The James and the Giant Peach Two-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo was released on August 3rd, and the James And The Giant Peach Special Edition DVD is available for pre-order and will be released on September 14, 2010.
Based on a book by Roald Dahl, who also wrote the books “Shrek” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “James and the Giant Peach” was made into a film in 1996 by Tim Burton (“Nightmare Before Christmas”, “Alice in Wonderland”). Burton, Denise Di Novi, and director Henry Selick combined a fascinating mix of live-action, stop-motion animation, and computer-generated special effects to create a an imaginative and fascinating world.
James has this wonderful life with his parents, until they are killed (by a…stampeding rhino? that comes out of the clouds?), and he’s sent to live with his two spinster Aunts, who have to be the meanest characters ever created for Disney. They treat James like their slave, deprive him of food, belittle him, but James hangs on to a postcard his father had given him of New York City, where they were supposed to go to live.
After a mysterious stranger gives him a bag of…crocodile tongues?…and James accidentally spills them, a peach tree begins to grow out of the ground in front of the house. A peach appears that begins to grow, and grow, until it falls off the tree. James crawls inside and finds talking bugs who set off with him on an adventure. This is where the movie really picks up and becomes enjoyable, as the peach bounces along and James and the bugs head for New York City.
My word of caution about this movie is to be prepared for how dark the beginning of the movie is. Younger kids might be upset by the death of James’ parents, or by how cruel the Aunts are to him. The animation is amazing, moving from live action to stop motion, and the talking bugs, voiced by Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfus, Jane Leeves and others, are delightful. So once James gets into the peach, the movie becomes much more enjoyable for younger kids.
If you’d like to buy either the Two-Disc Blu-ray Combo or the Special Edition DVD from Amazon.com, and want to help support Table for Five a little bit, please consider clicking the links at the top of the post to use my Amazon Affiliates code to make your purchase. If not, that’s okay too! Look for James and the Giant Peach on Blu-ray now and on Special Edition DVD on September 14th.