Back left
Back right

The BFG Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Nov 29, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

The BFG is out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms. Is this home version worth collecting or giving this holiday season? Despite the giants who want to eat kids thing, is it holiday-friendly?

By: Lynn Barker 

In The BFG, it’s the 1980’s and young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a sweet orphan with insomnia and 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 stays up late readingSophie stays up late readingCourtesy of Disney

Visit From a Giant

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? 

Sophie with the QueenSophie with the QueenCourtesy of Disney

Not the Only Giant!

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.

The bad giants pick on BFGThe bad giants pick on BFGCourtesy of Disney

Blowing Dreams

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.

The evil giantsThe evil giantsCourtesy of Disney

Rampaging 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 the frightened BFG 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 hoping she’ll believe 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?

Sophie introduces the Queen to the BFGSophie introduces the Queen to the BFGCourtesy of Disney

Special Extra Features

  • Bringing The BFG to Life is both a video diary by young star Ruby Barnhill who plays Sophie. She introduces various sections and we hear all about the Roald Dahl novel upon which the movie is based. Late writer Melissa Matheson (who wrote E.T.) talks about adapting the book. Spielberg and others talk about the Dahl/Disney connection and we see actors on set in motion capture gear and the process is very well-explained. Ruby is charming and funny. Costumes for giants and giant props are shown and discussed. Overall, a fun extra.
  • In The Big Friendly Giant and Me, cartoons are used to illustrate a voice-over tale by the boy who lived with the giant before Sophie. Very sweet but short.

Screenwriter Melissa Mathison with producers and SpielbergScreenwriter Melissa Mathison with producers and SpielbergCourtesy of Disney
  • Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG explores the crazy, creative language spoken by the giants. This is cute and oddly educational.
  • Giants 101 focuses on the 9 actors playing the giants by wearing motion capture suits. We see them interacting on stage then see the finished scene with giants as it appeared in the movie. Really interesting. They learn how to move, walk and jump like giants, goof off on set and interview each other.
  • Melissa Matheson: A Tribute- The famous screenwriter (E.T., The Black Stallion) died in 2015 but appears in this Blu-ray commenting on her long association with Spielberg and The BFG producers who also worked together on E.T. so long ago.  Spielberg was shocked at her death (from a rare form of cancer). Sad but fitting tribute.

Sophie on set with director SpielbergSophie on set with director SpielbergCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

Extras on this Blu-ray are fun if short. There is no blooper reel (love those) and no director’s commentary which would have been cool but the film both sounds and looks very crisp and wonderful.  

Sharing dreamsSharing dreamsCourtesy of Disney

As we said in our original review of the movie in theaters, The BFG 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 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 BFG offers Sophie a handThe BFG offers Sophie a handCourtesy 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 themes of fighting back at bullies and developing real friendships is very family-friendly. The movie is quite talky but perks up the action in the last third.  Certainly a nice watch at home with friends and family and a nice holiday stocking stuffer. As we did for the film in theaters, we go four stars

The BFG Blu-ray Rating:4

The BFG Blu-ray PackThe BFG Blu-ray PackCourtesy of Disney

The BFG is now available on Blu-ray + DVD!



Have Your Say

Did you ever read the novel on which the movie is based? Do you feel the giants are scary or just fun and silly? Start commenting below.