James & The Giant Peach (DVD)

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James & The Giant Peach (DVD)

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Review of "James & The Giant Peach (DVD)"

published 16/06/2017 | kiss_me2070
Member since : 11/02/2004
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Pro enjoyable film for the family, easy watching, based on the roald dahl book
Cons some younger children may find some parts slightly scary
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"It's like he said "Marvelous things will happen"."

James And The Giant Peach (DVD)

James And The Giant Peach (DVD)

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About the Film
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No doubt many of you will have heard of ‘James and the Giant Peach’, which is a book by Roald Dahl. For those of you who don’t know the book or the film it’s about an orphan (James), who lives with his two cruel aunts. He befriends anthropomorphic bugs who live inside a giant peach, and they embark on a journey to New York City. I am reviewing the film which I have seen a couple of times before and I’ll fully admit that I actually really like the film. The film was released on 2nd August 1996 and was produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi, directed by Henry Selick, and starred Paul Terry as James. The film is a combination of live action and stop-motion animation. I recently saw this film when I went to visit my nephews. They have seen the film before but not for quite a while so they were looking forwards to seeing it again.

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• Paul Terry as James Henry Trotter
• Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Sponge
• Joanna Lumley as Aunt Spiker
• Pete Postlethwaite as Narrator/the Magic Man
• Steven Culp as James' Father
• Susan Turner-Cray as James' Mother
• Mike Starr as Beat Cop
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• Simon Callow as Mr. Grasshopper
• Richard Dreyfuss as Mr. Centipede
• Jeff Bennett as Mr. Centipede (singing voice)
• Jane Leeves as Mrs. Ladybug
• Susan Sarandon as Miss Spider
• David Thewlis as Earthworm
• Miriam Margolyes as Glowworm

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The Film
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The film starts off with James and his parents on a beach. It’s James’s birthday and he makes a wish and blows on the candle on his cake. They are all lying on a blanket on the beach and looking at the clouds. James’s parents tell James that they are going to go to New York which James is really excited by. An angry Rhino comes out of the clouds and eats his parents up. With this being a children’s film you don’t see this happen and it’s not as scary as what it might sound. The next scene in the film goes to James living at his aunt’s house which he hates. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are horrible to him and are always making him do the chores and cleaning around the house and garden. Their house is on the top of a hill and it looks dark and dull there. You can’t help but feel sorry for James as his aunts make him work all day from early in the morning until late at night. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are horrible looking woman who look scruffy, old and have horrible rotting teeth. James still dreams of going to New York but his aunts tell him that h is foolish for even thinking that he would be able to go there. Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker are quite funny in the film in the fact that they think they are gorgeous looking and have very good looks. The way they act is quite funny and I think some children would find them funny to watch.

James befriends a spider in his room but it’s not long before his Aunt’s spot the spider and try to kill it. Thankfully James wakes up in time and manages to pick the spider up and puts it outside at the bottom of the hill. It’s here where he meets a man he has never seen before. The man gives James a bag containing little green glowing things that apparently will help to change James’s life. James trips and the green things that look like worms end up falling out and burying themselves into whatever they can find being the ground and the nearby peach tree. All of a sudden one of the aunts notices a peach on their tree which has never ever even blossomed. Some of you may be able to guess what happens next, which is that the peach starts growing in size very quickly. None of them can believe their eyes especially James but all Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker think about is making money from it. James can’t resist taking a handful from the peach and as he takes a bite something magical happens.

James is able to climb into the peach and as he climbs further into the peach this is when the film turns into animation. As soon as James gets to the center of the peach this is where he meets all the other insects from the garden and these insects are animated as well. James is frightened of the insects at first but they know who James is and are kind to him and James becomes friends with them and starts to feel comfortable with them. The insects are all quite funny, especially Mr. Centipede. There are some singing/songs in the film and by 20mins into the film you will have heard James sing a song as well as all the insects/bugs singing a song as well. Mrs. Ladybug comes across as the mother figure out of everyone inside the peach. They all want to leave the hill and get away from Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker; and they managed to get away inside the peach as Mr. Centipede cuts the branch that the peach is hanging from. The peach naturally ends up rolling away from the house, down the hill and finally lands into the ocean. Children may find it quite funny as the insects inside the peach are thrown around making funny faces and saying that they feel sick.

During the rest of the film we see James and the giant bugs embark on their journey to try to get to New York. Earthworm is quite a funny character as well as children would probably take a liking to this character as well. During their journey, they come across some dangers such as Sharks and other things. Again, the majority of the rest of the film is in animation and the shark is one that is made from metal shapes so it’s not as though it looks like a real shark anyway. James builds his friendship up with all of the bugs and Miss Spider looks after James just like he did when she was living in her web in James’s bedroom back at his aunt’s house. I think children will find the scene when they are having a fight with the insides of the peach very funny as they all start throwing bits of peach at each other and end up getting quite messy. James and Miss Spider seem to become very close in the film and James tells her that she was his first friend since moving to aunts. In the film, they also come across a pirate ship which has skeletons on and some young children may find this a little scary but to be honest I think most would find it funny more than scary. In the last twenty minutes of the film James comes out of being animated and goes back to looking like a normal human being. The film has an expected and very happy ending. James doesn’t have to go back and live with his Aunts when he tells everyone how badly they treated him. I don’t want to ruin the film for those who haven’t seen it but the film ends with what James deserves and James is nothing but more than happy with his new life.

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Overall Opinion
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I have watched this film at least three times now over the years and I still think it’s a great film. I’ll admit that it’s not one I would specifically choose to watch by myself unless I want something very easy to watch but my nephews enjoy watching this film and I enjoy watching it with them. My nephews are ages 6 and 11 and they really enjoyed the film and didn’t find any of the parts scary at all. They loved the big bugs and my youngest nephew found Earthworm to be the funniest character out of them all. My eldest nephew found the aunts quite funny, but he also liked Mr. Centipede as well. The film has a good story to it and it is exactly the same as the book. I knew my nephews would enjoy this film and my eldest nephew loves all of the Roald Dahl books and he has already read ‘James and the Giant Peach’, so he knew a little what the film would be about. I personally think this is a great family film and one that children will enjoy and will want to watch again.

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• Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 93% based on reviews from 69 critics, with an average score of 7.2/10.
• On IMDB the film is rated 6.7/10 rated by 51,921 users.
• The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score, by Randy Newman. It won Best Animated Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

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Other Information
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Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Classification: U
Running Time: 1hr 19min

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Comments on this review

  • mumsymary published 27/06/2017
    E E fab review read the book many times, loved the film
  • jb0077 published 24/06/2017
  • chrisandmark_is_here published 22/06/2017
    Fab review - I've not seen this, always think it looks a bit weird x
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Product Information : James & The Giant Peach (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Pete Postlethwaite, Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss

Director(s) (Last name, First name): Selick, Henry

Classification: Universal

EAN: 5060002830017

Production Year: 1996


Listed on Ciao since: 14/06/2017