Roald Dahl is a favorite author in our house so the kids were super excited to see “The BFG” on the big screen. I was also happy to see Steven Speilberg’s Disney directorial debut. And I can tell you that the movie exceeded all of our expectations!
Speilberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison did a superb job of toning down the scarier aspects of the story (children getting eaten by giants) and instead focusing more on the magic and friendship. The cinematic technology is absolutely superb and Mark Rylance captures the BFG’s fantastic although “a bit crumply’ and somewhat mangled English language to perfection. Rylance is truly magnificent as the gentle giant. The BFG is a gentle soul and the friendship between the vegetarian giant and Sophie, the lonely orphan, (played perfectly by Ruby Barnhill) is beautiful.
The scene where the BFG takes Sophie to catch dreams is so magical it’s hard to put it to words. The movie also tackles bullying and the prosocial message that if someone sees a person (or giant) being mistreated that he or she can help. In this case, Sophie watches the BFG get victimized by the unfriendly giants and she steps in and encourages him to get help (from the Queen no less!).
While really young children might still be frightened by the notion of kids being snatched by giants, this film is so well-done that your whole family will be mesmerized (in a good way).