Story

The BFG is based on the book by Roald Dahl. Sophie is an orphan living in London. One night the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) kidnaps her and takes her to giant country. Sophie soon learns that she doesn’t need to fear the BFG. She and the BFG become friends and teach each other about their own worlds. But Sophie’s presence in giant country attracts the attention of nine other not-so-friendly giants. Sophie and the BFG must be brave and clever to defeat the bad giants.

Themes

Kidnapping; death of a parent; bullying; children as victims

Violence

The BFG has some violence. For example:

  • There are lots of references to giants eating children. At the beginning Sophie thinks that the BFG is going to eat her, but he turns out to be a friendly giant. The other nine giants are children eaters, however, and often talk about wanting to eat children, including Sophie.
  • The bad giants tease the BFG, throw him about and force him to crash into other giants.
  • To protect Sophie, the BFG attacks the other giants with a fire poker.
  • Sophie and the BFG ask the British Army to help them fight the other giants. The British soldiers carry guns and swords but don’t use them. Instead, the army captures the bad giants with nets and takes them to a remote island so they can’t hurt anyone.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The BFG has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The movie opens with some scary scenes. Sophie is awake in the middle of the night and is frightened by scary noises and creepy shadows. The BFG (who looks like a scary giant to start with) kidnaps Sophie and takes her to giant country.
  • Characters talk about death. Sophie is an orphan and tells the BFG that both her parents are dead. There was also a boy who used to live with BFG, but he was eaten by the other giants.
  • The other nine giants are quite scary. It’s frightening when they try to capture and eat Sophie.
  • Both the queen and Sophie have nightmares about the evil giants. Sophie’s nightmare might be scary for young children because it shows the giants chasing her and almost eating her.
  • Sophie jumps off a balcony to make the BFG reveal himself and catch her.

From 5-8
Children in this age group might also be disturbed or scared by the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The BFG shows some use of substances. For example:

  • At the beginning of the movie, some drunk men are leaving a pub and make lots of noise stumbling about in the street. Sophie tells them to be quiet and go home or she will call the police.
  • The giants drink a fizzy green substance called Frobscottle. It is non-alcoholic, but it does make both giants and humans have explosive farts.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Product placement

The BFG doesn’t have any product placement, but the movie is part of the Disney franchise and is likely to have associated merchandise.

Coarse language

There are lots of fart jokes in The BFG.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The BFG is a heart-warming family movie full of wonderful fantasy characters, which beautifully reimagines Roald Dahl’s classic book.

The movie is most suitable for children aged over 8 years because it has some scary and violent scenes. It isn’t recommended for children under 7 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 7-8 years.

The main messages from this movie are about:

  • not judging other people based on appearance or stereotypes
  • valuing friends and friendship
  • feeling that you belong.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include bravery, problem-solving, empathy and kindness. You could also talk with your children about the effects of bullying and how the movie presents the theme of bullying.