James and the Giant Peach

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +3

This colorful, animated fantasy was produced by Tim Burton, who also produced the rather dark, foreboding NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. But, happily, this one turns out to be a very clever, fun adventure with some delightful musical numbers and eye-popping special effects. It begins with James (Paul Terry), an unhappy orphan boy in England, receiving harsh treatment from his two heartless aunts (Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margoyles). To escape, James teams up with some comical human-size insects who live in a magical giant peach which has appeared in his aunts' back yard. Together, they launch the oversize peach into the sea and set their course for New York. It's quite a harrowing adventure as they are assailed by storms, a ferocious mechanical shark, pirate skeletons underwater, and a raging rhinoceros. The insects include a grasshopper, centipede, ladybug, glowworm, spider and earthworm, all clever, fun characters. This mostly animated adventure may be too intense for children below 5 years of age, but the others will probably like it.

Sticking together through thick and thin, James and his insect friends become like family. In fact, in a touching musical number the insects tell James they love him. The film has a rather ominous beginning when James' mean, grotesque aunts make him work all day long cleaning the house and taking care of them. He's very unhappy, but retains his will to carry on. The magical peach, some tiny magical crocodile tongues and a few other magical phenomena are pure fantasy and don't resemble the occult. At times, the action is scary, particularly when James and the insects swim to a sunken pirate boat and encounter some spooky skeletons and corpses. Also, some hand fighting as well as a battle with a mechanical shark and an attack by a ferocious rhinoceros are intense, but not excessive. The dialogue has only one moderately rough word and there are no sexual elements. Except for very young children, this film is appropriate for all the family.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution Inc., 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once - Moderate

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory - Once

Violence: Many times - Mild and Moderate (aunts treat boy harshly, woman hit in face with fly swatter, hand fighting, kicking, striking, scary skeletons and corpses, attack by rhinoceros, women tied up with thread)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Insects love boy and they become loyal family; appreciation for classical violin music expressed

Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Age 5 and older

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