James and the Giant Peach (1996) Poster

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A Peach of a Picture
slowbob13 January 2005
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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"One of the greatest movies based on Roald Dahl's books"
simon-trek2 September 2004
I was an enormous fan of Roald Dahl's books when I was kid. I think of him as the Hands Christian Anderson of the 20th century. I didn't read all of Dahl's books but I read most of them. I've also seen most of the movies based on his books. Out of all the Roald Dahl books I read as child I would say that 'Charlie And The Chocolate Factory' is my favorite but 'James And The Giant Peach' is my second favorite.

The reason why I would say these two books are my favorites is because they're both about children who live miserable lives until a magical experience changes their lives forever and both end up becoming the luckiest kids in the world. For Charlie, his life changes with a tour of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but for James it's with a magical giant peach and group very friendly creatures.

I first remember hearing about this movie back in late 1996 when it was released in America during the Christmas holidays and I was very excited about it, but unfortunately I had to wait until the Easter Holidays before this movie arrived in Australia. I certainly loved it. James's two horrible aunt's who are nothing except cruel and nasty. Are as horrible in the movie as they are in the book.

I really loved the creatures from the peach which I remember (from the book) James describing them as "The friendliest creatures in the world". These creatures include Grasshopper, Earthworm, Centipede, Ladybug, Spider and Glowworm. My two favorite character's are Spider because her French accent made her a very smooth character and Centipede because of his sense of humor.

I also liked the songs. My favorite was "We're Family" which the creatures use to express how much they love James. I certainly believe these creatures are the best family any child could have. So for anyone who loved Roald Dahl's books as a child, you must...must see this film!
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And Now The Weather Forecast: Rhino Has A Giant Cold...
wobelix27 November 2004
What a pleasant feel good film this little gem is !

After the sugar and sweet opening, including a hair raising song in the very worst Disney Style, Burton and Dahl break in and off we go, on an adventure that is fun and cheeky and in which not all the sharp edges have been blunted, thank Goodness.

Before we can go on a journey with the Giant Peach however, first Little James have to be orphaned. And he is, in a matter of fact voice-over that makes for a surprise element here. A bold way to get the plot in motion, and it works ! Many keep on wandering what or who that rhino was, that took the life of the parents just like that, on a whim. Well, anybody can be swept away by the rhino in the sky, or so the nasty aunties will have you believe anyway...

The visuals are stunning, the dialogues are bubbling fizzing electrical fun and brought wonderfully and lovingly by a great cast, and direction is clear cut, sharp and focused.

A lovely film, that makes you wonder what is Selnick & Burton and what's genuine Roald Dahl.

A splendid film that makes you go out and want to read a great book (again). What more can we possibly ask of a peach?

Hmmm, well ... about that Rhino in the stormy clouds ... Maybe ... If it's based in Britain, couldn't we tempt it to take a holiday somewhere in, say, Bora Bora or the Halls of Montezuma ? The English are quite accustomed to their climate, but their rhino gives us, here in the Lowlands, more than our share of rain and sleet too !!!
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A classic in my home
Dave Wilson11 February 2002
I really enjoyed it, and so did my 3- and 5-year-old (and yes, we read the book). The animation and live-action scenes showed a lot of love. Though elements of the story seemed a bit hurried or neglected, they weren't anything a fairy-tale fantasy couldn't absorb in stride. The music works well enough for this non-fan of musicals, and I prefer serviceable and inoffensive tunes to the treacly jingles and melodramatic scores of the usual Disney classics.

My only real complaint would be with the ending, as it really is unclear how the aunts drove across the ocean (did they obtain their own crocodile tongues?), and the slice of NY upon landing has a grim, Munchkin-town quality. Still, everything up to that point has left you with lots of goodwill towards the movie's makers.
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Utterly delightful and a must-see!!
jangu22 November 2002
There is sooo much I like with this movie. It has imagination, a sense of wonder and characters you either love or hate. And the blend of live action and stop-motion animation is a delight. The songs incorporated in this story is not very memorable but sweet and fit their purpose. And you simply have to love to hate Margoyles and Lumley in their parts as the aunts from hell. They treat poor James so horribly that I thought that "Cinderella had it easy"! Compared to "nightmare before Christmas" I actually liked this movie better. It has more of a heart even if the story itself may be just a bit less interesting and inventive. There are so many good scenes but among the highlights is the arctic adventure and the New York sequence. But, mind you, the opening is very deceptive and might scare younger parts of the audience. Otherwise, a must-see!!!
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Arkaan12 October 1999
I was surprised that people thought this film was average, or so-so. I found it to me a movie that was so much fun to watch.

Starts out live-action, than it seagues into stop-motion animation. Some of the scenes are very memorable (the pirate attack) and the voices are delightful. Not as good as Nightmare Before Christmas, but every bit as imaginative.
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Just OK
Lomedin20 February 2012
I wanted to watch this movie for a while. There are not many around animated this way and I did love The Nightmare before Christmas and Coraline. So, I finally gave it a try. I was not particularly impressed. I found the story somehow bland and uninspiring. Also, any little moral message in it is basically lost in a number of events that I presume are supposed to be exciting but are rather dull. The songs are not really bad, although they don't save the film. Perhaps I'm just too old for this, although I still love other family films like the ones mentioned at the beginning. I find this film just OK, I wouldn't watch it again.
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The book is better, but a nice adaption
Meredith-710 July 1999
As a child James and the Giant Peach was one of my favorite books, so it was interesting to see how it would be formatted into a film. They actually did a pretty good job, although the book is much better. The animation was nicely done, and I liked the way the characters changed from life form to animated form- it gave the film a real surreal type of film. The songs were quite poor, and were obviously aimed at the kids to 'liven' things up a bit, after all some may say the story ventures on the dark side of things. It's nice to see a film aimed at children that can also appeal to adults as well, although it does help that many of us are very familiar with Roald Dahl's stories. In summary quite a good effort.
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Bizarre and Annoying (May contain some spoilers!!!)
mr composer23 February 2001
Warning: Spoilers
What could be a very beautiful and captivating story was a wasted unusually long 79 minutes of time. The human characters were very annoying. The music (sorry Randy Newman)was terrible. The score was not bad, but the songs simply reeked.

As far as the story, I confess that I've never read the book that it's based on, but I found parts of it charming, and other parts a bit strange. Ok, the abused orphan boy, and magical giant peach, leading to boy's escape to NY is very nice. The fantasy elements are introduced by these glowing green seeds which produce the peach.. and therefore everything inside is fantasy. But what about these other absurities? What's with the mechanical shark? What's this rhinocerous that comes from a storm cloud and kills James' parents?

Don't get me wrong, I love absurdities. But I also like consistency and this movie just seems to have no guidelines of what should be fantasy and what should be reality.

Sad but true, the most entertaining aspect of this film was the amusement I received from James' speech impediment, ("I'm not afwaid of you!"). On a side note, just like "Nightmare before Christmas", the animation is great! But this movie sadly needed some Burton and Elfman touches.
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Colorful, Inventive Dahl Adaptation
ccthemovieman-129 March 2006
Here's another inventive film, based on a book by the famous author of child books, Roald Dahl, who wrote "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory."

The animation, featuring stop-action stick figures, is outstanding, as are the colors. Each character is unique, like none I've seen before in other animated flicks. Not only the characters, but how they are dressed. (i.e. long gloves and stockings on a spider). The aunts in here are a real hoot to look at, particularly the one with the pronounced teeth.

The storyline is simple and there is absolutely nothing offensive including no typical Disney New Age baloney. The only warning I would give is there is a bit too much violence for very small kids and the ending is a bit silly for adults.

This is a musical, which I did not expect, and the songs are nothing special. There are not a lot of them: five to be exact. In all, good entertainment and a good visual and audio film for a nice DVD system.
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This is a classic? Honestly?
TheSeaLion5 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It is mind boggling how much praise this film gets. The film is overblown with the only redeeming qualities being the animation and sets, and to a lesser extent, the acting. Everything else is done poorly, especially the songs and the acting from Paul Terry (James).

This film has so much set up with no pay off and leaves things that are crucial parts of the story unexplained or illogical. For instance, what was that giant rhino and if it was just smoke and noise how did it eat the parents? What was the mechanical shark? Where did Pete Postlethwaite's character come from? See what I mean?

In all honesty, the animation was fantastic and the sets did have a Tim Burton-esque feel to them, but that is about it.

If you are looking for a clumsy, unorganized and not too thought out movie, than look no further than "James and the Giant Peach".
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Truly an amazing adventure
aaimsrep-mayan17 November 2010
James and the Giant Peach was for me one of the most magical animation movie i have ever seen. I enjoyed every part of this film, the music the dancing and most of all the unique voice of Ms. Ladybug she was the best. Most of the times when i get sad i just play that first song that James sang it truly lifts my spirit, even though it made me cry. I also must say that James two aunts acted well in this movie even though they where monsters i enjoyed them. overall this is a great movie for anyone who likes adventure a family movie that brings sadness and joy altogether. James and the Giant Peach i give it a 9/10 for its well casted and well acted which for me made this movie a must see.
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If it ain't broke, don't fix it
xxlittlekittenxx15 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
(A word of WARNING: Unless you've already seen this movie or have read the book, I highly do not recommend reading this review unless you want those dreaded SPOILERS!)

'James and the Giant Peach' by Roald Dahl is one of my favorite books. And I'm glad I got to read it before I watched the movie, because it's many times better. The movie's animation, character design, and visual effects are wonderful, but it pretty much stops there.

Secondly, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I could say that about so many movie adaptations of books, and this is one of them. I wonder if the screenwriters even READ the book before they wrote this? So many parts of the book were missing, and sorely missed. I was distraught that the Cloud Men (who appear during the best part of the book) were replaced by ghost pirates. Ghost pirates have been done too many times, but how many times have you seen Cloud Men? And what was with that mechanical shark, and the rhino in the clouds? In the book, the rhino (which killed James' parents) escaped from the zoo, but in the movie it just appears out of nowhere. And then we have Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, who were done away with early on in the book, somehow went across the Atlantic ocean in an old car. All I have to say is, "What?"

Randy Newman music is good in stuff like Toy Story movies, but here it'll make you be thankful for the fast forward button. The songs really have no reason for being there, and you won't miss a thing when you skip them.

Aside from that, this was a pretty fine film, but why did the writers stray so much from the book? True, a movie adaptation doesn't have to follow everything in the book it's based on (like 'Willy Wonka'), but it needs to follow just enough.

But I did like the Centipede. Just as nasty as he was when I read about him!

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Well . . . it was okay.
omar-2328 October 2000
I don't know. This movie could have used a lot of work. It just wasn't good to me. I thought the storyline was a little out of date. For example, in the book, James' parents got killed by a rhino that ran away from the zoo. In this movie, it was a big rhino that literally came from the sky, and it symbolized something like James overcoming his fears. At the end of the movie, you were left asking yourself, "Huh?"

I guess the animation was cool, but the music was annoying. Let's be honest, Disney hasn't made any memorable songs since The Lion King. The music in this basically sucked. The song, "My Name Is James," was annoying. It just kept saying "James, James, James . . ." to the point where you would just want to put your fist through the movie screen. This movie could have been a lot better, and I guess it should have lived more up to the book. I don't know. It's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
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Andro_T15 August 2002
A dull adaptation of a worthless book. Lacks any interest whatsoever. Amateur acting, impersonal characters, nothing harmonious between animation and reality. Don't be fooled by Disney trademark, one of the worst ever made. Plot, primitive and annoying. Humor, insensible and never to the point. Waste of time for those who created it and especially for those who bother to watch it.
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James and the Giant Peach a classic on dvd
collegegamer20023 April 2004
i just watched a quality film named "james and the giant peach", i have to say i was very impressed on all levels of the film: the acting was good, the soundtrack was awesome by a couple of good medleys by randy newman, the story was quite interesting, but above what intrigued is that the character of james is a character many people cant identify with. now some idiot might say what identify with a kid who gets converted to small size and spends his adventures inside a giant peach with insects at his friends? lol it's that kind of narrow thinking by a narrow critic that tries to subdue the great qualities and messages the film has, and i will explain them all and you will see this film is not just a film for kinds to enjoy but adults too, adults who don't have any inspiration to follow their dreams like james does.


james (paul terry) is a nice and quite moral little boy who has two loving parents. while near the beach, he and his mom get killed (although this is not shown since it's a pg film) by a rhinoceros. yes this is a fantasy film in part and there are many magical elements in the film. james custody then is then taken over by two ugly aunts: aunt spiker (joanna lumley from "absolutely fabulous" fame) and aunt sponge (miriam margolyes) who are classic examples of adults who abuse their children. they are the classic example of the trash and evil nature that exist in all wretched adults who seek exploit others for their wealth. in fact, james's aunts use him as basically a slave to work around the house. they starve him and feed the breadcrumbs that are in the trash. they yell at him when james wants to make new friends and talk to kids who he can't relate to. nah it doesn't get much lower than quality of life aunt sponge and aunt spiker have on james. one day a mysterious man gives james a mysterious bag full of crocodile tongues I believe, which he says are magic and can make James dreams come true. In this case, James dream was to go to New York City and see Empire State Building. It was actually both James parent's dreams and James dream. However, even though James parent's are long gone, James still wants to go to New York an accomplish the dream he and his parents set out to do. This is one impressive kid, he has a big heart and the kind of determination that almost no adults have nowadays. That's one lesson of the film right there , which is not to give up on one's dream, it's literally embodied in this great kid.

So this special bag of magic combines with a small peach to grow into a gigantic peach which Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker capitalize for their own selfish profits!!!! Now if you think this made James's life any easier youd be wrong. Nope James's life continues as before, even worse as his rich selfish Aunt have become greedier and more manipulative and more vindictive. It's hard to believe that these "aunts" are the blood relative of James. Now before I go on, I couldn't help but think of James and Harry Potter. Sure Harry Potter was an orphan, but he and James are taken in by their slimy relatives who basically want to exploit and abuse them without any rights whatsover. Potter eventually escapes his vile relatives and so does James. Potter becomes one of the most loved characters at Hogwarts and James also near the end (without revealing too much) becomes one of the most loved kids in the world. Anyhow James interests in the peach grows huge to the point with the aid of the magic bad of tongues , James becomes magically converted to small size and invades the beach. Inside the beach, James discovers a group of zany characters all symbolizing common day insects who have now made James the center of attention. James meeting the characters of Mr. Grasshopper (Simon Callow), Mr. Centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), Ms. Ladybug (Jane Leeves from Frasier), Ms. Spider (Susan Sarandon), learns that they have been watching him as he is mistreated by his aunts and know that James dreams of going to New York City. Eventually James learns that the characters not only want to go with him but they are going to help him on his journey as well. This is a great movie about friendship as well. Let's face facts it's not likely James would have gone to New York on his own, but these group of wonderful friends give the help and encouragement to do it, when he needs it.

When James and the group decide on a plan to go to New York City, they're journey is stalled by several dangerous adventures which include a metallic shark, dead caribbean pirates, and the hazardous condition which threaten to end their journey. However that isn't stopping anyone and James and his friends, as a group are determined to make it New York and James is determined to make his and his parents dream come true....

As you can see you can describe the movie any better than better, and the movie itself is loaded with amazing special effects that elevate this entertaining fantasy world that James has now come into contact with. In fact when I first looked at the effects, I thought I was watching another classic fantasy film like in "The Nightmare Before Christmas", and guess what both films were directed by the same great director, Henry Selick. I was success and an eye for greatness embodied in fantasy is a signature for Selick. He really outdoes himself here.

Sony Imageworks and a trio of great animators provide the stop motion technology and animation that make the world of James and The Giant Peach so fantastic. Speaking of fantastic the voice talents in this film are all great with Sarandon, Dreyfuss , Leeves, and David Thewlis as Mr. Earthworm are great, you can tell that they captured the characters really well, but the person who outshines them is Paul Terry as James, he give's quite a performance and I couldn't think anyone better to do the role he did.

So as you can see James and The Giant Peach is far from being just a kids flick, it's that kind of stupid attitude that shows the true ignorance of so called critics who we'll miss out on the many meanings of films like "James and The Giant Peach". In fact one critic even mentioned that the film brings up ideas by Karl Marx for example the relationship of the slave, and master which are true in some regard, but above this a film that really does capture the spirit of having a dream and not quitting until he or she achieves that dream, because as you watch the ending, you can see in the ending, that James's dream really affects many people, not just himself.

I could go and on about how great "James and The Giant Peach" but I think I've nailed everything good about it, all that's left now is to recommend the film to those who haven't seen it.

DVD Details:

Ah, the DVD is excellent coming up with several extra features:


*Behind the scenes on the making of the movie

* A special music video by Randy Newman who wrote several songs for the movie

* A beautiful transfer of the movie shown in letterbox format.

*Theatrical trailer

* About 13 character sketches on the characters themselves giving a glimpse

into the artistic process of the film

* Dolby Digital Surround sound.

As you can see a good DVD definitely worth checking out especially if you want more details about the film.
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A timeless stop-motion/live action entertainment although not a masterpiece
James and the Giant Peach is a stop motion/live action adaptation of the late Roald Dahl's book in the early 60s when being transitioned into film (like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Witches, Matilda, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox) about a young boy named James, who climbs into the peach and meets anthropomorphic stop-motion insects and stumbles upon an adventure of a lifetime. Many critics and fans of Roald Dahl alike were amazed about how faithful this movie was to the book, but there are two problems that I do have with this adaptation.

1) The beginning was quite dark and might frighten younger kids along with other scenes.

2) The rhino in the sky and the scene where James battles it wasn't explained enough. That's it for the criticism.

The positive aspects of this movie were excellent. The live action sets and the stop-motion animation have an astounding charm to the book. The character designs are pretty unique and the Jack Skellington cameo as the captain of the skeletons was amazing. The acting is very superb. The stop-motion insects were good, the two mean aunts named Spike and Sponge were tolerable, and the main character James is very likable. Even the action is very good. Music/songs written by Randy Newman (The Toy Story trilogy, The Princess and the Frog) were surprising good. Although not a masterpiece, James and the Giant Peach is an enjoyable family entertainment that stays faithful to the story from a great author.

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A tasty treat.
Criticman126 February 2011
In the beginning, Roald Dahl wrote a book called, "James and the Giant Peach".

In 1996, "James and the Giant Peach", was turned into a live-action/stop-motion animated film. The movie was directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton (They both worked on The Nightmare Before Christmas). This is one of my favorite movies.

The story was good, the character's were likable, and the animation was great. It combines computer-animation with stop-motion animation. But what also make's this movie really great is Randy Newmans song's in the movie. They were fun and memorable.

Overall, "James and the Giant Peach", is a great movie for the whole family to enjoy.

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One of My Favorite Childhood Books Comes to the Screen
evanston_dad17 June 2009
The team of Henry Selick and Tim Burton ("The Nightmare Before Christmas") was the right choice for adapting this Roald Dahl book, or any Roald Dahl book for that matter, to the screen. What Dahl needs is someone who can appreciate the dark and morbid humor to be found in his stories -- they DON'T need to be given the sanitized Disney treatment.

Still, this is only a so-so version of the book, one of my absolute favorites when I was a child. The animation is cool, but there was no way the filmmakers were going to be able to compete with my childhood memories of reading this book over and over again.

It's probably not even fair for me to review the movie for that very reason.

Grade: B
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Peachy, Just Like The Book
ferbs5411 July 2008
The 1996 Disney filmization of Roald Dahl's first book for children, 1961's "James and the Giant Peach," is a delightful confection that, like its original, should prove as much fun for the adults as the kiddies. The film hews fairly closely to its source material, with some important differences, and really is quite the exemplar of modern-day animation arts. In it, we are introduced to James Henry Trotter, an orphaned boy whose miserable existence with his two witchlike aunts takes a decided turn for the better when a mysterious old man gives him a bagful of magical green crystals. These crystals cause the previously barren peach tree in his front yard to grow the titular giant fruit, and James soon meets, inside the stone of the fruit, six new friends, giants all: a grasshopper, a spider, an earthworm, a glowworm, a ladybug and a centipede (the book's silkworm character, for some reason, has been omitted). The seven make a hazardous trans-Atlantic journey to NYC aboard the peach, a journey that tests the mettle of each of the team indeed. The film differs from Dahl's book in that the journey to NYC is a goal, rather than a happy accident. The film also tones down the book's violence (James' aunts are not killed in the film), turns the shark into some kind of killer robot, and, most unwisely, drops the entire sequence with the Cloud Men in favor of a haunted pirate ship not at all present in Dahl's text. The nature of the rhino that ate James' parents is also, strangely, much altered. The filmmakers have added some musical numbers to the mix, and although Randy Newman's charms are usually lost on me, I found his five contributions here to be quite entertaining. The picture blends live action, stop-motion animation and what looks to be (in James' dream) animated collages seamlessly and effectively, and the whole production really is something of a technical marvel. Despite the changes, this is one very winning entertainment indeed.
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A Great Film for Adult and Kids!
Syl25 November 2007
I was a bit surprised that the film was not entirely animated. No, I did not read the book. The boy actor is fine here as is Joanna Lumley OBE and Miriam Margolyes OBE as his despicable aunts, Spiker and Sponge, who get custody of him as a child. They really are deliciously evil in their roles and they look like they are having a ball at it too. I thought the story was quite interesting with the animation and live action. The film is good for both adults and children as well as family can view it together. I thought the costumes of Spike and Sponge were hilarious. You could not tell that Spiker also plays half of Absolutely fabulous from this role. The make-up, the costumes, and visual effects are worth watching and it's good to watch this film.
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For a Disney movie, this is a great piece of work.
Tenchi6458917 August 2005
I watched this movie tonight and I remembered almost half of it being some of the best comedic voice acting ever.

I do realize that some of the ambiguously disguised language is there, not to mention the alleged "frightening images," but this is a movie that can and should be seen by anybody... just watching this movie is sure to give anybody an unshakable boost of self-confidence!

This is not only very uplifting, but it's also very funny.

I normally wouldn't like a Disney film, but this is a rare find that should be in every collection.

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One Of My fav's
Ginger8715 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers

"James and the Giant Peach" is one of my favorite movies. I remember seeing it at the movie theater when it first came out in 1996. I immediately fell in love with it. The animation was so cool and I love the talking bugs, especially the earthworm.(he's so cute) I also love the songs in this movie. My favorite is "We're Family".

My favorite part of the movie is when the Centipede jumps into the icy water to get a compass. That part of the movie was animated so well. I also liked the appearance by Jack the Skeleton from "The Nightmare Before Christmas". That was pretty funny. I also like the part of the movie when James has his aunts get taken away by the crane in New York. That part had me laughing hysterically.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and suggest that everyone should see it. I give this movie 10/10 stars.
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Great book, lousy film
Muldernscully31 January 2002
I can't believe the high rating that the movie "James and the Giant Peach" received. Obviously the people that rated it high have not read the book. Even so, looking at the film from the view of never having read the book, I still think this peach is rotten. For anybody who hasn't read the Roald Dahl book, do it. It is a wonderful story, and the movie pales beside it.
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What's the best simile I can come up with...?
anthony-rigoni21 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is rotten like a spoiled peach. This pile of rotten apples was based on the book written by the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda, Roald Dahl. It is also directed by Henry Selick. So, why should I throw rotten peaches at the schmoes who made this crap? Read on and find out...

The very first problem begins in the very first few minutes of the movie: the death of James' parents. According to the narrator, James' parents were eaten alive by a rhinoceros. Uh.... WHAT?!!! How do rhinos eat people?! Rhinoceri are herbivores not carnivores! I'm not kidding you, I didn't make this up! This is exactly what the narrator said about the death of James' parents. And afterwords, James becomes a ward for his two evil aunts. Call me crazy, but here's what really happened to James' parents: My guess is that James' evil aunts sneaked into the bedroom of James' parents and stabbed them to death out of extreme rage that James' parents are better than them. This is more realistic than "a rhino eating James' parents". Then, there's the songs. Listen how horrible the lyrics are! Randy Newman, you ought to be ashamed of yourself! You were one of my favorite composers! You composed the songs for the Toy Story movies, for god's sake! What was the matter with you?! This movie is so bad, the Nostalgia Critic was forced against his will making a "positive" review for this piece of crap.

Pros: The artwork Cons: The songs, the CGI cloud effects, and the ridiculous explanation of how James' parents died.
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