Sunday, August 31, 2014

[MOVIE REVIEW] James and the Giant Peach (1996)


Title: James and the Giant Peach

Starring:  Paul Terry, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, and Richard Dreyfuss

Genre: Fantasy / Family / Friendship / Insects

Company:   Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by: Henry Selick

Year: 1996

MPAA Rating / TV Rating: Rated PG - For Some Frightening Images.

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Best Buy  //

When a young boy named James loses his parents to a rampaging rhinoceros (who takes the form of a thunder cloud) and he is forced to live with his cruel aunts, Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge, James dreams of going to America to live a better life.  However, later on James meets a strange old man who gives him a bag of "crocodile tongues" and he tells James that there is magic in those tongues.  James takes the tongues, but accidentally drops the tongue near a peach tree, which causes one of the peaches on the tree to grow into gigantic proportions.  Later that day, while Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge used the giant peach to make a fortune, James goes inside the peach and discovers a group of bugs who have also grown in gigantic sizes. James and the bugs then decided to head over to New York City to get a better life for themselves, while avoiding various dangers along the way.

Now, I was practically introduced to "James and the Giant Peach" through Roald Dahl's original book and I instantly fell in love with this story!  So, I was definitely excited to see Roald Dahl's classic novel come to life in animation and I must say that I practically enjoyed this bizarre yet creative version of the classic children's story.  I absolutely loved all of the characters, with my favorite characters being Miss Spider and the Centipede.  I loved Miss Spider because she was quite an unusual character as she is considered frightening by the other bugs due to her literally eating other bugs, but I loved the fact that she cares so much for James and was willing to help him out no matter how horrifying the situation is.  The Centipede was a truly fun character as he might be a little rude and annoying to the other bugs, but I loved his courageous nature and the fact that he is also willing to help James out of his situation.  The voice acting was fantastic, especially Susan Sarandon as the quiet and serious Miss Spider and Richard Dreyfuss as the fun loving Centipede, as they fit the characters extremely well and they bring so much life to the characters.  The story was truly creative, especially about the idea of a group of friends (giant insects in this case) coming together inside a giant peach and traveling around the world with it!  I found that idea to be a bit strange yet creative at the same time and even though I have an intense fear of bugs, I definitely would have loved to be friends with giant bugs!

The major problem I had with this movie was that there seemed to be so many plot holes within this film that there were times that I did not understand what was going on in this film. Like for example, how did Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker drive their car through the ocean and how can a mechanical shark appear out of nowhere in the ocean?

Overall, "James and the Giant Peach" is definitely one treat that fans of Roald Dahl's works and fans of surreal animation should definitely check out!

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