"I have never been able to understand why small children are so disgusting. They’re the bane of my life. They’re like insects: they should be got rid of as early as possible. My idea of a perfect school is one in which there are no children...at all!"
Description: Pam Ferris as mean Miss Agatha “The” Trunchbull, the cruel, authoritarian school principal in the motion picture Matilda (1996).
"I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me." - Miss Trunchbull
Agatha Trunchbull is the headmistress of Crunchum Hall Elementary. She is an ex-Olympian who hates children and who won't hesitate to show her ire towards them. To discipline kids she feels have done something wrong (most likely they haven't) Miss Trunchbull puts the offenders inside a closet called the "Chokey" a sort of iron maiden for kids whose interior is studded with spikey nails.
"Sit down you squirming worm of vomit...Stand up you venomous sack of goat slime...in this classroom, in this school...I am GOD!. I'll be watching you. Each and everyone. When you turn the corner. When you go to your little cubby to get your smelly little coats. When you skip merrily to lunch. I'll be watching you...ALL of you!" - Miss Trunchbull
Once Miss Trunchbull got so annoyed at a little girl named Amanda Thripp (Jacqueline Steiger) that she grabbed the child by her pigtails, spun her around like a human hammer throw and tossed her over a nearby fence.
|Miss Trunchbull:||Amanda Thripp!|
|Amanda Thripp:||Yes, Miss Trunchbull?|
|Miss Trunchbull:||What are those?|
|Amanda Thripp:||What's what, Ms. Trunchbull?|
|Miss Trunchbull:||Hanging down by your ears.|
|Amanda Thripp:||You mean my pigtails?|
|Miss Trunchbull:||Are you a pig, Amanda?|
|Amanda Thripp:||NO! Ms. Trunchbull.|
|Miss Trunchbull:||Do I allow pigs in my school?|
|Amanda Thripp:||My mommy thinks they're sweet.|
|Miss Trunchbull:||Your mommy... is a TWIT!|
Luckily for the kids, Miss Trunchbull's reign of terror would end when a little girl named Matilda Wormwood (Mary Wilson) started to attend the school. Harry Wormwood (Danny Devito), a crafty used car salesman gained the acquaintance of Miss Trunchbull when she became one of his customers and soon after, Matilda was enrolled in Crunchum Hall.
"Wormwood! You useless, used-car-salesman scum! I want you around here now with another car! Yes, I know what caveat emptor means, you low life liar! I'm gonna sue you. I'm gonna burn down your showroom! I'm gonna take that no-good jalopy you sold me and shove it up your bazooga! When I'm finished with you, you're gonna look like roadkill!" - Miss Trunchbull [complaining on the phone about the lousy car she bought from Harry Wormwood]
Matilda had always wanted to learn, but her parents constantly ignored her. Desperate for knowledge, Miranda, at the age of 4, walked to the library all by herself and spent her days reading books and learning everything she could about the world.
Her self-absorbed parents, however, could never understand why she was so interested in reading books. Her mother Zinnia (Rhea Perlman) believed, "A girl does not get anywhere by acting intelligent!" And her father asked, "Why would you want to read, when you got the television set sitting right in front of you? There's nothing you can get from a book that you can't get from a television faster."
"Listen, you little wiseacre: I'm smart, you're dumb; I'm big, you're little; I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it." - Harry Wormwood [to Matilda]
|Harry Wormwood:||What is this trash you're reading?|
|Matilda:||It's not trash, Daddy, it's lovely. It's called "Moby Dick", by Herman Melville.|
|Harry Wormwood:||Moby "WHAT?" [snatches the book and tears the pages]|
|Harry Wormwood:||This is Filth! Trash...!|
|Matilda:||It's not mine! It's a library book!|
|Harry Wormwood:||I'm fed up with all this reading! You're a Wormwood, you start acting like one! Now sit up and look at the TV.|
Although her parents had made Matilda's educational pursuits a nightmare, there was one teacher at school who recognized Matilda's love for learning and took her under her wing. This was Miss Jenny Honey (Embeth Davidtz). When she was five, Miss Honey's father died and he left all of his assets to Miss Trunchbull, leaving his daughter with nothing. When she was old enough, Miss Honey moved out of her wicked aunt’s house into a small cottage that she covered with honeysuckle and wild flowers.
Things get worse for Matilda when one of the kids at school place a newt in Miss Trunchbull's glass of water. She immediately suspects Matilda of the deed, and sasys, "You're a piss-worm...You're a liar and a scoundrel, and your father's a liar and a cheat, one of the most corrupt lowlifes in the history of civilization! Am I wrong? I'm never wrong!" Matilda insists, "I'm telling you, I didn't do it!" But Miss Trunchbull could care less, and exclaims, "Besides, even if you didn't do it, I'm going to punish you, because I'm big and you're small, I'm right and you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it!"
"Children! Filthy, nasty things. Glad I never was one." - Miss Trunchbull
Eventually, Matilda is fed up with Trunchbull and uses her newly found power of telekinesis to set things straight at home and scare her dreaded principal out of town.
Miss Honey had long suspected that her aunt had killed her father and made his death look like a suicide so she could inherit all of his possession. Matilda uses this knowledge and begins to make objects float in the air in a ghostly fashion. She uses her power to write a message on the school blackboard that appears to be a message from the grave left by Miss Honey's father, Magnus). The incident frightens Miss Trunchbull and she runs for her life, never to be seen again.
"Agatha, This is Magnus. Give my little bumblebee her house and money. Then get out of town. If you don't I will get you. I will get you like you got me. That is a promise." - Ghostly chalkboard message from Magnus Honey
As she leaves the school, the fleeing Miss Trunchbull is confronted with an army kids who pelt their wicked principal with food from their lunches.
In the end, Miss Honey retakes her rightful property (including her favorite doll that was left behind at her family mansion), and petitions to adopt Matilda whose parents were fleeing the country to avoid arrest by the FBI for committing numerous dirty dealings (like buying stolen auto parts).
"Whoever painted The Trunchbull must have had a strong stomach. A really strong stomach." - Matilda [upon seeing a portrait of her principal on a wall]
And so, Miss Honey, who was made principal of Crunchum Hall, and Matilda, who finally found someone that loved her, lived happily ever after. And Matilda would never use her special powers again...well almost never.