Starring: Paul Terry, Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, Miriam Margolyes, David Thewlis, Joanna Lumley
Written By: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jonathan Roberts, Steve Bloom
Directed By: Henry Selick
Studio: Disney / Buena Vista
Buy On Amazon.com
I never saw James And The Giant Peach or read the Roald Dahl novel either. I figured since this was coming out digitally restored, I might as well check it out. After seeing it, I’m not exactly sure what I saw and my mind is still boggled down by it.
James Henry Trotter (Paul Terry) was enjoying his life with his nice parents, who talked about a better, dream-like place called New York City. Woooooo. All of a sudden, they are randomly eaten by a demonic rhino. I think at that moment I would have been scared as a kid. They don’t show it but how messed up! Anyway, James gets stuck living with his two abusive aunts who look like they stepped out of a Tim Burton movie. Oh wait…With names like Spiker and Sponge, you don’t expect them to be nice do you? James tries to think of better places like NYC so he doesn’t have to think of the place he’s currently living with his troll-like aunts.
His life changes when he meets a weird, mysterious stranger outside that gives him magically crocodile tongues that will make his life better. Right creep, right. As James heads back to the house, he trips and the tongues go by a dead peach tree. Later on, the peach tree grows one peach that soon becomes a giant one! James’ aunts try to exploit the giant peach and make money off of it. James decides to venture into the fruit one day and befriends a group of insects and critters. You got: Mr. Old Green Grasshopper, Mr. Centipede, Mr. Earthworm, Miss Spider, Mrs. Ladybug, and Glowworm. Mr. Centipede decides to cut the peach loose from the tree and it ends up in the ocean. After that, James and his new friends go on adventure and head for New York City.
Just reading those last 2 paragraphs over, it sounds like a crazy person who this. I’ve never really been a fan of Roald Dahl all that much. About the only thing I liked was Charlie/Willy Wonka stuff from him. Basically when it comes down to it, I thought James and the Giant Peach was just weird. When you mix Tim Burton/Henry Selick, Roald Dahl and Disney, what you get is just a weird combo. I didn’t know what the hell I was watching on the screen.
I was a little too old to see this originally, but even if I was younger when this came out, I don’t think I would have liked it. I was never much of a fan of the singing stuff but thankfully it’s not so bad in this. Not Sweeney Todd bad. I felt like cutting my wrist for that movie! I also think if I was younger viewing this movie for the first time, I’d be a little creeped out. It’s something about the stop motion animation and the art & look of the film that would give me nightmares. Now, I can at least appreciate the beauty of the look of the film; which was one of the main reasons for seeing this. I like the mixture of the live-action, animation and stop motion animation. I always like the look of things that Tim Burton is associated with, but sometimes the movies are just a little out there.
For this being digitally restored, I could still notice the film looking a little dated in spots. I watched this on DVD so I can only imagine it might not live up to expectations to Blu-Ray owners. The extras were “classic,” meaning used from the older DVD but I guess Blu-Ray people have a few new things to check out.
All in all, James and the Giant Peach isn’t as good as The Nightmare Before Christmas and is just weird and not something I would enjoy if I was a kid. But someone out there must like this, considering it won a few Oscars and is being re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Disc 1: Blu-ray
New! Spike The Aunts Interactive Game
Disc 2: DVD
Behind The Scenes Making Of
“Good News” Music Video
Original Theatrical Trailer
Widescreen 1.66:1 Color
ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, Spanish, French
Bottom Line: A weird movie that probably would have scared me as a kid.
Running Time: 79 mins