Combining Disney with the legendary talents of children’s author Roald Dahl and director Steven Spielberg, the first-ever motion picture adaptation of “The BFG” gets a jam-packed in-home release today, November 29.
Spielberg, along with his creative team behind “E.T. the Extraterrestrial,” did a faithful and spirited adaptation of one of Dahl’s most cherished works in his first movie with Walt Disney Studios. The movie was great fun in 3D at the cinema where, much like Disney’s other 2016 family movie “Pete’s Dragon,” the massive main character is truly a larger than life presence in the film that almost shakes the camera with each pounding step they take with a thud.
With a timeless feel to it, again like “Pete’s Dragon” (which shares the same in-home release date), it also plays well on TV which is where kids can enjoy their favorite films again and again as they grow up. There’s plenty to like for fans of moviemaking and of Spielberg, with a generous collection of behind-the-scenes footage and insight from the creative team and cast during the making of the film.
“Bringing ‘The BFG’ to Life” is the centerpiece of the bonus features with a running time of almost half an hour, and features the precocious and charming Ruby Barnhill (who plays the BFG’s friend Sophie) taking us on a journey through all stages of the movie’s production. We get to see Spielberg taking full advantage of the latest technology to bring Dahl’s classic book to life. Producer Kathleen Kennedy explains how she had long ago envisioned “The BFG” to be the perfect family film but that they had to wait for the technology to catch up to do the story justice. It’s also worth watching to see just how many real sets were actually constructed for the shoot and how they were built using different scales of sizes depending on which characters were in it.
Although there is no audio commentary or deleted scenes (perhaps they are being saved for a future 3D release?), viewers will also get a touching tribute to Oscar-nominated screenwriter Melissa Mathison, who had worked with Spielberg on “E.T.” and died shortly after production wrapped on what would be her last project. “Giants 101” is an amusing look at the extensive rehearsals and physical comedy that went into the making of the giants, with Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater) and Bill Hader (Bloodbottler) leading the way with their unique brand of humor. “Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG” is a helpful guide to the unique vocabulary that Dahl invented for the BFG (played by (Oscar-winner Mark Rylance) and “The Big Friendly Giant and Me” is a cute animated short that kids will surely enjoy. An exclusive On-Demand digital short “John Williams: Scoring A Dream,” takes a closer look at Williams’ 24th score for a Spielberg-directed film.
Bonus features include:
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD:
- Bringing “The BFG” to Life – Ruby Barnhill (Sophie) hosts a phizz-whizzing journey through the making of “The BFG.” This behind-the-scenes documentary details the film’s progression through interviews with Roald Dahl’s daughter Lucy Dahl, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, executive producers Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Kristie Macosko Krieger, and numerous members of the talented cast and crew.
- The Big Friendly Giant and Me – Sophie wasn’t the first “bean” in Giant Country—many illustrations were created as if drawn by a little boy who was there long before Sophie. This charming, in-world short will bring the drawings to life with animation and narration, recounting the friendship and the dreams shared between the boy and the Big Friendly Giant.
- Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG – A whoopsey-splunkers tutorial on the meaning of the gloriumptious gobblefunk in “The BFG.”
- Giants 101 – Jemaine Clement (Fleshlumpeater) and Bill Hader (Bloodbottler) introduce us to the loathsome giants in “The BFG,” along with movement choreographer/motion capture performer Terry Notary, who collaborated with the actors and Director Steven Spielberg prior to filming to develop their movements and character traits.
- Melissa Mathison: A Tribute – An homage to Melissa Mathison, the extraordinary, Oscar®-nominated screenwriter of “The BFG” and “E.T.,” whose talent and heart were as immense as the giants in “The BFG.”
- John Williams: Scoring A Dream – A journey through the film’s concept art and memorable moments, interwoven with the sights and sounds of legendary composer John William’s scoring session.
- Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG and Melissa Mathison: A Tribute
“The BFG” arrives home for the holidays on Nov. 29 on Digital HD, Blu-ray, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD and On-Demand.