From the imagination of Roald Dahl, the literary presence that shaped so many of our young reading adventures, and Disney, who infuse magic into everything they do, comes The BFG. This new movie, a family friendly film teaches us that our appearances do to define who we are, and that even though it is difficult, sometimes the right and best thing to do is be who you really are, even when it makes you different. Sometimes what makes you different is what makes you special at the same time. Courage and fight, as well as a belief in things that are good, can take you a long way.
Disney’s “The BFG” tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. In the middle of the night, when every child and every grown-up is in a deep, deep sleep, all the dark things come out of hiding and have the world to themselves. That’s what Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old, has been told, and that’s what she believes as she lies sleepless in her own bed at her London orphanage. While all the other girls in thedormitory dream their dreams, Sophie risks breaking one of Mrs. Clonkers’ many rules to climb out of her bed, slip on her glasses, lean out the window and see what the world looks like in the moonlit silence of the witching hour. Outside, in the ghostly, silverylight, her familiar street looks more like a fairy tale village than the one she knows, and out of the darkness comes something long and tall…very, very tall. That something is a giant who takes Sophie and whisks her away to his home in a land far, far away.
The BFG (Mark Rylance), while a giant himself, is a Big Friendly Giant and nothing like the other inhabitants of Giant Country. Standing 24-feet tall with enormous ears and a keen sense of smell, he is endearingly dim-witted and keeps to himself for the most part. Giants like Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) on the other hand, are twice as big and at least twice as scary and have been known to eat humans, while the BFG prefers Snozzcumber, a disgusting vegetable, and Frobscottle, an interesting drink made from it. Upon her arrival in Giant Country, Sophie, a precocious 10-year-old girl from London, is initially frightened of the mysterious giant who has brought her to his cave, but soon comes to realize that the BFG is actually quite gentle and charming, and, having never met a giant before, has many questions. The BFG brings Sophie to Dream Country where he collects dreams and sends them to children, teaching her all about the magic and mystery of dreams. Having both been on their own in the world up until now, their affection for one another quickly grows, but Sophie’s presence in Giant Country has attracted the unwanted attention of the other giants, who have become increasingly more bothersome. Sophie and the BFG soon depart for London to see the Queen (Penelope Wilton) and warn her of the precarious giant situation, but they must first convince the Queen and her maid, Mary (Rebecca Hall), that giants do indeed exist. Together, they come up with a plan to get rid of the giants once and for all.
My mom and I were invited to the advanced screening of The BFG a few days ago and we had an awesome night. I am sure that I probably read the book – I’ve always been a voracious reader, even as a kid, but to be honest with you, I couldnt remember the story at all. Because of this, I didn’t really know what to expect from the movie, but regardless, both my mom and I were really excited to see it. All of the previews I had seen looked fantastic, and I love a good story. Once everyone was settled in and eagerly anticipating the start of the movie, it was announced that we were in for special treat. Four of the Giants (well, the actors who provided their voices anyways, seeing as how real Giants wouldn’t have fit in the theatre, haha) were in attendance, would be doing a quick Q&A before the movie and would be watching it with us. I so wished that I had known, so that I could have prepared a question, but in that moment, nothing came to mind. Oops? Oh well, better luck next time. They shared a bit about how they not only provided the voices, but all of the motions and gestures as well, using motion capture technology. I thought that it was pretty cool that even though it didn’t look like them, it was them, and they really had to take on the parts, and not just be voice actors.
One of the questions asked was about each actors favourite Gobblefunk words. For those that aren’t familiar with the story, Gobblefunk is the Giants’ delightfully weird and mixed up way of speaking. Some of the favourites mentioned were chidlers (children) and fighters (fingers). Some of my personal favourites were human beans (human beings), phizzwizards (happy dreams), delumptious (delicious) and whizzpops. I am going to let you figure out whizzpops yourself. Ha.
I watched the whole movie with a smile on my face. The sets were absolutely magical, and I was able to let myself get drawn straight into the world of the BFG, which is always the sign of a good movie for me. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes at a couple of parts, and without any spoilers, let’s just say that anyone who likes slightly physical humour will love it. The Boys, as the BFG calls the other Giants, were both amusing and menacing and provided a lot of great conflict.
I would say that the movie would be good for about ages 4/5 and up, although if you have a kid who isn’t bothered easily, you could probably do younger. If you have a very sensitive child or one who scares easily, though, you may want to wait and not see it in 3D or wait till they are a bit older. There are a couple of scenes that might be a bit intense for some children, but my friend’s 5 year old didn’t appear to be scared and seemed to really enjoy it. I would totally recommend seeing it in 3D if you can – it makes the magic feel that much more real and believable. I loved it, I really did. So did my mom. If you follow us on Snapchat (theonecrazykid), she shared her thoughts on the movie right away, but sadly, I can’t share the snap here. She thought that it was “so good. It was funny, heartwarming and that everyone should go see it.”
Even better, we managed to get a group shot with the actors who were there, my mom, myself, my friend Tara from BC Mom and her daughter A.
Overall, both my mom and I really enjoyed the movie. It was a fun, delightful escape for a couple of hours, and I think it is a great family film. It a great kickoff to the summer, and I’m sure will inspire a whole new generation of kids to read the book too.
Have you read the book? Are you excited to see the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And your favourite Gobblefunk word too.
We were provided with tickets to the advanced screening of The BFG but all thoughts and opinions on the movie are ours alone. You know that if I didn’t truly enjoy it, I would say so.