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'James and the Giant Peach (2-Disc Special Ed.)'
(Paul Terry, Joanna Lumley, Pete Postlethwaite, Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, et al / 2-Disc Blu-DVD / PG / 2010 / Disney)

Overview: After the daring rescue of a spider, a young boy named James finds gains possession of some magic crocodile tongues. When James spills them in the garden, out sprouts an enormous peach! Climbing inside, he meets an astonishing cast of characters and embarks on a magical odyssey full of thrills and adventure. Voiced by an all-star cast, including legendary actors Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Simon Callow and Jane Leeves, and featuring the celebrated music of Randy Newman, this classic story is delicious entertainment for the whole family!

Blu-Ray: This is one of the darker clay-mated films that can be enjoyed by those who relish (or don't) in this sort of genre. Adapted by the famous children's novel by Roald Dahl, the story tells of James, whose parents were killed by a mysterious rhinoceros. He lives with two cruel aunts named Spiker and Sponge, who do nothing but verbally abuse him ever since he has moved in with them.

On a typical summer day, James comes a cross a stranger who gives him a bag of "crocodile tongues." These tongues are important, as the stranger tells James that these will help him find happiness. Unexpectedly, James trips and falls, sending these tongues into the roots of a peach tree. Within moments, a particular peach grows until it becomes the size of a two-story house.

With the aunts making money off of this strange phenomenon, James finds himself inside the core of the peach, where insects living inside have also evolved. A centipede, grasshopper, spider, ladybug, and earthworm become his friends. What comes next is a fantastic adventure, as James and friends are on their way (through sky and water) to New York City to find happiness.

The clay-mation here is wonderful. It's almost as astounding as the animation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. There's both beauty and ugliness (when required) all around. I've read the original Dahl novel, and it was nice to see these characters brought to life (though I expected the grasshopper to be a bit different than he was in the actual film). The songs here are quite forgettable; practically none of them are very enjoyable to listen to.

I guess this could be called a musical, as there is some singing (of songs written by Randy Newman) and the songs are pretty good. The animation is computerized and it is top-notch. The actors and actresses who provide the voices for the bugs do an excellent job, and, like I mentioned already, there is no shortage of imagination (that is used) throughout the picture. The final scene (in NYC) is carried out exceptionally well, and the ending is a happy one.

Anyway, James and the Giant Peach is entertaining and it is fun, but it is also quite creepy (and likely scary for young children) in parts. This "dark humor" gives the movie and overall feeling that has ... creepiness and ... dirt in it ... and it holds the film back ... keeping it (I believe) from being the type of movie we would want to watch again and again. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.66:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

New BD exclusive: Spike the Aunts interactive game inspired by the game that plays after the end movie credits. Try your hand at spiking the evil aunts with the rhino and ring up major points
PLUS, classic DVD features:
Production featurette – A look at the making of the film
“Good News” music video performed by Randy Newman
Original theatrical trailer
Production featurette – A look at the making of the film
“Good News” music video performed by Randy Newman
Original Theatrical Trailer