Roald Dahl is known for his widely imaginative children’s stories. The BFG, written in 1982, has been read by many fourth/fifth grade classes. The tale of a large giant that blows good dreams into the bedrooms of children in the middle of the night and is seen by a young orphan girl takes children on an adventure to Giant Country. Dedicated to his daughter, Olivia, who died in 1962 at age 7, the book has won many awards and accolades. This live-action remake release has been timed to coincide with what would have been Dahl’s 100th birthday.
The first announcement of this film had me giddy. I first fell in love with BFG when my older children had to read it in school. Of course, we had seen the “original” movie (yes, there was an original, animated version released in 1989) and thought it was quite bizarre. This animated flick really put the BFG into perspective and it was easier to understand the giant’s mannerisms and vocabulary. With that being said, it was one of the few films that I would encourage ‘seeing before reading’ the book. This new remake was one I seriously have had a countdown for.
Let me start with this – this movie is a rendition of a children’s story. But not just any children’s story. This is Roald Dahl – the author of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits. It should be a given that this movie will be filled with nonsensical goodness, laughter, predictability and a few life lessons.
If you have read the book, you will be pleased to know that this film follows the book beautifully. The movie is well done and a wonderful tribute to Roald Dahl. The BFG is everything his name is: big and friendly. Mark Rylance portrays a warm hearted giant, who has his flaws and is scared to go beyond his comfort zone. Ruby Barnhill is a wonderfully brave Sophie, who challenges the BFG to do more than he is – to be brave himself and stand up for what is right. The combination of these two friends is very endearing and will leave you smiling. It is important to notice that there are a few life lessons that can be taken from this. It can lead to great conversations with your children regarding trust, fear, insecurities and differences.
We loved this film. I was very happy to see that The BFG was not set in the present time. It was kept in the time period it was written, with a slight nod to its 1982 publishing date (Queen Victoria’s phone call to Nancy looking for Ronnie). It is a simple movie, full of laughs (be prepared to laugh out loud about Frobscottle) and a few scary parts as well (there are nine man-eating giants). The scene where they visit the Dream Tree is stunning. But keep in mind this is a children’s movie based on a Roald Dahl book. This isn’t the next blockbuster, but it is a super friendly movie that should be seen.
The NDK Review: I really liked The BFG. I can’t wait to read the book. He was so friendly and funny! There were a few scary parts, but the part about the Frobscottle and the Queen was the best! I’m glad that Sophie and the BFG are friends. They really helped each other a lot!
Disclosure: We were invited to a special screening of The BFG in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own and no other compensation was received.
The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg –
finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic “The BFG” to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber and Frobscottle. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.
Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison based on the best-selling book by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” stars three-time Tony Award®, two-time Olivier Award and Oscar® winner Mark Rylance, newcomer Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader. The film is produced by Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Sam Mercer, with Kathleen Kennedy, John Madden, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Michael Siegel serving as executive producers.
“The BFG” opens in U.S. theaters on July 1, 2016, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth.