.'" - James and the Giant Peach

The Ladybird (or Ladybug, as she is known in North American editions of the book and in the 1996 film, where the character is voiced by actress Jane Leeves) appears in Roald Dahl's first famous children's story, James and the Giant Peach.

She is a great friend to James during his adventures aboard the Peach, and her kind personality causes James to call her his "greatest comfort since this trip began." She has nine spots upon her wings - and four hunderd children...

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The Notsobig Crocodile

'"I never eat children," the Notsobig One said. "Only fish."' - The Enormous Crocodile

The Notsobig Crocodile lives in "the biggest, brownest muddiest river in Africa," alongside The Enormous Crocodile. But while the Enormous Crocodile is always on the lookout for a juicy child to eat, the Notsobig One eats only fish, saying that children "are tough and chewy and nasty and bitter."

Can the Enormous Crocodile be stopped? Notsobig and the other residents of the river-bank are the ones to stop him...

The Enormous Crocodile was published in 1978. It is the first Roald Dahl story to feature illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

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Old-Green-Grasshopper

"'Young fellow,' he said, speaking in a deep, slow, scornful voice, 'I have never been a pest in my life. I am a musician.'" James and the Giant Peach

The Old-Green-Grasshopper is a wise old creature who feels that his musical skills are unappreciated inside the Giant Peach, but he takes a liking to young James Henry Trotter and keeps a fatherly eye on him throughout the story.

Roald Dahl's original story of James and the Giant Peach was first published in 1961. In 1996, an animated film adaptation of the story was released, with Simon Callow voicing the character of The Old-Green-Grasshopper.

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Muggle-Wump

Muggle-Wump the Monkey is most at home eating nuts in the African jungle he lives in - but he also falls foul of the horrible Twits...

Muggle-Wump is the name of the Monkey we first meet in The Enormous Crocodile, which was first published in 1978. He's a generous sort of monkey, offering the beastly Enormous Crocodile some of his favourite nuts, even though the Crocodile would rather eat the Monkey himself as a nice tasty snack before he hunts out some children for his lunch...

Muggle-Wump also finds himself in a sticky situation in The Twits, released in 1980 - he and his family have been imprisoned by the horrible Mr and Mrs Twit and forced to stand on their heads all day as part of Mr Twit's GREAT UPSIDE DOWN MONKEY CIRCUS training.

But Muggle-Wump is clever. When his old friend the Roly-Poly Bird pays a visit, he realises that he has a chance not just to escape, but also to teach those nasty Twits a lesson...

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The Roly-Poly Bird

'Then one day, a truly magnificent bird flew down out of the sky and landed on the monkey cage.'The Twits

The Roly-Poly Bird is a magnificent bird who usually lives in the African jungle. He first appears in Roald Dahl's 1978 story The Enormous Crocodile, where the horrible Enormous Crocodile threatens to eat him for lunch. He's too swift by half for the Crocodile though, and quickly flies away before later helping foil Croc's secret plans and clever tricks...

He also pays more than a flying visit to help Muggle-Wump the Monkey and his family - as well as the birds that might otherwise end up in Mrs Twit's Bird Pie - in The Twits, published in 1980.

The Roly-Poly Bird has marvellous coloured feathers, likes to travel, and his favourite food is berries, as he tells us in The Enormous Crocodile.

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Silkworm

'On the floor over in the far corner, there was something thick and white that looked as though it might be a Silkworm. But it was sleeping soundly and nobody was paying any attention to it.' James and the Giant Peach

The Silkworm is one of the creatures James Henry Trotter meets aboard the Giant Peach in Roald Dahl's first famous children's story, James and the Giant Peach. Although she says little, she is an invaluable member of the Peach's crew: without her quickly-spun silk, James's plan to rescue the Peach from the threatening sharks might never have worked.

Towards the end of the story, James reveals another piece of information about the Silkworm: apparently, she had the honour of sewing Queen Elizabeth II's wedding dress. 

The Silkworm did not feature in the 1996 animated film version of James and the Giant Peach - in the film, Miss Spider was the sole provider of the silk that helped rescue the Peach.

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The Small Foxes

'Mr Fox looked at the four Small Foxes and he smiled. What fine children I have, he thought.' - Fantastic Mr Fox

In Roald Dahl's orginal Fantastic Mr Fox story, Mr and Mrs Fox have four children who they live with in their foxhole. They are all eager to assist their father in his bid to get as much food as possible form those horrible farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

In Wes Anderson's 2009 film adaptation of the story, the Foxes have only one child, Ash, and a nephew who comes to stay with them called Kristofferson. Ash is voiced by Jason Schwartzman, and Eric Anderson is Kristofferson.

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Miss Spider

'"I am not loved at all. And yet I do nothing but good. All day long I catch flies and mosquitoes in my webs. I am a decent person."' - Miss Spider, in James and the Giant Peach

Poor old Miss Spider. She's such a helpful creature, and yet as she tells James in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, spiders just aren't treated right. She even has to witness her poor old father being flushed down the plug-hole by James's horrible Aunt Sponge.

She's a good friend to James, though, and - along with the Silkworm - it is her incredible thread that helps get them out of a sticky situation aboard the Peach. 

In the 1996 animated film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, Miss Spider was voiced by Susan Sarandon.

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Trunky

'Trunky was nibbling leaves from the top of a tall tree, and he didn't notice the Crocodile at first. So the Crocodile bit him on the leg.' - The Enormous Crocodile

Trunky the Elephant lives in the jungle near the river where the horrible Enormous Crocodile also lives. It is up to him and the other residents to stop the Enormous Crocodile from getting up to his child-eating secret plans and clever tricks. Luckily, Trunky has an idea to help get rid of the Crocodile forever...

The Enormous Crocodile was released in 1978. It was the first of Roald Dahl's stories to feature illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake.

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