James And The Giant Peach

1996, Movie, PG, 80 mins

Review

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH
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This kandy-kolored adaptation of the Roald Dahl kiddie classic is mostly inspired and appropriately creepy. Young James (Paul Terry) is rescued from a miserable life spent toiling for his two sadistic aunts (Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes) when an enormous peach grows in his front yard. Looking for escape, James burrows deep inside the gooey fruit and encounters a fanciful assortment of insect pals (voiced by Susan Sarandon and Richard Dreyfuss, among others); together, they take a hallucinatory trip across the Atlantic Ocean. As you'd expect from Disney, the film's a technical tour de force, with flawless stop-motion animation and some imaginatively realized live-action sequences. What's surprising here is how much of Dahl's misogyny is allowed to surface. James's elderly aunts are unconscionably grotesque: By the end, they've become bald, screeching harridans, with garishly painted mouths spitting seaweed and hurling invective. Little ones may never look at Grandma in the same way again. leave a comment

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