BLU-RAY/DVD REVIEWS

003726Reviews & Counting
SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
James and the Giant Peach (SE)
DVD disk BLU-RAY disk
08.17.2010 By: Jason Adams
James and the Giant Peach (SE) order
Director:
Henry Selick

Actors:
Paul Terry
Susan Sarandon
Richard Dreyduss

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

star Printer-Friendly version
comment
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
After Jamesí loving parents are gobbled up by a rhinoceros, heís stuck living like a prisoner with his cruel English aunts. Luckily, a magical giant peach inhabited with equally large and friendly insects will be his ticket out and on a great adventure to New York City.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Itís been almost 15 years since I saw JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH in theaters and honestly Iíd forgotten about it in the shadow of other great animated movies in the years since (such as its more popular predecessor THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS). However, watching it again now, itís clear that this is an equally impressive movie on a technical and emotional level and one that deserves a little more respect.

You may know Henry Selick from his directorial work from movies like the aforementioned NIGHTMARE and last years deserving hit CORALINE, and while JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH doesnít have the same dark sensibilities as those films, it still treats its inhabitants with respect and its intended audience like adults. The story, based on Roald Dahlís classic book, doesnít pull any punches, especially when it comes to the horrid aunts, and it makes wonderful, warm characters out of giant bugs. Itís a feel good film thatís earns its emotional core and is deserving of its outcome.

Like with fellow expert in the field Nick Park, Selick is a master when it comes to stop motion animation and JAMES is eye candy for fans, full of beautiful detailed work and a fluid style that engrosses you in the world. Selick also uses it to maintain Roald Dahlís sense of wonder and creativity in a medium that ideally suits it. Although the live action to animation transition is a thing of genius in context, the ďrealĒ elements are quick and stylish (almost in a Burton-esque way), but seriously pale in comparison to the exciting and wondrous world of the peach.

The cast boasts some great talent like Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves and David Thewlis (not to mention ďAbsolutely FabulousĒ vet Joanna Lumley in a terrifying role), which only adds to the rich pedigree. Plus, it features music by Randy Newman, so you know itís gotta be a worthy childrenís movie.
THE EXTRAS
The Blu-Ray release also comes with a DVD and Digital Copy, but sadly not much in the way of special features.

ďSpike The AuntsĒ Game: This is the only new thing on the Blu Ray and itís geared toward little kids.

Behind The Scenes (4:35): Taken from the previous DVD release this all too brief production featurette is more a PR peace and only offers you fleeting glimpses of the actual making of the movie.

A Theatrical Trailer and Music Video by Randy Newman are also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH doesnít get as many props as some of itís peers but itís definitely not because it isnít deserving. If your kids have grown tired of the same staple movies, this might be an unexpected treat for them. While the new transfer is nice, Disney seriously dropped the ball on the bonus material. If you already own the DVD, I donít know if the price tag is worth upgrading.

Extra Tidbit: Look out for an extended cameo by Jack Skellington on the pirate ship!
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

Best Selling

| April 2016 More Best Selling
  • 1
    Deadpool
  • 2
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 3
    The Revenant
  • 4
    Purple Rain
  • 5
    Deadpool (4K)