Maybe you’ve read Roald Dahl’s Matilda. Maybe you’ve watched the 1996 movie or seen the stage musical. The story of a young girl who saves her school from an evil headmistress isn’t one people soon forget.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda: The Musical is now streaming on Netflix. It’s a movie version of the stage show. Alisha Weir, 13, plays Matilda. “I got to turn myself into a completely different person,” she told TIME for Kids. “When they said ‘Action!’ I could leave myself completely behind.
"Before getting the part, Alisha had read Matilda. She knew the songs from the musical. “We can all really take something from Matilda,” says Alisha. “No matter what age you are, you can take away to be strong like Matilda and have lots of courage.”
Tim Minchin wrote the music and lyrics for the stage show. He created a new song for the movie. “Writing it was really joyous,” he says.
In the process, Minchin realized something about Matilda and her kindly teacher, Miss Honey. “They need each other,” he says. “Even a little superhero, even someone with actual magic powers, needs someone standing by them.”
What’s next for the magic girl who rescues her school, her teacher, and herself? “Who knows?” Minchin says. “Maybe there will be a rocket ship named after her.” That would be a blast!