Disney's The BFG the Tall Tale About an Unexpected Friendship

I love that Roald Dahl has captured my children's imagination through his writing. Disney has brought a likable adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1982 book, "The BFG" to our movie collection and awakened our inner child.

The opening scenes are London with a spin of Mary Poppins perhaps as past and present seem to dance together. A stroll along the Thames, a walk through cobbled streets, to an orphanage where we meet Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), peering into tiny rooms of a dollhouse, like a giant.

Moonlight glitters in streams through the room, the clock chimes a witching hour, it's more like the "giants hour."

Sophie glimpses a large lumbering figure among the street's shadows.

It catches a glimpse of her glimpsing him.

Without much notice, Sophie is in the giant's clutches rushing out of the city, through the countryside and into a far to the north cave.

Giants eat children; right? She's certain this is true.

As if being the prisoner of a single giant wasn't enough, Sophie learns lurking nearby are nine other giants. Giants who are much bigger than her captor giant. Giants who crave "human beans." Their names alone are frightful: Bloodbottler and Fleshlumpeater, for example.

No need to fear for Sophie, she is protected by the loner, who takes her to the pond where he catches bottle dreams. There is something about his sad eyes and expressive ears, and he is kinder than the other giants.

If the responsibilities of adulthood have lost your childhood, "BFG" stands for Big. Friendly. Giant. He has a big heart.

Sophie and "the BFG" are complementary to one another. They each have a lesson to gain from the other. The story is theirs, two misfits, whose emotional bond invests us and gives us cause to rejoice!

My children love listening to "the BFG" speak "a little squiggly." His vocabulary has them laughing with mentions of "hippodumplings" and "telly telly bunkum boxes."  It's lyrical rambling that makes Roald Dahl leap from the screen into the heart.

Sophie is a character that combines strength with innocence.

In true Disney fashion, a cave of wonders filled with jars that cast lights of purple, blue, green and orange into the room where all the awe and joy a child possesses captures every beam.


And just when I thought I'd outgrown fart jokes, the movie takes us to Buckingham Palace, where "the BFG" feasts on a scrumdiddlyumptious breakfast at a table made of grand pianos and grandfather clocks. Laughter fills the room as "the BFG" introduces an explosive, green, jetlike blast of visible flatulence he laughingly calls a "whizzpopper" created by the bubbles of "frobcottle" his favorite drink, to THE Queen of England! The odor so strong, it knocks the Queen off her seat and casts her into the air!

Watching the light dance in my children's eyes as Sophie and "the BFG" journey into a dreamscape with reflective pools and dazzling dreamscape may be the moment standing out to me most. I'm sure their amazement is the real awe Dahl's words, and creativity is intended to capture.

If you are looking for a movie filled with a star-studded cast, The BFG, is lacking. If the name Steven Spielberg steals your heart, The BFG comes to life through his directing.

My heart swells thinking of the moment "the BFG" tells Sophie he hears "secret whispers" of the world. Both the good and the bad. The hidden longings some call dreams. He implies if he listens carefully, he knows the "heart's desire" for everyone on earth.

Perhaps the BFG is like the #SantaProject, reminding us to believe. That there is comfort in the idea that someone is always able to hear us; Someone out there who truly knows us.

Maybe it's the message I love where Sophie sees 'the BFG' getting bullied by the bigger, meaner giants, she reminds her friend of his value stating, "You shouldn't let them treat you like that. Nobody should."

Or maybe it's the nostalgia. The relationship that seems so contrasting, but reminds me of the film I came to love the name Spielberg, E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. Both screenplays were written by the late Melissa Mathison.

The BFG, available now on Blu-Ray and DVD, is a tall tale that reminds us all of the generosity of friendship.

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©2016 Julee Morrison, as first published on Mommy's Memorandum