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The BFG Movie Review

Reviewed by on Jun 30, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw The BFG. Does the Big Friendly Giant film live up to the famous book? Will you be swept up and carried away by the story and cool visual effects? Check out our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In The BFG (based upon the novel by Roald Dahl) young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a sweet orphan with insomnia. She reads a lot and has a great imagination. When a giant (Mark Rylance), responsible for bringing both dreams and nightmares to humankind, kidnaps her, she looks on the bright side. Maybe this big guy is actually friendly.

Sophie reads late at nighSophie reads late at nightCourtesy of Disney

Enter the Giant

It’s the 1980’s and worried about the boogeyman,10-year-old orphan Sophie prowls the halls of her London orphanage at 3 A.M. reading. Out the window she spies a giant who reaches in and kidnaps her! He takes her far away to the Land of the Giants where he prepares his dinner… will she be the main course?  

The BFG offers Sophie a helping handThe BFG offers Sophie a helping handCourtesy of Disney

No Going Home

Sophie is not dinner so she calls the giant the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and learns that there are nine even bigger giants outside who do eat humans. BFG is the “runt” of the bunch and bullied constantly by them. Sophie hides from them several times as the BFG explains that he can’t take her home. She has seen him and he can’t let humans know he is often among them.

Sophie wonders if she'll be safeSophie wonders if she'll be safeCourtesy of Disney

Sophie grabs a dream jarSophie grabs a dream jarCourtesy of Disney

The Dream Blower

On a magical trip to dreamland, Sophie learns that BFG is the “blower” of both dreams and nightmares and he keeps his giant bullies at bay by giving them horrible dreams. He was in London blowing mostly good dreams to kids and their parents when she first saw him.

BFG and Sophie watch a young boy dreamBFG and Sophie watch a young boy dreamCourtesy of Disney

Attack of the Giants

The giants continue to try to grab Sophie for a snack ad eventually leave their land to steal, eat and terrorize other humans. Sophie convinces her friendly but shy and scared giant to go with her back to London and tell the Queen just who and what is raiding the land snatching up people in the night. They will give the Queen a dream/nightmare to explain everything then go to see her convincing the monarch that her dream is real.  Can the BFG and Sophie, now BFFs, convince the Queen to send troops against the man-eating giants and save the day? Will Sophie ever get a real human family? 

BFG faces even bigger giantsBFG faces even bigger giantsCourtesy of Disney

The BFG Movie Trailer


Wrapping UP

The BFG film follows many of the basic plot points of the book and has a few scary elements that might freak out small kids but it is not as dark as the novel. There are many moments of humor too. The movie looks just amazing and is great also in 3-D, especially a magical scene in which Sophie and her giant visit an enormous tree surrounded by floating, colored “dreams”… just the kind of visual stunner we expect from a Spielberg film.

The amazing and colorful land of dreamsThe amazing and colorful land of dreamsCourtesy of Disney

With motion capture, every detail and expression on talented actor Mark Rylance’s face as the BFG looks “real” down to the tears in his eyes. He is great at spouting all of Roald Dahl’s crazy language as well. Newcomer,12-year-old Ruby Barnhill looks just like a very young Molly Ringwald (go watch The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink and you’ll see what I mean). She is a natural actor and really makes us believe her character although there is a touch of overacting in some scenes.

The Queen (in bed) learns that people are disappearingThe Queen (in bed) learns that people are disappearingCourtesy of Disney

It’s relevant that Sophie convinces the BFG to stand up to bullies and also a plus that we actually don’t see these human-eating giants eat anybody…too bloody and gross for a family film.

Sophie and the BFG explore the land of dreamsSophie and the BFG explore the land of dreamsCourtesy of Disney

I found the movie to be charming but quite slow and talky until the last third when the BFG and Sophie head for Buckingham Palace to enlist the Queen in their fight against the man-eating giants. Silly and illogical of course, but hey, fun and funny to watch.

The Queen and Sophie welcome the BFGThe Queen and Sophie welcome the BFGCourtesy of Disney

The BFG is amazing to look at and although not a perfect film, it is certainly entertaining for older kids through young teens who don’t mind listening to a bit of dialogue mixed in with visual adventure. We go 4 stars. 

The BFG Movie Rating:4

The BFG PosterThe BFG PosterCourtesy of Disney
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Was "The BFG" a favorite book? Do you love fantasy adventure stories? Just love a lot of Spielberg movies or...not your thing? Let us know below.