The BFG, short for The Big Friendly Giant, opened a few weeks ago — as a big “disappointment.” The BFG fizzled according to the those who rate success only by dollars and cents. However, for those of us who love a good story for children — one that’s told without jokes aimed over their heads — The BFG is the biggest hit since Frozen.
Only better. You don’t have to worry about listening to the same song for the next full year. No singing in The BFG. Better yet, The BFG will expand your family’s vocabulary with his delightful Gobblefunk (repurposed and made-up words).
The BFG is one of the most innocently imaginative fairy tales to come out of Hollywood. Period. This Steven Spielberg film had me smiling the entire time. The film is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book that came out in 1982. Dahl is also the author of the beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
When the little orphan girl Sophie asks, “Why did you take me?” the gentle giant replies, “Because I hears your lonely heart.”
It’s an idyllic love story of a grandfatherly figure and a brave, innocent little girl. Sophie is an excellent heroine, but there’s plenty to delight any little boy.
The giant refuses to follow the other giants in Giant Country who eat children. BFG doesn’t eat beans (human beings). He only eats the “filthing rotsome glubbage” called snozzcumbers (a vegetable he grows as his only source of food).
This puts poor BFG in a spot for being picked on and bullied by the other giants, but his new little friend has a plan.
Of course, there are the elements we’ve all come to expect from a Spielberg and Disney film. You won’t be disappointed. However, when it comes to children’s stories, I have different criteria for a good film than the film critics.
As a mom, I know that there are subtle storylines that children pick up on. If it’s a film that they love, they will want to see it over and over again.
The question I ask myself is, will this film do more than captivate children’s attention? Because once the theatrics have their attention, what will it give them?
A film for children should give them only a bit of the adult world without glamorizing wickedness, while encouraging bravery to overcome a child’s world without demonizing adults.
I think one of the most delightful elements of this film (besides the kindly expressions on the face of BFG) is Dahl’s ability to turn scary into silly and crass into fun.
In an attempt to be honest with children, we’ve lost so much of the wonder of childhood. It’s no longer a social imperative to shield children from adult issues — rather, they are bombarded with them daily. BFG restores some of the fantasy and wonderment of childhood.
When you can turn a fart into a whizzpopper, and a nightmare into a troddlehumper, you’ll start swizzfiggling with your children — and they’ll love it.