Fresh from a mostly positive reception by critics at the Cannes Film Festival, Steven Spielberg‘s Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG has unveiled more footage for the rest of us, offering a bigger taste of Oscar-winner Mark Rylance’s motion-capture performance as the large-eared, 24-foot Big Friendly Giant.
Spielberg and Dahl might seem an odd combination at first, as the director is known for unabashed sentimentality in his childrens’ tales, while Dahl’s always have an element of mischief and danger that gives them an edge. However, this particular book’s backstory is as tear-jerking as anything in E.T., as it was dedicated to Dahl’s daughter Olivia, who died at the age of seven; plus, the BFG’s comical way of talking was inspired by Dahl’s wife Patricia Neal, when she had to relearn how to talk following a series of aneurysms. Turning all those events into a fairy tale about a child’s friendship with a giant who gives good dreams…Well, that’s exactly the kind of fantasy/catharsis combo this director would be drawn to.
Also, it has fart jokes. The book did, at least.
This isn’t the first adaptation of the book–in 1989, it was animated for ITV in Britain:
Much of the new film is animated too, of course, albeit photo-realistically. But Spielberg’s not one to let technology detract from sentiment if he can help it. I mean, look, even Hook tears me up a bit when Robin Williams gets his teddy bear back. Dahl’s edge, however, is evident in the names of the evil giants that the BFG rattles off the top of his head at the trailer’s beginning: Manhugger, Meatdripper, Childchewer, Butcher Boy, Bloodbottler, Maidmasher, Fleshlumpeater, Bonecruncher, and Gizzardgulper.
Okay, so “Manhugger” doesn’t sound quite so dangerous as the rest. But he hugs really hard, I’ll bet.
Does the new trailer make you want to man-hug (or woman-hug) The BFG? Leave a comment little or large below with your thoughts.
images: Walt Disney Pictures