James and the Giant Peach is an animated and live-action adaptation of the classic novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. James (voiced by Paul Terry) is forced to live with his dreadful aunts (Miriam Margolyes and Joanna Lumley) after both of his loving parents are eaten by a rhinoceros. One night, James encounters a man who gives him magical crocodile tongues that help to produce a giant peach. James escapes from his aunts in the peach, inside which are six insects who help him to steer the peach across land and sea to the wonderful city of New York.
Parent abandonment; the supernatural
James and the Giant Peach has some violence. For example:
- A caterpillar and a cricket fight over food. They throttle each other.
- The cricket kicks the caterpillar in the face.
- The cricket kicks a centipede in the head and hits him with a cane.
- Skeletons come to life and growl at the centipede. These skeletons appear to be torturing the centipede by stretching his spine. The skeletons wield weapons and fight the insects and James. The skeletons lose their limbs during the fight.
- A character throws a rope around a bird’s neck and pulls it tight.
- A spear shoots from the mouth of a mechanical shark.
- The shark almost kills a centipede.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
James and the Giant Peach shows some use of substances. For example:
- The aunts smoke tobacco.
- A centipede smokes a cigar.
- A spider smokes a cigar.
- A bottle of wine is displayed.
- Peach juice is served to look like a glass of beer.
Nudity and sexual activity
James and the Giant Peach has some name-calling like ‘idiot’ and ‘ass’. There are also numerous insults, including ‘lazy little bug’, ‘worthless little nothing’, ‘you little grub’ and ‘you little worm’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
James and the Giant Peach incorporates both animated and live-action elements to bring Roald Dahl’s original story to life. The adventure twists its way through some perilous situations in the air, land and sea, but moments of danger and difficulty are lightened by scenes of friendship and care.
James and the Giant Peach is most suitable for pre-teen audiences, because some scenes are likely to scare or disturb a younger audience.
The main message from this movie is that family are the people who help you through tough times and who are always there for you.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include loss, family, love, sacrifice and friendship.
James and the Giant Peach could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of creating friendships and being kind to others.