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Archive for the ‘Richard Dreyfus’ Category

James And The GIant Peach

15 Feb

James And The Giant Peach – directed by Henry Selick – Fantasy Fairy Tale. A ten-year-old boy desires to escape from his ghastly aunts. 79 minutes Color 1996.

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Miriam Margolyes and the great Joanna Lumley play the venomous aunts in the live-action portion of the picture, the usual Disney horrible relatives which we all have. This story is a male version of Cinderella. In this case the little boy is worked like a slave by the wicked women, but salvation comes in the person a fairy godfather, played in the tattered uniform of a Napoleonic soldier by Pete Postlethwaite, a wonderful choice for the role, because you don’t know whether this is a poison pirate or a putative parent. For the pumpkin, which is the vehicle of salvation, we have a fruit of similar hue, a giant peach. Within this vessel and in animation now, our hero, well played by Paul Terry, is transported to The Ball, which in this male version is, of course, The Big Apple, a different sort of ball than a ball. He is accompanied by a gaggle of bugs: a centipede from The Bronx voiced by Richard Dreyfus, a seductive spider played by Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves as Mrs Ladybug, Simon Callow magisterial as Sir Grasshopper, and David Thewlis voicing the Earthworm. They provide us with some merry songs and witty entertainment.  Whereas Cinderella is an important tale of sexual selection by a female assisted by no one, James And The Giant Peach, its male version, is the story of a resourceful boy headed for the commercial headquarters of the modern world and assisted by many. Make of that what you will, the piece is fine for anyone of any age, provided you are not a ten year-old boy who might take it to represent something true.

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