Parents' Guide to

James and the Giant Peach

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Fabulous adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book.

Movie PG 1996 79 minutes
James and the Giant Peach Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 25 parent reviews

age 8+

This movie is just creepy...

I have seen this abomination of a stop motion flick several times throughout my life and even as an adult I get weird dreams for days after seeing just a minutes of it. The movie is just weird and creepy and I still have no idea what the plot is supposed to be because I get so distracted by the weirdness and ugliness of the movie. I wouldn't say that I have nightmares but it does give me dreams that are weird and the bugs that are in the peach with James look so ugly that it's scary. I know that stop motion isn't known for cutesy characters and that even those old Christmas shows like Rudolph are weird. But this is in a whole different class of weirdness. It's ugly and that ugliness is distracting as well as leaving a lasting unsettling feeling in it's wake. Please don't show this to your kids. If they aren't scared they will still be wondering what the point of the movie was supposed to be.

This title has:

Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.
age 2+

Great Movie

1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (25):
Kids say (38):

The heart of this story is in James, with whom kids who are struggling to find independence and security within their families will identify. The insect characters are mostly loveable, and also learn lessons along the way. However, the insects also seem to come straight from central casting. There's the baffoonish Brooklyn centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), the elderly, hard-of-hearing lightning bug, the femme fatale spider (Susan Sarandon), the gentlemanly grasshopper, the twittering, lady-like lady bug, and the scaredy-cat earthworm. The Spider and centipede flirt with each other, but kids will take it as simple entertainment.

The only drawbacks in James and the Giant Peach are musical numbers that seem to only pad the short film's running time (the first is the worst, though later songs will have kids wiggling right along with the dancing characters), and animation that's unlikely to impress kids raised on Toy Story. When even Spider-Man has more realistic computer-generated graphics, kids may roll their eyes at clumsy animation scenes. One scene, in which young James has a nightmare about his aunts coming after him, resembles nothing so much as Monty Python animation on acid. James's head on a cardboard cutout of an insect? Uh, okay. But was it really necessary to throw in yet another form of animation?

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