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James and the Giant Peach (Special Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Take a bite out of Disney's delicious Special Edition of JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the popular children's book by Roald Dahl that inspired this imaginative film. This amazing mix of live-action, stop-motion animation and computer-generated special effects includes bonus materials never before available. When young James spills some magic crocodile tongues, a giant peach grows as huge as a house. Climbing inside, he embarks on a thrilling and magical odyssey that only the creative team from TIM BURTON'S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS could bring you. Along the way you'll discover the famous star voices of Richard Dreyfuss and Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves (FRASIER), and Simon Callow (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE), plus the inspired music of Randy Newman. Enjoy -- it's a peach of a journey!

Additional Features

While The Nightmare Before Christmas, from the same filmmaking team, received an exhaustive special edition DVD, James and the Giant Peach gets shortchanged. There are only a couple dozen character drawings (compared to over 450 for Nightmare), a music video, and a publicity-fluff featurette. Better is the excellent transfer that makes the images pop off the screen. Best of all, James continues the welcome trend of putting both DTS and Dolby Digital soundtracks on the same disc. --Doug Thomas

Special Features

  • Featurette
  • Music Video

Product Details

  • Actors: Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves, Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes
  • Directors: Henry Selick
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Live, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630595027X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,629 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "James and the Giant Peach (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2003
Format: DVD
Roald Dahl's modern classic tells the story of James, an orphan who is treated cruelly by his aunts, until one day a benevolent stranger gives him some magical crocodile tongues -- and then marvelous things begin to happen! With new friends, James discovers that he is resourceful and loyal. He learns to believe in himself and trust in others.

This terrific story is given the treatment it deserves by director Henry Selick and producer Tim Burton (who also made Nightmare Before Christmas together). Stop-motion, live action and special effects combine to bring this incredible story to life, and the effort is dazzling, even though the work is almost a decade old.

The dvd features are marginal at best. While it's nice to have the option of DTS or Dolby Digital sound, the other features do not merit calling this a special edition. You can hear the dialogue in English, French or Spanish, and subtitling is available in Spanish or for the hearing impaired. There is also a 4-1/2 minute featurette, a trailer and a Randy Newman music video. Still photos are categorized as Concept Art (9), Puppets (9), Behind-the-Scenes (36) or Live Action (18), and they can be seen as thumbprints or enlarged. There are trailers for NBX, Toy Story 2 and Lady and the Tramp 2. Menus are a bit clunky.

Great film. Mediocre DVD edition.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By grumbling_goat on March 8, 2004
Format: DVD
I am really shocked that anyone could find this film "horrific"! It is far from horrific. I think the aunts are the most entertaining part of the movie. I guess you need a bit of a sense of humor to appreciate it.
It wasn't incredibly entertaining for my husband or me, but we did both enjoy watching it. My five year old son, on the other hand, thinks that it is a movie masterpiece. He has watched it about eight times in the week since he first saw it. He loves to sing the songs from the movie. He is moved by James' plight for freedom from the mean aunts and sympathizes with him as much as a carefree five year old can. He finds the obstacles of James' journey with his bug friends very exciting. He really likes bugs so I guess that a movie about a journey with giant bugs is pretty appealing concept for him.
I agree with a previous reviewer that the movie portrays a good lesson about facing hardships and overcoming them.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P. S. Rouse on June 26, 2002
Format: DVD
This is a wonderful & amazing adaptation of Ronald Dahl's classic book. A definite addition to anyone's dvd collection. the story as you many know, tells of James and how his wish to get away from his evil aunts comes true in the form of a giant peach. James floats away to NYC in a giant peach being carried by a flock of seagulls and lots of sticky spider web. He learns to stick up for himself... that he really can make a difference, that he indeed counts!
The voice talent is great and the story ties up nicely at the end. Keep in mind, this Ronald Dahl, and anything can happen! =)
As for the Special Edition features.. There isn't much here. A still-frame gallery, a short making-of piece, trailers for the movie, and "sneak peaks" (more trailers) for other movies that are already out on DVD. I was hoping they would have at least included a director's commentary (which is most often 'standard' with the Special Edition designation) but no such luck. It is still worth owning of course, but just don't expect much in the way of Extras. This film is definitely worth the repeated viewings!! Go now & get it!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dave on July 22, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
The Roald Dahl novel "James and the Giant Peach" made it to the big screen 35 years after it was published, thanks to Disney Pictures and Director Henry Selick (also Director of "The Nightmare Before Christmas").

The simple story is about James (Paul Terry), a young boy who is orphaned at a young age when his parents are eaten by a dark rhino! He is forced to live with his evil aunts, Spiker and Sponge (Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes). They beat him, starve him, and use him to do all of the work on the deserted island that they live on. Just as he reaches the pit of despair, having nothing to hope for, he is given a great gift by a mysterious stranger. A magical peach begins to grow, and with a group of new friends that James makes, he is able to face his fears and go after the dream he and his parents shared together: to visit New York City and The Empire State Building. Definitely a family-friendly movie, although there are some dark parts, especially with the orphaning of James and the evil treatment he receives from his Aunts (no worries...they get their retribution!).

It took 22 soundstages and 3 years to make it, and now it has been released in High Definition on Blu-ray for the first time. How does it look? There does appear to be a high amount of noise/grain that has been added. It doesn't really detract from the heavily stylized movie, but in some scenes it is more noticeable than others. The colors are vivid, and just like in the theater, the cinematography evokes a bygone art deco era.
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