James' happy life at the English seaside is rudely ended when his parents are killed by a rhinoceros and he goes to live with his two horrid aunts. Daringly saving the life of a spider he comes into possession of magic boiled crocodile tongues, after which an enormous peach starts to grow in the garden. Venturing inside he meets not only the spider but a number of new friends including a ladybug and a centipede who help him with his plan to try and get to New York. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
James and the Giant Peach may not have the cult status of Nightmare Before Christmas, but, aside from mixing live-action bookends with the all-animated center of the film (not a great idea; should have been all-animation), it's a faithful and wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic dream-like story. The animation is superb, the voice talent wonderful (Susan Sarandon's sexy Eastern European Miss Spider takes the cake), and, as Time Magazine said, the film in many ways surpasses the book. Though there are flaws in the screen story by Karey Kirkpatrick, their effect on the overall emotional ride of the film is negligible. After seeing it again recently (first time in several years), I was amazed at what an incredibly beautiful film it is, beautiful colors and design and effects like teacup clouds and the cloud rhino. I especially loved the mechanical shark and the ships' arctic graveyard sequence where Centipede redeems himself by diving into the water to find a compass to get the peach back on course. Overall, a great film.
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