Mari's Moments

Disney’s ‘The BFG’ is all about being BFF

Ruby Barnhill, right, and the Big Friendly Giant from Giant Country, voiced by Mark Rylance, in a scene from “The BFG.”
Ruby Barnhill, right, and the Big Friendly Giant from Giant Country, voiced by Mark Rylance, in a scene from “The BFG.” Disney

Children’s book author Roald Dahl was ahead of his time.

Not only did he encapsulate modern-day tween speak in his Big Friendly Giant’s “Gobblefunk” language, he also managed to have his protagonist’s nickname be a text-friendly acronym: The BFG.

From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Matilda, Dahl’s beloved tales have always related to young readers. The BFG is no exception.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, Disney’s film adaptation of the 1982 book imaginatively captures both the pensive moments of a 10-year-old’s bedroom fears and the frolicking fantasyland of Giant Country.

The story begins by introducing us to precocious protagonist Sophie (Ruby Barnhill). She’s convinced that the boogeyman comes out during the “witching hour” when everyone’s asleep. This doesn’t stop her curiosity from getting the best of her. She sneaks around her London orphanage expecting something wicked to come her way, and one night it does.

After peering through the window, she catches the eye of a 24-foot-tall creature. Suddenly, she’s snatched out of bed by a humongous hand and gets whisked away to parts unknown.

In the giant’s lair, Sophie is scared. She sees the BFG (Academy Award winner Mark Rylance) with the big ears chopping up a Snozzcumber, a disgustingly vile vegetable. She must be on the menu as well.

Sophie soon realizes though that he’s a gentle giant, a big friendly giant and a vegetarian: “You think because I’m a giant that I’m a man-gobbling cannybull?” However, he warns her that his giant brothers including Bloodbottler (Bill Hader) and Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) love them some “chidlers” for snacks.

Here’s where parents need to know that a majority of the story unabashedly communicates that most giants snatch children up in the middle of the night and munch on them. So, if your child is squeamish about things that go bump in the night, you may want to wait to watch this film.

However, your older children will get a kick out of the humorous, adventurous story written by the late Melissa Mathison, who also wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.

After all, just like E.T., this film is ultimately about an unlikely friendship between two beings. As The BFG would say, it’s “scrumdiddlyumptious.”

Maricar Estrella: 817-390-7720, @maricare


 1/2  (out of five)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Jemaine Clement, Bill Hader

Rated: PG (action/peril, some scary moments and rude humor)

Running time: 110 min.

A Gobblefunk Glossary

Chatbags: Chatterbox

Chidlers: Children

Delumptious: Delicious

Earbursting: Loud

Giggler: Little Girl

Jiggyraffes: Giraffes

Skumping: Worried

Swizzfiggling: Deceiving

Whiffling: Going somewhere

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