Saturday, August 22, 2009

James and the Giant Peach - Book/Movie Comparison (Based on a Book)

After his parent's are killed by a charging rhinoceros, James goes to live with his two detestable aunts. They beat him and treat him horribly. One day he meets an old man who gives him some magic things to make his life better but James trips and loses them. The next day, the old peach tree grow a giant peach and James' adventure begins as he rolls away in the giant peach with the company of some giant insects.

I'm a big Roald Dahl fan but oddly I'd never read James and the Giant Peach before. It was cute and had some nice insect lessons. The aunts are typical Dahl adults, abusive and stupid and they get theirs in the end (they are crushed by the giant peach). They weren't really in the book that long. It was a pretty straightforward adventure after that with a message about the usefulness of bugs. James and his friends encounter sharks and escape by tying a bunch of seagulls with webbing and flying off. Then they are attacked by "cloudmen" and escape from them and then get stuck on the Empire State Building in New York. I liked it although it's not my favorite Dahl book. I still like Matilda the best.

So one of the parts of the Take a Chance Challenge is to do a movie/book comparison so I watched the film version of James and the Giant Peach. It is a combination of live action and stop motion animation. The beginning and the end are live action. The aunts look so horrible and mean (they are) although they don't die like they do in the book. After the man gives James the crocodile tongues (the green things) and he goes into the peach, it becomes stop motion. All the insects look really cool. The story is about the same except that James is afraid of the rhino. There are no real sharks but one giant metal shark, but they trap the seagulls the same and fly high into the air. Instead of "cloudmen" they go somewhere cold and there are ghost pirates (one who looks like Jack Skellington), but they escape those and travel to New York. The aunts arrive in New York too and try to take James, but are prevented by the insects and taken away. I thought there'd be more songs since there are quite a few in the book, but there included some of them so it was cute. It was fairly faithful to the book and definitely had a Dahl feel to it. I liked it and so did my 2 year old so good job.


  1. My oldest son was a huge fan of Dahl when he first started reading, but I'm not sure if he ever saw this movie. He recently saw the animated version of the BFG and liked that. Maybe I should get this movie for him at some point. I'm trying to get my second son to read some Dahl...or my third son, for that matter.

  2. Matilda is, without a question, the bestest Roald Dahl book ever. Supposedly, Mr. Dahl was really dissapointed in the old Charlie and the Chocolate FActory movie, but his wife let them make the new Charlie movie because she liked this movie so much.

  3. I've always been on the fence about Dahl. I liked a couple of his books, but Matilda totally creeped me out. Great post!

    I have an award for you here.

  4. just thinking about this book makes me smile!

  5. Dahl is such an interesting children's author, isn't he? I'm sure my son would be scared out of him mind, by this. I don't think I've read this one either ... but maybe back when I was a child. Great post.

  6. Amanda - I haven't seen the BFG movie either.

    Jason - Matilda is the best and my favorite, although I do like Charlie & the Chocolate Factory too. I like both the movies, but I agree that the musical isn't quite the same as the book.

    Celi.a - His books are quite odd. But I find that the basis of other adults seem to lie in his direction, the Dursleys, the aunts in Charlie Bone for example

    J.T. - I'm glad of that

    Jenners - I was surprised I never read it. My 2 year old liked the movie, but only the animated parts.


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