James and the Giant Peach (movie) facts for kids

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James and the Giant Peach
James and the giant peach.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry Selick
Produced by Denise Di Novi
Tim Burton
Screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick
Jonathan Roberts
Steve Bloom
Starring
Music by Randy Newman
Cinematography Pete Kozachik
Hiro Narita
Editing by Stan Webb
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
Allied Filmmakers
Skellington Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures (Global)
Guild Film Distribution (United Kingdom)
Release date(s) April 12, 1996 (1996-04-12) (United States)
August 2, 1996 (1996-08-02) (United Kingdom)
Running time 79 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $38 million
Money made $28.9 million (U.S.)

James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 British-American musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi, and starred Paul Terry as James. The film is a combination of live action and stop-motion animation. Co-stars Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes played James's aunts in the live-action segments, and Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, David Thewlis, and Margolyes voiced his insect friends in the animation sequences.

Plot

James Henry Trotter is a young boy who lives with his parents by the sea in England. On James' birthday, they plan to go to New York City and visit the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the world. However, his parents are killed by a ghostly rhinoceros from the sky and James finds himself living with his two abusive and cruel aunts, Spiker and Sponge, in a run-down house on top of a high hill.

He is forced to work all day and they antagonize him by threatening him with beatings to keep him in line and torment him about the mysterious rhino and other hazards if he ever attempts to escape. After rescuing a spider from being squashed by his aunts, James meets a mysterious man with a bag of magic green "crocodile tongues", which he gives to James to make his life better. The man instructs him not to lose the "tongues" and disappears. When James is returning to the house, he trips and the "tongues" escape into the ground.

This transforms a peach on a withered old tree into enormous proportions. Spiker and Sponge sell tickets to view the giant peach. James crawls inside a large hole he inadvertently creates in the peach, and he finds and befriends a group of life-size anthropomorphic bugs (Mr. Grasshopper, Mr. Centipede, Earthworm, Miss Spider, Mrs. Ladybug, and Glowworm). As they hear the aunts search for James, Mr. Centipede cuts the stem connecting the giant peach to the tree and the peach rolls away to the Atlantic Ocean.

Remembering his dream to visit New York City, James and the insects decide to go there with Mr. Centipede steering the peach. They use Miss Spider's silk to capture and tie a hundred seagulls to the peach stem, while battling against a giant robotic shark. Miss Spider reveals to James that she was the spider he saved from Spiker and Sponge. The next day, James and his friends find themselves in The Arctic; the Centipede has fallen asleep while keeping watch. After hearing Mr. Grasshopper wishing they had a compass, Mr. Centipede jumps off the peach into the icy water below and searches a sunken ship for a compass but is taken prisoner by skeletal pirates. James and Miss Spider rescue him and the journey continues.

As they reach New York City, a storm appears, along with the ghostly rhino. James is frightened but challenges the rhino and gets his friends to safety before the rhino strikes the peach with lightning; James and the peach fall to the city below, landing on top of the Empire State Building. After he is rescued by police officers, firefighters, and the largest crane in New York City, Spiker and Sponge arrive and attempt to claim James and the peach. Finally having had enough of his aunts' cruelty, James stands up to Spiker and Sponge and reveals their abusive behavior towards him to the crowd, who gasp in shock at the revelation. Spiker and Sponge become enraged by James' betrayal and attempt to kill him. The bugs arrive and tie up Spiker and Sponge with Miss Spider's silk and both aunts are arrested. James introduces his friends to the New Yorkers and allows the children to eat up the peach.

The peach pit is made into a house in Central Park, where James lives happily with the bugs, who form his new family and also take important jobs in the city. James celebrates his ninth birthday with his new family and friends.

Cast

  • Paul Terry as James Henry Trotter
  • Miriam Margolyes as Aunt Sponge
  • Joanna Lumley as Aunt Spiker
  • Pete Postlethwaite as Narrator/the Magic Man
  • Steven Culp as James' Father
  • Susan Turner-Cray as James' Mother
  • Mike Starr as Beat Cop

Voices


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