In a world of vast rolling hills and creeks lit in dream-light, the film The BFG is like something out of its own Dream Country. Penned by prolific children’s author Roald Dahl, starring a cast of Tony Award and Oscar winners, and brought to life by none other than Steven Spielberg, the fantasy adventure film is a triumph for Disney and Amblin Entertainment.
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The world envisioned by Roald Dahl is simply breathtaking, and the producers behind The BFG cut no corners in bringing his fantastical world of magic and wonder to life. The imagery is simply intoxicating – like nothing I’ve ever seen. And to top the heartstopping lighting and scenery, the film’s animators bring to life abstract concepts, like dreams, in stunning illustration. The beautiful score is like a bow on an already pretty package. Simply put, this film is a wonder to behold.
But if I had to choose a single aspect of the film that I enjoyed most, it’s Ruby Barnhill’s performance. Newcomer actress Barnhill slays the role of the feisty 10-year-old protagonist. She is a truly talented and endearing young actress that I predict will be a breakthrough star.
All that being said, there are some unsettling aspects of the film as well. There’s a dark side to this story that could startle younger viewers who didn’t grow up with other Roald Dahl stories such as James and the Giant Peach or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
While the story stays true to Disney’s original signature combination of darkness and light seen in early works such as Dumbo, Fantasia, and Snow White, it can be argued that times have changed, and that happy-go-lucky fantasy films will endure over classic concepts. Only this weekend’s box office will tell.
While the film is geared towards children, I would argue that its most loyal and encaptivated viewers will be made up of an older audience enjoying the nostalgic plot.
Overall, I thought the film was enchanting. While perhaps not one to rival the likes of other Spielberg films like E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, The BFG is a treasure in its own right. I only hope that young audiences will be as charmed by it.
The BFG comes to theaters July 1.
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