Sunday Family Movie: James and the Giant Peach

Big Girl has read this book four or five times, and approved of the movie, which had minor differences from the book. Little Girl also enjoyed it, and I’ve made her next book report assignment to read the book and compare and contrast the two.

I enjoyed it, as well. It’s been a while since I read it, but it seemed pretty well done. As a family movie, it’s not bad, and there was only one moment where I wondered “Why is that in there?” (a part where all the characters are in the peach, but it’s dark and there are various things being said – one comment was slightly inappropriate). Not that I’m giving up on finding movies where I don’t wonder that at all, but I was happy that in this PG-rated movie there was very little of it.

I also watched Finding Neverland, and the girls watched some of it with me. It’s was pretty harmless, though a bit boring for the girls. The only disturbing thing was Barrie’s relationship with the young woman with the four boys who inspired Peter Pan. Again and again, he goes and spends time with this widow and her family, ignoring his wife. No matter how strained their relationship, he had no right to do that. Even though it was not a sexual relationship, it was definitely adulterous, especially so if you recall Christ’s words in Matthew 5:28. It was fascinating to see how Barrie came up with the play, but quite sad to see him throw away his marriage. At one point, he discovers his wife entertaining someone in their home when he arrives home late (visiting his widow friend again), and he becomes upset over the thought of his wife cheating on him. The hypocrisy was stunning!

Stick to James and the Giant Peach for the kids. 😉 It really was a cute movie, and the little boy who played James was excellent. The idea to use claymation for the scenes inside the peace (I think CGI bugs would have been too frightening, for some reason) was brilliant. My girls loved the look of the bugs, as well, since Lane Smith worked up the concepts. (“Centipede has the same nose as the Giant in The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales!” cried Big Girl.)

[image sources: James and the Giant Peach, Giant]

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