James and the Giant Peach is a bit of a hidden gem and I am very excited to talk to you guys about it today. Directed by Henry Sellick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, with Tim Burton working as a producer. This is a fantastic blend of live-action and stop-motion animation that deserves way more love than it gets.
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The Movie Review
It is based on the classic story of James and the Giant Peach, written by Roald Dahl. I grew up in the UK and I do not think there is a child in this country that does not read this while they are at school. I think what they have done here is a fantastic retelling of the story and it is very “Tim Burton” in its style.
We have young James as our hero. James lives with his two mean and abusive aunts, Spiker and Sponge. They treat him really badly, he lives in the cold, hardly ever gets anything to eat, and is pretty much their slave. His parents died when he was young, but despite the crappy hand life has dealt him, James is still a very nice boy and a likable character.
One day, a peach ends up growing huge in size and his two aunts use this as a tourist trap to make money. James who is hungry eats a bit of the peach and discovers a family of smart insects living inside it. James makes friends with this gang of insects that includes, Mr. Grasshopper, Mr. Centipede, Ms. Spider, Mr. Earthworm, Mrs. Ladybug, and Mrs. Glowworm.
The peach ends up rolling away with James and his new insect buddies inside. The peach crashes into the ocean and James and the gang must deal with many dangers. They have to fight off robot sharks and best of all, they end up on a pirate ship and this is my favorite part of the movie.
Ok, so I know that this is not exactly a mind-blowing bit of trivia as everyone knows this. However, the pirate ship scene is extra awesome as it features a cameo from Jack Skellington. I actually have a NECCA figure of pirate Jack in my collection and it is one of my favorite NBX figures!
James has dreamed of going to the Empire State Building as it was something that he and his parents were going to do. James and the insects decide to fly the peach to New York and start a better life there. Look, this is just a wonderful story, full of great characters, I especially love the back-and-forth we get with Mr. Grasshopper and Mr. Centipede!
The visuals in James and the Giant Peach are amazing! The stop-motion animation here is truly a work of art and the way that it blends with the live-action performances is amazing. I feel that this is a movie that is fun for the whole family and it is just as much fun in 2022 as it was all the way back in 1996.
- This is a fantastic retelling of the Roald Dahl classic
- The stop-motion animation is some of the best I have ever seen
- It has a large cast of interesting characters
- That Jack Skellington cameo is one of the most awesome cameos of all time
- This is the kind of movie that is just crying out for a well-done 4K release
- The voice acting is amazing, but as much as I love the movie, the songs are not all that memorable