Ben and Me stepped into a new role this month. We were afforded the opportunity to preview the brand new movie from Disney Studios, The BFG. It opens in theaters everywhere today, July 1, and we think your family is going to love this special film as much as we did.
Here’s what Disney has to say about The BFG:
The talents of three of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl, Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg – finally unite to bring Dahl’s beloved classic The BFG to life. Directed by Spielberg, Disney’sThe BFG tells the imaginative story of a young girl and the Giant who introduces her to the wonders and perils of Giant Country. 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 and Frobscottle.
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. Directed by three-time Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg.
I may have broken my own rule for the first time by taking Ben to see The BFG. Always in the past the rule has been: read the book first and then see the movie. We have long been fans of Roald Dahl’s books (he also wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach), but this one somehow escaped our many reading lists and there just wasn’t time to read it before seeing the movie. We are reading it now.
I’m actually happy it worked out that way. Watching The BFG movie might not have been the same had we known the story line. And I may have been upset that this profound conversation from the book didn’t make it into the movie:
Giants isn’t eating each other either, the BFG said. Nor is giants killing each other. Giants is not very lovely, but they is not killing each other. Nor is crockadowndillies killing other crockadowndillies. Nor is pussy-cats killing pussy-cats.
‘They kill mice,’ Sophie said.
‘Ah, but they is not killing their own kind,’ the BFG said. ‘Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind.’
‘Don’t poisonous snakes kill each other?’ Sophie asked. She was searching desperately for another creature that behaved as badly as the human.
‘Even poisnowse snakes is never killing each other,’ the BFG said. ‘Nor is the most fearsome creatures like tigers and rhinostossterisses. None of them is ever killing their own kind. Has you ever thought about that?’
Sophie kept silent.
‘I is not understanding human beans at all,’ the BFG said.’ You is a human bean and you is saying it is grizzling and horrigust for giants to be eating human beans. Right or left?’
‘Right,’ Sophie said.
‘But human beans is squishing each other all the time,’ the BFG said. ‘They is shootling guns and going up in aerioplanes to drop their bombs on each other’s heads every week. Human beans is always killing other human beans.’
He was right. Of course he was right and Sophie knew it. She was beginning to wonder whether humans were actually any better than giants. ‘Even so,’ she said, defending her own race, I’ think it’s rotten that those foul giants should go off every night to eat humans. Humans have never done them any harm.’
‘That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day,’ the BFG answered. ‘He is saying, “I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?'”
‘Oh dear,’ Sophie said.
‘The human beans is making rules to suit themselves,’ the BFG went on. ‘But the rules they is making do not suit the little piggy-wiggies. Am I right or left?’
‘Right,’ Sophie said.
‘Giants is also making rules. Their rules is not suiting the human beans. Everybody is making his own rules to suit himself.”
― Roald Dahl,
So be sure and read the book, too. As with most movies based on books, you’ll miss some great things if you miss the book.
Here is what Ben had to say about The BFG:
I’m not gonna lie; it surprised me how funny and enjoyable it was. The fact that the BFG collected dreams was pretty cool. The 3D was amazing. It actually had depth, really bringing to life the dreams scenes and the <ahem> “gas” scenes (just trust me — when a movie makes the Queen of England pass gas in vivid color, you have to laugh). Overall, I found the movie quite entertaining, and I will probably go see it again.
(don’t you love that a 15-year-old boy can still enjoy a Disney flick?)
A few things moms should know:
There are giants and they eat children. At least it’s implied that they do; they don’t actually show them doing that. Sophie is put into a precarious situation briefly where it seems she will become a giant’s snack. Not by the BFG though. He really is friendly, and lovable. And the friendship that forms between him and Sophie is precious from both sides. So while the there is an overcast of gloom throughout much of the film, the bright spots, as a special relationship develops between these two characters, shine though.
The giants are big and ugly and could be very scary to younger children. If yours are sensitive, maybe wait awhile. At the very least, see the matinee, not the showing right before bedtime.
Try not to sit down in the front of the theater. We arrived late and were on the second row. I had to move back and stand in the aisle for a bit to full appreciate the art of this 3D movie. Everything just feels so huge and deep; the special effects are spectacular. But it was challenging taking it all in from the second row.
My favorite part of the movie was the “gobblefunk” (giant language). You probably noticed some of it in the quote above from the book. I had the most fun hearing the words the BFG used for common English ones. You’ll see what I mean when you see the movie. It is quite charming.
Enjoy these FREE Printables to enhance your experience viewing The BFG. They include a set of coloring pages, a Gobblefunk Glossary (so fun!), book marks, a word search, a maze, and a spot the differences puzzle.
The BFG Dream Sweepstakes
Will your family see The BFG?