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.
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.
Extra Tidbit: Look out for an extended cameo by Jack Skellington on the pirate ship!