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Sophie is snatched from her orphanage early one morning by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), whom she witnesses engaged in mysterious activities, and whisked away to Giant Country. She is soon put at ease, as she learns that BFG's job is to collect, catalogue and deliver pleasant dreams to children. She joins him that night, but the mean giants follow them, planning to eat the children. Sophie enlists the help of the Queen, by making up a dream for her, and with the backing of the armed forces, they defeat the mean giants. Written by
Cynan Rees <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Following an altercation with the other Giants, just before he shows Sophie 'dream country', the BFG states that "human beans" (sic) are the only animal to kill each other. In actuality, there are a vast number of animals which kill other animals of the same species. See more »
A little disappointing compared to the book, with primitive animation for its time, but I still think it deserves some credit
This cartoon adaptation of one of Roald Dahl's children's novels was released when I was only three years old, seven years after the book was published and the year before the author's death at the age of 74. I first saw this film in the early 90's, probably when I was around six or seven years old, and remember seeing it a good number of times. When I first watched this adaptation of "The BFG", I was totally unfamiliar with the book, but remember some of it being read to me around 1993 or '94. I started reading it myself during the late 90's, but didn't get very far. I never got through the entire book until this month, and then I watched this 1989 film for the first time in maybe more than fifteen years, this time on DVD, a format which had probably not yet been introduced when I last saw the film. It certainly wasn't the same as it used to be for me, but it still wasn't bad.
Sophie is an orphaned child who lives in a cruel orphanage in England. One time, she is awake late at night, and looks out her window. She sees a mysterious giant outside, blowing something into another window on the street! After the giant sees her, she is abducted and taken far away to a cave in Giant Country! At first, the girl thinks she is going to be eaten, but luckily, it turns out this giant is the Big Friendly Giant, or BFG, the only giant who doesn't eat humans. While the other giants, all much bigger than him, go out at night to find humans to eat in different countries, he goes out to blow dreams into children's bedrooms. The reason why he abducted Sophie was because she saw him, and didn't want her telling others about him, or he could end up in a zoo. So, it appears she will have to stay with him for the rest of her life. Since the BFG refuses to eat people and steal food, he has no choice but to live off a repulsive vegetable called the snozzcumber, the only thing that grows in Giant Country. Now that Sophie is here, it's also all she has to eat, though she does get a tasty drink called frobscottle, which causes major flatulence. Disgusted by the way the other giants eat humans, the human girl in their land is determined to find a way to stop them once and for all, but first, she will have to think how this could possibly be done!
I never noticed this as a kid, but one flaw that stands out here is the animation. The backgrounds often seem like still paintings used as a backdrop for the two-dimensional drawn figures in the foreground, and these two elements do not go well together. During shots of landscapes in the film, it sometimes seems like a camera moving around a painting for a documentary about the person who painted it. Animation has become significantly more advanced in the past couple decades, but even for 1989 and probably long before then, it's pretty primitive here. Mind you, there are some nice backgrounds, such as the Dream Country one and the BFG's dream cave with all the colourful lights, and music that really fits these scenes. This intrigued me in a unique way as a kid, and I guess it still did during my most recent viewing to a certain extent. The voice acting is good for the most part (even if it's not great), and the BFG is a likable character, with David Jason providing a voice that fits him. The screenplay may seem a little rushed at first, but overall, it's an entertaining and sometimes exciting adventure. There's even a song about frobscottle and the flatulence it causes, and while this part is a little juvenile, I can't deny that the "Whizzpopping" song is catchy. There's another song in the film called "Sometimes, Secretly" featured in the flying scene in Dream Country. I felt that the movie could have done without this song. It's like a radio-friendly pop ballad, and as such, it seemed out of place to me, but fortunately, that's just one part of the film.
This piece of animation certainly isn't the most famous Roald Dahl adaptation, and it seems to be a polarizing one. It's fairly faithful to the book for the most part, but some parts are obviously left out, and some liberties are taken, especially with the ending. It has clearly disappointed some fans of the children's novel, and that often happens with film adaptations of books. However, even though I now think this adaptation of "The BFG" is inferior to the book it's based on, after reading it and watching this again (I know many people would agree), and it could have been better in more than one way, I certainly don't think the film is an insult to Dahl and his novel. Some viewers obviously wouldn't like this animated movie at all (I think it's more fun for kids than adults, judging by my latest viewing compared to the previous times I watched it, all over a decade earlier), and it might not help if they've read the book first, but even if that's the case, this adaptation still COULD be at least somewhat fun.
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