Title: James and the Giant Peach
Director: Henry Selick
Original Release: 1996
Choice: Our Girl's
My Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5
We've been fans of James and the Giant Peach for a long time at our house. We first listened to the audiobook as read by Jeremy Irons on a road trip when our daughter was quite young. When she got her iPod Shuffle a while back, the book was her first download. She'd listen over and over again, often reading along with the book herself.
Given our great familiarity and affection for the original Roald Dahl book, I am a bit resistant to the film as it is quite different. Our Girl, however, is not bothered at all. This was our second time watching the film interpretation and she loves it. I can't deny that it's a well-made film - the combination of live action and stop-motion animation very effective.
The orphan James Henry Trotter lives a miserable life with his abusive aunts in 1930s England. One day, a giant peach falls from a tree in the yard. James crawls inside where he is befriended by the enlarged insects living within. The peach carries them all away to the sea, just the beginning of a journey that takes them all the way to New York. That much of the story is the same as the book. Other details along the way are added and altered but the spirit of the story is preserved.