How to watch Wes Anderson's Roald Dahl short films on Netflix

Benedict Cumberbatch and Ralph Fiennes in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
(Image credit: Netflix)

It may only have been a few months since Wes Anderson's latest movie Asteroid City touched down on the big screen, but the director is already back with not one, but four, new short films. 

You may have already heard of The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, Anderson's adaptation of a Roald Dahl short story that premiered at Venice Film Festival – but did you know that there are three other shorts based on Dahl's work that are also coming to Netflix this week? 

Anderson already adapted Dahl's novel Fantastic Mr. Fox into a feature-length movie back in 2009, but now he's turned his attention to the writer's short-form tales. But which ones are they? And when can you watch them? We've answered those questions right here.

When are Wes Anderson's Roald Dahl shorts releasing on Netflix?

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

(Image credit: Netflix)
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – Wednesday, September 27
  • The Swan – Thursday, September 28
  • The Ratcatcher – Friday, September 29
  • Poison – Saturday, September 30

All of the short films are releasing at 12.01am PT/3.01am ET, which is 8.01am in the UK, on their respective release dates. Although all the films are based on work by the same author, their plots aren't linked, so you can watch them in any order.

What are the short films about?

Rupert Friend in The Swan

(Image credit: Netflix)

All four short films are adapted from short stories by Roald Dahl, so we can expect a macabre twist on each of them – combined with Anderson's whimsical flair, of course. 

First up, we have The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which follows the titular character, a wealthy man with a penchant for gambling who masters the art of seeing through playing cards to find out what's on the other side and predicting the future through meditation. 

The Swan was originally published in the same short story collection as The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. This tale centers around three boys: Peter and his two bullies, Ernie and Raymond. When Ernie gets a rifle for his birthday, he and Raymond head out to a field to shoot some birds – until they run into Peter.

The Ratcatcher, meanwhile, does exactly what it says on the tin: exploring the darker side of human nature, it follows a ratcatcher who has an, um, unusual way of dealing with rodent pests… 

Poison, the final short in the series, is set in India during the time of British colonial rule. When the story's narrator, Timber Woods, goes to visit his friend Harry, he finds him sick in bed, claiming that he's been attacked by a venomous snake, and they enlist the help of a local doctor. 

Who's in the cast?

Ben Kingsley and Dev Patel in Poison

(Image credit: Netflix)

There's a fair amount of overlap between the casts of the four shorts, with regular Anderson collaborator Ralph Fiennes, who played the lead role in 2014's The Grand Budapest Hotel, appearing in all of them.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar, while Fiennes plays Roald Dah himself. Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, Rupert Friend, and Richard Ayoade also star.

The Swan sees Fiennes return as Dahl, alongside Friend and Asa Jennings. Fiennes is back again in The Ratcatcher, this time as 'Rat Man', along with Friend and Ayoade. The final film, Poison, once again stars Fiennes as Dahl, with Cumberbatch, Kingsley, and Patel also returning.

All caught up on Anderson's new batch of shorts? Fill out your watch list with our picks of the best Netflix movies to stream right now.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.