James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name. It was produced by Tim Burton, who also produced The Nightmare Before Christmas. The movie is a combination of live action and stop-motion.
This film is rated PG by the MPAA for "some frightening images".
A magical, musical fairy tale
concerning a little boy, James Henry Trotter, who finds himself living with his two aunts, Spiker and Sponge, after his parents were gobbled up by a mysterious rhinoceros from the clouds. Life with his aunts is hard and he dreams of a better place, specifically New York City
, a "dream like" place his parents had talked about. His dream comes true when a stranger appears with a bagful of magic which among others things, changes insects
(a Grasshopper, Centipede, Lady Bug, Spider, Earthworm, and Glow Worm) into real life characters and causes an ordinary peach
to grow to immense proportions. It's upon this peach that James and his new insect friends travel and make their way toward his "dream land."
Novel vs. Movie
- The book says that the rhinoceros escaped from the zoo. In the movie,the rhinoceros"appears out of nowhere."
- In the book,Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge are crushed by the peach when it rolls out of the yard. In the movie,they don't die at all(but they are arrested).
- In the book,the sharks show up before,not after,as in the movie,the creatures on the peach start eating it(or portions of it). Also,in the book,they start eating the while in the water,rather then in the air.
- The rhinoceros also takes the place of the "cloud men" for the reason they had to cut down the string holding up the seagulls in midair.
- The character of the silkworm is also ommited.
- The book does not say they needed a compass.
- The book also does not mention the dream James had.
- The book also does not mention James and the creatures being separated when the peach hits the empire state building.
- In the book,it is said James wrote the book himself. Possibly to keep up with the shelf-to-screen translation,Tim Burton changed this to the movie.
was nominated for an Academy Award
for Best Music, Original Musical or Comedy Score (by Randy Newman
). It won Best Animated Feature Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival
- The film begins with normal live-action, but becomes stop-motion animation after James enters the peach, and then live-action when James enters New York (although the mutated insect characters remained in stop-motion).
- In the pirate ship scene, the Centipede exclaims, "A Skellington!" upon spotting a skeleton that looks like (and is) Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) with a beard and pirate gear. Upon finding a compass moments later, he exclaims, "Jackpot!" One of the pirates looks like Mickey Mouse's dog, Pluto. Another of the skeletons has the bill, sailor's cap, sailor's jacket and voice of Donald Duck.
- Andy Partridge of the British pop group, XTC, was originally tapped to write the songs for this film. When Partridge backed out over the compensation he was offered, the producers called on Randy Newman instead.