James and the Giant Peach

Roald Dahl's modern classic for children becomes a delightful combination of live action and stop-motion animation by the team that made The Nightmare Before Christmas: director Henry Selick and producers Tim Burton (Batman) and Denise Di Novi. The story concerns young James (played for real and through voice-overs by Paul Terry), who is orphaned and left in the charge of two cruel aunts (Miriam Margolyes, Joanna Lumley). Rescued by a mysterious fellow (Pete Postlethwaite), James ends up inside a giant peach, drifting over the Atlantic Ocean in the company of a gentleman grasshopper (voiced by Simon Callow), a fast-talking centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), an anxious earthworm (David Thewlis), a matronly ladybug (Jane Leeves), and a sexy spider (Susan Sarandon). The collection of actors and their creepy-crawly alter egos are a delight, especially when some of the song-and-dance numbers (tunes are written by Randy Newman) get everyone going. --Tom Keogh

Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.7
Rotten Tomatoes:
92%
PG
Year:
1996
79
3,060 Views

Narrator:
This is James Henry Trotter. He lived with his mother and father in a cozy little house by the sea.

James' father:
[playfully grabs and picks up his son] Hey, I've got ya! [he and James laugh]

James' mother:
[holding a birthday cake] Happy birthday, darling. Now quickly, blow out the candle before the wind does.

James' father:
Make a wish first. [James blows out his candles]

Narrator:
It was a wonderful life. [James and his parents are looking at the clouds] They had each other and they had their dreams.

James:
Look! [points to a cloud] That cloud looks like a camel. [points to another cloud] And that one over there looks like a train engine.

James' father:
Can you see the tallest building in the world? [James looks but sees nothing]

James:
I can't find it.

James' mother:
Try looking at it another way. [James turns his head and sees the cloud shaped like the Empire State Building]

James:
I see it!

James' father:
[holds out a travel book about New York City] That's where we're going. On the great ship that will take us across the ocean. And we'll go right to the top of that building. The three of us on top of the world.

James:
Are there any kids there like me?

James' father:
[opens the travel book] Hundreds of them. It's a wonderful place, James. It's a city where dreams come true.

Narrator:
[the scene changes to James looking at the clouds as a storm rolls in] Then, one day, a terrible thing happened. [thunder roars and wind blows] An angry rhinoceros appeared out of nowhere and gobbled up his poor mother and father. [James sees the ghostly rhino appearing in the clouds] Their troubles -- if they had any at all -- were over in 35 seconds flat. [the rhino roars and the scene changes with James waking up in a dark bedroom] But James' troubles were just beginning [James hides his travel book under his pillow] for now he lives here with Aunt Sponge... [James' wicked aunts burst through the door]

Aunt Sponge:
Get up, you lazy, little bug!

Narrator:
And Aunt Spiker.

Aunt Spiker:
You've already wasted four minutes of daylight.

Aunt Sponge:
Look at him!

Aunt Spiker:
Lolly-gagging in dreamland when there's so much work to do.

Aunt Sponge:
Weeds to pull, wood to chop.

Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker:
[in unison] Work, work, work, work, WORK!

Aunt Sponge:
Hello, little angel.

Aunt Spiker:
So kind of you to look after our little lost lamb.

Cop:
Who are you?

Aunt Spiker:
We are the boy's legal guardians.

Aunt Sponge:
We've missed him so much.

Aunt Spiker:
So we'll be taking him home now.

Aunt Sponge:
And the peach, of course. We're taking that as well.

Cop:
Well, wait a minute. Back up. You mean to tell me that this thing is a peach?

Aunt Spiker:
It's not a peach. It's our peach.

Aunt Sponge:
Our peach.

Aunt Spiker:
Show him, Spongy.

Aunt Sponge:
Yes. [shows the cop a picture of her and Spiker with the giant peach]

Cop:
Looks like it's their peach all right.

Aunt Spiker:
Yes! Yes. And we're very proud of it.

Aunt Sponge:
We're going to be in the record book.

James:
It's not their peach. The old man gave the green things to me. That's what made it grow.

Aunt Sponge:
[Shocked and angry with what James had just said] How dare you disagree with us!

Aunt Spiker:
[Places her hand on Sponge's shoulder, holding Sponge back] Patience, sister. Remember his... condition.

Cop:
His condition?

Aunt Sponge:
He's a chronic liar.

Aunt Spiker:
Sad, really. He needs his treatment.

Aunt Sponge:
Well, that's why we're here; to bring him home. So, you come here with us. Hey, Lovey!

[Sponge and Spiker maliciously try to get to James but he climbs up to the truck to get away.]

James:
I'm not the one who's lying. They are!

Aunt Spiker:
As you can see, Officer, it is urgent that you release him to us immediately.

Old Man:
LET THE BOY SPEAK!

[The crowd utters in agreement.]

Cop:
Alright, alright, alright! Let's get to the bottom of this! This thing is a peach. Now, all right. I'll buy that. Now, does someone wanna tell me how it got here?

James:
We attached it to a hundred seagulls.

Aunt Spiker:
Seagulls? [laughs with the crowd]

James:
That's what happened! Me and Miss Spider and the Centipede and the Old Green Grasshopper.

Aunt Sponge:
[laughs with the crowd] I think he's gone mad.

Aunt Spiker:
This is all something he dreamed up.

James:
Well, maybe it started that way, as a dream, but didn't everything? Those buildings, these lights, this whole city! Somebody had to dream about it first, and maybe that's what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it!

Aunt Spiker:
The poor boy needs his medicine. Yes. So, we'll just take him...

Aunt Sponge:
And the peach.

Aunt Spiker:
Back to our cozy little house on the hill. Come along. You're going home with us.

James:
[firmly] No, I'm not.

[Aunt Spiker tilts her head back in a disturbing way and her smile melts into a scowl]

Aunt Spiker:
[through clenched teeth] What did you say?

James:
I said: [enunciating] NO... I'M... NOT!! I hate that house, and that cold room, and how I was always hungry.

Aunt Spiker:
All right! That's enough!

James:
And how you beat me!

Aunt Sponge:
[the crowd gasps] He's lying!

Woman:
They beat him up?!

Boy:
They beat him?!

James:
And told me I was nothing!

Aunt Sponge:
Shut up!

Aunt Spiker:
Shut up!

Aunt Sponge:
Shut up!

James:
NO! Not this time! I flew the peach across the ocean. I landed on top of the tallest building in the world. [turns to Spiker and Sponge] I MADE IT! I'M NOT THE ONE WHO'S NOTHING, YOU ARE! AND I'M NEVER GOING BACK WITH YOU! NOT ME AND NOT THE PEACH!!!!

Aunt Spiker:
[enraged] HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO US THIS WAY!!

[Sponge and Spiker grab fire axes and take swings at James. The officer repeatedly blows his whistle to keep the crowd under control]

Mr. Grasshopper:
James, up here!

Glowworm:
Hello, we are here! [A green light shines down from above.]

Mr. Centipede:
Hey, buddy!

Aunt Sponge:
What are they?

Glowworm:
Young James!

Mr. Centipede:
Hey, Jimmy!

Aunt Spiker:
Bugs!

Mr. Centipede:
Need a little help down there?

Aunt Sponge:
Giant bugs! [she and Spiker scream]

Mr. Centipede:
Hey, you old biddies! [blows raspberry]

Aunt Sponge:
Help! Help us! [but the crowd ignores them as they are too busy watching the sudden appearance of James' bug friends]

Mrs. Ladybug:
Whoo-ee! Here we are, dear!

Earthworm:
Hello, James!

James:
I told you they were real!

Mr. Grasshopper:
Hello, old boy!

Miss Spider:
Requesting clearance to land!

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