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10+ Behind The Scenes Secrets About 'Matilda' Fans Didn't Know

It is hard to believe that Matilda came out in 1996.

Since most of us still watch this childhood classic — including Mara Wilson herself! — it feels like just yesterday that we were introduced to the wild and wacky characters.

For those still obsessed with the film, you will love these 10+ behind-the-scenes secrets that fans didn't know.

1. It was almost banned:

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That's because the British author, Roald Dahl, had a serious distaste for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Witches.

" [My husband and writing partner Nicholas Kazan and I] said, 'How about we write this for free?' the film's screenwriter, Robin Swicord, told Thrillist.

"If you do like it, we'll go out together as partners," she continued. "Liccy Dahl, his widow, was open to working that way. She couldn't sell it to anyone else until she'd seen our screenplay."

"Nick and I wrote it together, over a summer. Our children and friends who were there read it aloud to us and we could hear it. It was a wonderful family thing. We had to give it to her by September and we did, and she said, “This is fine, let's go.”

2. Mara Wilson lost her mother shortly after the movie was filmed:

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She hadn't known that her mother was sick.

"She was so resilient and so strong, and that was what she prided herself on, and there was a lot of help from the people there."

When she passed, Wilson got a lot of support from her cast and crew.

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"The DeVitos were definitely very helpful, everyone there, our studio teacher Richard [Wicklund]. Everyone on set gathered around me and took care of me."

She also said that Matilda got her through that tough time.

3. The film was almost cancelled over script arguments:

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Since DeVito had written his own script, this made Dahl's widow uneasy.

"Liccy was unhappy about that," Swicord, told Thrillist. "The only real way to resolve it was to either pull it back from the company, which Liccy was not inclined to do."

Apparently, it was also in their contract that the script could not be rewritten. So tensions were high.

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"It was very unpleasant… That bastardized screenplay was set aside, and we just proceeded as if that incident had never happened."

4. Pam Ferris, who played Miss Trunchbull, tried to stay away from the kids between takes:

She told RadioTimes that she wanted to "stay aloof" to keep that "awed look in their face and fear."

But it didn't work since she fell in love with the kids.

5. Ferris spent hours in the makeup chair to look like Miss Trunchball:

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Yes, she did not wake up like that. She had a nose tip added and ink used to look like veins and blobs.

"I was textured like a Jackson Pollock," she told RadioTimes.

“We were going to have big top teeth all the way across but in the course of extra teeth being fitted I said I quite like it with only half in because it gave me a kind of Elvis sneer," she continued.

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"So we left just the one side of extra teeth in and it did a wonderfully cruel thing to my mouth.”

6. Danny DeVito directed the movie for his kids:

He also starred in it. "He cared enormously. His kids loved the book," Swicord told Thrillist.

"He wanted to narrate it, which I felt was kind of confusing at the creative level in terms of, "Why is it the father's voice?"

She continued:

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"Why is Matilda's father telling her story?" It felt like it should be more like the voice of God. It should be Roald Dahl's voice? But, you know, it was personal for him. I really appreciated that."

7. Wilson still watches the movie when she babysits:

"I get very critical of myself," she told Thrillist.

"In fact, Matilda is kind of an oddity because I do like watching it. Or I like watching it more than some of the others, because I feel proud of how I did in it."

8. Trunchbull's "much too good for children" line is advertising copy:

Swicord got the idea for the line from when she worked at a an ad agency.

"They got the Peak Frame -- which is a British cookie -- Peak Frame Cookies account. My boss wrote the line: "much too good for children." So I just lifted that."

9. It was the first movie that Wilson got creatively involved in:

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Since she had been so young in Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street, she didn't have much say.

But that all changed with Matilda. "I designed the dolls that Matilda has in the movie. That was Danny's idea."

10. Jimmy Karz, who played Bruce Bogtrotter, stuffed his face with cake for 144 takes:

"This is really gross, [but] I'm going to tell you anyway," DeVito said on the 2005 DVD Documentary.

"We made him stuff his face, but then I would cut the camera [and] he would spit it out!"

11. Speaking of Jimmy, he didn't even like chocolate cake:

It's hard to believe, but true! “He hated it and no one knew that until it was too late,” Ferris revealed to RadioTimes.

"If everybody had known they would’ve made it savoury or something that he could eat. It was hard on him, poor little devil.”

12. The kids really got to go crazy on set:

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If some of those scenes looked like chaos, that's because it was.

"The scene where we storm the Trunchbull out of Crunchem Hall - that was a lot of fun," Wilson revealed to Thrillist.

"It was all of us just throwing stuff at Pam," she continued. "And filming the montage at the end with Embeth [Davidtz]."

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"We actually did get to have a picnic, and we actually did get to roller-blade in the living room, and we actually did get to eat chocolate. And that was really fun."

13. DeVito paid homage to *Jurassic Park* in the film:

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As a huge fan of the franchise, he made Ferris look out the window and snort to heat the glass up.

"Danny was very keen that I snorted like a big Tyrannosaurus Rex. So what he did was he froze the glass so when I snorted on it, it fogged up."