The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Blu-ray (2016)

by | Dec 7, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

A fine Spielberg-directed family film combining live action and cgi.

The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Blu-ray (2016)

Actors: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall
Director: Steven Spielberg
Studio:  Walt Disney Enterprises 133894 (11/29/16)
Video: 2.39:1 for 16:9 screens, color HD
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DD 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Extras: Bringing the BFG to Life, The Big Friendly Giant and Me, Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG, Giants 101, A Tribute to Melissa Mathison
Length: 118 min.
Rating: *****

This is an imaginative tale and a Roald Dahl classic, and surprisingly the first Disney movie for Spielberg. It will remind some viewers of Spielberg’s beloved E.T., and the same screenwriter who did that one also wrote this one. There is a moving tribute to her included because she died soon after the film was finished.

A little girl in an orphanage named Sophie is launched on an enormous adventure when she meets the Big Friendly Giant, partly due to her being up at night in the English orphanage since she an insomniac. The BFG is actually small compared to the evil giant cannibals around him in Giant Land. He has to placate them in order to exist there, and in the end with Sophie they hatch a plan that involves the queen and the army in order to take the bad giants away. I didn’t find the odd words of the BFG that funny, and of course much of the humor (to please the youngsters) is around farting. But the rest of the film is excellent and a great deal of work went into it, with various actors doing the motion-sensor footage which made the very realistic cgi of the actual giants in the film believable.

This is a quality film that doesn’t just fit the popular scene, but combines fine storytelling with wonderful visual effects to create a film that families will keep coming back to. They don’t make them much better than this.

—John Sunier

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