Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

Wes Anderson is a director known for his specific style of filmmaking, using lots of symmetrical shots, pastel colors, and always with the same cast members. Anderson recently released four short films to Netflix. The shorts include: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, The Swan, The Rat Catcher, and Poison. Each of these shorts are based on short stories by the children’s author, Roald Dahl. Previously, Anderson has recreated Fantastic Mr. Fox before which is another of Dahl’s stories. Fantastic Mr. Fox is a popular film among Wes Anderson fans, and arguably one of his best. 

I was interested to see these four shorts of Wes Anderson’s since they seemed to come out of nowhere. Before Netflix began promoting The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, I had no idea that Anderson had even been working on something new. I had seen Asteroid City over the summer when it was released and was expecting to not see a new Wes Anderson film for a while. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. I was even more surprised when I went to Netflix on the release date and saw three more short films from Anderson. I couldn’t wait to see what these stories were about.

First, I watched The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. This short is about Henry Sugar and his journey to being able to see without his eyes. A portion of the film is also about Imdad Khan whose story is within the story of Henry Sugar. Imdad tells us about his journey to seeing without his eyes as well. Henry Sugar is a gambler and a very rich person, but he changes throughout the course of the film. I thought this story was really good. The world was set up like a play in a theater which was really fun to watch. They did scene changes and there were stage crew members who gave the characters items or helped things run smoothly. It was just like watching a play. Roald Dahl was also a character himself, he narrated parts of the story.

Next, I watched The Rat Catcher which is one of the three 17-minute shorts. This short felt more like a Wes Anderson film. Specific shots were similar to Anderson’s normal style. This film also featured an animated section with a rat that reminded me of Fantastic Mr. Fox. This short is about a rat catcher, who is hired to kill the rats that are infesting a town. The film had a more sinister ending than Henry Sugar did. 

Then I watched Poison which was about a man who happens to discover a poisonous snake asleep in his bed. This short had a really fun world setup. Similar to The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, the scene was set up like a theater play again. I really enjoyed how Anderson played with the physical setup of the scenes to create more intensity. Characters would run between rooms of the house easily which upped the intensity.

Finally, I watched The Swan. This was the one that I was least interested in but turned out to be one of the better ones. This short is about a boy who loves to watch birds but is tormented by two bullies. This short seemed to have the most heart in my opinion. It’s a sad story, but it moves you. Again, Wes Anderson plays with “crew members” who hand off items to the characters or close doors after them. It’s satisfying to see things constantly move in the perfect way.

Overall, it was interesting to see these Roald Dahl stories come to life. I had never heard of any of them before, but they were all well told. I enjoyed seeing Wes Anderson’s style come alive in a short film format. There are obvious differences but also similarities between it and his normal full-length movie style. I also found it interesting that he used the same cast for all of the short films. It was almost like they all took place in the same world. I also enjoyed that Roald Dahl himself was included as a character and a narrator in the films. It added to this feeling that the stories are all from the same world. I would recommend watching them if you are a Wes Anderson fan or if you are just intrigued by the idea of making Roald Dahl stories into films. They are all well made and fascinating to see unfold.

Sophie Sanders is a writer for the Her Campus at University of Kansas chapter. She has been a part of Her Campus KU since August of 2022. Sophie focuses on entertainment when writing for Her Campus KU. She enjoys writing about current films, TV shows and books. Sophie was awarded the Writing Member of the Month by the HCKU writing executives in February. Sophie is a sophomore at the University of Kansas and is double majoring in Film & Media Studies with an emphasis in Production and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Apart from Her Campus, Sophie is involved in the Film Department at KU. She works as an office assistant in the front office and she is involved with KU film clubs. Sophie enjoys reading, writing creatively, and watching movies in her free time. Some of her favorite books include Six of Crows, Normal People, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. She is a huge fan of the Scream movie franchise. Her favorite Scream is Scream VI. She also loves La La Land and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Sophie enjoys Yoga and board games. Sophie is passionate about issues pertaining to women and lgbtq+ people as well.