Disney, Roald Dahl and the BFG (and a Movie Trailer)

I’ve always been an avid reader, and one of my favorite childhood authors was Roald Dahl. The BFG, The Magic Finger, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Danny the Champion of the World – all of them wonderful, comic (sometimes darkly so) stories where the children triumph over the wicked adult villains (usually with the help of one “good” adult”).   The aspiring writer in me delighted over his made-up words (like “snozzcumber” and “whizzpopping”).  As an adult, my time in Wales was particularly sentimental as we browsed through the used bookstores in my lovely Hay-on-Wye to find copies of his books for my own children to discover.


The BFG tells the tale of orphan Sophie who is whisked away to Giant Country by the Big Friendly Giant. Sophie learns that as the primary food available is a nasty, slimy vegetable called a snozzcumber, the giants’ preferred meal is “human beans”. The Big Friendly Giant, mercifully, is a gentle vegetarian who captures dreams in big jars and delivers them to humans with a huge trumpet. He is smaller than his fellow giants and tends to butcher his words because he hasn’t gone to school. Sophie nicknames him “BFG” for short.  But when Sophie discovers that the other giants are plotting to go to England to guzzle more human beans, she hatches a plan with the BFG to stop them!

It’s a delightful, funny tale with a very insightful, enchanting character, and the book presents the themes of friendship, dreams and believing, as well as some deeper concepts of not judging others on appearances, celebrating the differences in others,  overcoming obstacles and even preventing bullying. There is a lot of fun and depth in this book.

It’s because of all this that I’m especially pleased that this year, marking the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl, Disney is bringing The BFG to the big screen on July 1. It is being directed by Stephen Spielberg and is a mix of computer animation and live action;  while the illustrations of Quentin Blake have always been the hallmark of a Roald Dahl book for me, the previews have me intrigued.


The latest trailer for The BFG was just released, and while the first trailer showed things from Sophie’s perspective, this new trailer shows more of Giant Country and the BFG’s world. But, in the words of the BFG, I won’t “gobblefunk around with words” – check out the trailer yourself.

And — because I do love his books SO very much, I urge you to read Roald Dahl’s The BFG with your kids before you go see the movie.

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