Take a bite out of Disney's delicious Special Edition of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the popular children's book by Roald Dahl that inspired this imaginative film. This amazing mix of li... more »ve-action, stop-motion animation and computer-generated special effects includes bonus materials never before available. When young James spills some magic crocodile tongues, a giant peach grows as huge as a house. Climbing inside, he embarks on a thrilling and magical odyssey that only the creative team from TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS could bring you. Along the way you'll discover the famous star voices of Richard Dreyfuss and Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves (FRASIER), and Simon Callow (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), plus the inspired music of Randy Newman. Enjoy -- it's a peach of a journey!« less
I don't think special edition means what they think it does
audrey | white mtns | 03/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Roald Dahl's modern classic tells the story of James, an orphan who is treated cruelly by his aunts, until one day a benevolent stranger gives him some magical crocodile tongues -- and then marvelous things begin to happen! With new friends, James discovers that he is resourceful and loyal. He learns to believe in himself and trust in others.This terrific story is given the treatment it deserves by director Henry Selick and producer Tim Burton (who also made Nightmare Before Christmas together). Stop-motion, live action and special effects combine to bring this incredible story to life, and the effort is dazzling, even though the work is almost a decade old.The dvd features are marginal at best. While it's nice to have the option of DTS or Dolby Digital sound, the other features do not merit calling this a special edition. You can hear the dialogue in English, French or Spanish, and subtitling is available in Spanish or for the hearing impaired. There is also a 4-1/2 minute featurette, a trailer and a Randy Newman music video. Still photos are categorized as Concept Art (9), Puppets (9), Behind-the-Scenes (36) or Live Action (18), and they can be seen as thumbprints or enlarged. There are trailers for NBX, Toy Story 2 and Lady and the Tramp 2. Menus are a bit clunky.Great film. Mediocre DVD edition."
Wonderful film.. but not 'special' enough....
P. S. Rouse | Los Angeles, CA | 06/26/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful & amazing adaptation of Ronald Dahl's classic book. A definite addition to anyone's dvd collection. the story as you many know, tells of James and how his wish to get away from his evil aunts comes true in the form of a giant peach. James floats away to NYC in a giant peach being carried by a flock of seagulls and lots of sticky spider web. He learns to stick up for himself... that he really can make a difference, that he indeed counts!The voice talent is great and the story ties up nicely at the end. Keep in mind, this Ronald Dahl, and anything can happen! =)As for the Special Edition features.. There isn't much here. A still-frame gallery, a short making-of piece, trailers for the movie, and "sneak peaks" (more trailers) for other movies that are already out on DVD. I was hoping they would have at least included a director's commentary (which is most often 'standard' with the Special Edition designation) but no such luck. It is still worth owning of course, but just don't expect much in the way of Extras. This film is definitely worth the repeated viewings!! Go now & get it!"
grumbling_goat | 10/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"just because something is animated doesn't necessarily mean that it's for children. it's rated PG for pete's sake! in my opinion, the positive aspects outway the negative. seriously, shouldn't the fact that sometimes life can be hard, but there is ALWAYS something YOU can do to make it better (with a little help from your friends) be a lesson every child should learn? james faced hardship and overcame it. he wasn't alone. he found friends. if your child can't accept the fact that life has ups and downs, perhaps you should re-evaluate your parenting skills instead of labeling this film "horrific". the fact that an Adult can't deal with the issues in this film to the point of not being able to watch it really terrifies me. i guess i find it "horrific" that people who are that sheltered are raising children. reality is a challenge."
grumbling_goat | Maryland | 03/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am really shocked that anyone could find this film "horrific"! It is far from horrific. I think the aunts are the most entertaining part of the movie. I guess you need a bit of a sense of humor to appreciate it.It wasn't incredibly entertaining for my husband or me, but we did both enjoy watching it. My five year old son, on the other hand, thinks that it is a movie masterpiece. He has watched it about eight times in the week since he first saw it. He loves to sing the songs from the movie. He is moved by James' plight for freedom from the mean aunts and sympathizes with him as much as a carefree five year old can. He finds the obstacles of James' journey with his bug friends very exciting. He really likes bugs so I guess that a movie about a journey with giant bugs is pretty appealing concept for him. I agree with a previous reviewer that the movie portrays a good lesson about facing hardships and overcoming them."
Fun But Creepy
Jim O'Brien | Franklin, PA | 11/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie takes us deep into the imagination of Roald Dahl (the author of the original story) and it is quite a trip.
It's a story about James, a boy 8 or 9 years old, who, by a strange occurrence, finds himself orphaned and in the care of (prisoner of actually) his two evil aunts. James' life is one of toil and suffering, but he holds onto his dreams and manages the best he can.
One day James encounters an odd gentleman who gives him some magic glowing worms. These magic worms cause three things to happen: 1)A tree long thought to be barren produces a single peach that grows to an enormous size 2)Six bugs (a centipede, a grasshopper, a spider, a ladybug, an earthworm, and a glow worm (no relation to the magic worms)) grow to human size and are given the ability to speak, and 3)James is transformed into an animated version of himself.
James crawls into the middle of the giant peach, where he meets the six bugs, and they all become friends. This intrepid group then uses the giant peach as a vessel ... first as a boat, then as a plane ... to escape from James' wicked aunts and then to travel to New York City (across the ocean from England) to fulfill James' dream of seeing the Empire State Building.
Quite a story ... with no lack of imagination, that is for certain. But what "James and the Giant Peach" really has working for it is the decency of the character James. He remains upbeat and hopeful despite his difficult circumstances, and this holds the movie together and keeps it on course. The bugs are all right ... they're helpful and fun ... but they're always arguing with each other. The bad guys of the movie, the two evil aunts, are pretty bad. They look like ghouls and they act like sadists. It is a very dreary situation indeed until our little hero manages to escape from their clutches.
I guess this could be called a musical, as there is some singing (of songs written by Randy Newman) and the songs are pretty good. The animation is computerized and it is top-notch. The actors and actresses who provide the voices for the bugs do an excellent job, and, like I mentioned already, there is no shortage of imagination (that is used) throughout the picture. The final scene (in NYC) is carried out exceptionally well, and the ending is a happy one.
"James and the Giant Peach" is entertaining and it is fun, but it is also quite creepy (and likely scary for young children) in parts. This "dark humor" gives the movie and overall feeling that has ... creepiness and ... dirt in it ... and it holds the film back ... keeping it (I believe) from being the type of movie we would want to watch again and again. "