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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Roald Dahl's The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)'
( David Jason, Amanda Root, Angela Thorne, et al / DVD / NR / (1989) 2016 / PBS)

Overview: One moonlit night, little Sophie is snatched from her orphanage bed by an awesome giant who whisks her away on a magical, thrilling, and funny adventure. The enchanting children's book from author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) comes to life in this classic, animated musical feature by the award-winning Cosgrove Hall Studio, makers of DangerMouse and The Wind in the Willows.

DVD Verdict: Unlike the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater and the Bonecruncher, the Big Friendly Giant is a good giant who blows sweet dreams into the bedroom windows of children as they slumber. When Sophie learns that the monstrous crew of meanies is off to England to gobble up innocent boys and girls, she sets out to stop them once and for all, with the help of her new, rather large, friend.

If you weren't aware by now of this delightful tale, and have yet to see the big screen movie of the same name currently in theaters, The BFG shows the most tender and dreamlike side of celebrated author Roald Dahl as he depicts the amazing friendship that grows between a little girl and a big-hearted giant.

Although the character animation was often flickery and sometimes slow, the backgrounds were well-drawn and the scenery of Dream Country was absolutely beautiful. The story was mostly faithful to the book, albeit Sophie having short red hair instead of long blonde hair as shown in the book illustrations, but I found the climax where several helicopters drop the mean human-eating giants in the pit forgettable.

In spite of this, most of the scenes are memorable and the Bloodbottler entering the BFG's cave startled me today and it also scared my brother when he was 16 and watching this film with me when I rented it. The standout scenes were those involving Sophie being snatched from her orphanage by the BFG and the BFG showing her around his cave, offering her some Snozzcumber and Frobscottle (leading to the scatological yet funny Whizzpopper scene), making her a new dress and making a little boy (who has a Danger Mouse poster on his wall if you look closely) dream of becoming invisible when pressing his belly button and frightening his teacher.

The music was full of charm and tension, even though some of it had late 80s written all over it, and I liked the Whizzpopper song and the dreamy 'Sometimes, Secretly.' As for the dialogue, the BFG's was the funniest due to it being grammatically incorrect and containing hybrid words. When I saw this as a child, I cried towards the end when the BFG said goodbye to Sophie and she wanted to be with him forever and always. Even though I didn't cry at that scene earlier today, I still found it a touching way to end the film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Never-Before-Seen Roald Dahl Documentary
Before/After Restoration Video