The BFG Parent Guide
The dangers depicted here would be quite terrifying in real life, but because of the buffoonish nature of them in the movie, it is hard to take them very seriously.
Parent Movie Review
According to Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), the witching hour is 3AM—and she should know because the insomniac is the only human awake at such an early time of the morning. One night while wandering around the orphanage in the dark, the ten-year-old hears something go bump in the night. Against her better judgement, she curiously goes to investigate. And that is when she spots an unusually tall character skulking around the streets. Unfortunately, he sees her too!
The next thing Sophie knows she is being snatched out of bed, where she had run to hide under the covers, and taken on a long journey to a mysterious location. It is not until she arrives at her destination that the frightened child gets a good look at her kidnaper (Mark Rylance), who claims to be a BFG—Big Friendly Giant. Certainly, the avowed vegetarian does appear less menacing once his even larger, man-eating neighbors catch a whiff of Sophie’s presence.
Thus begins Sophie’s adventure in the Land of the Giants where she and (surprisingly) the BFG will face death threats, harrowing chases and escapes, bullying and verbal abuse, and intimidating social situations. Along the way, the script discusses neglect, loneliness, nightmares, and mentions the death of another human being who met his demise at the hands (or perhaps I should say mouths) of the beastly cannibals. Although these dangers would be quite terrifying in real life, the buffoonish nature of these depictions makes it hard to take them very seriously.
Based on children’s novel, director Steven Spielberg brings this fantasy to life in spectacular fashion thanks to the magic of CGI and motion capture technology. Ironically, that is also the biggest flaw with the whole production—it gets lost amidst the all of the visual imagery and special effects. Meanwhile the plot meanders through a bedazzling Land of Dreams, a formal visit to Buckingham Palace, and preoccupies itself with prolonged flatulence jokes.
Too scary for little ones and too tedious for older audiences, the BFG likely won’t harm family viewers, but it may not charm them either.Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Ruby Barnhill, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader, Mark Rylance . Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release July 1, 2016. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is The BFG rated PG? The BFG is rated PG by the MPAA for action/peril, some scary moments and brief rude humor.
Violence: A child is frightened when she is kidnapped by a giant. Even larger, scary-looking giants are depicted who eat human beings. Death threats and moments of peril occur. A child has to run and hide to save herself from being devoured. Other children who were not lucky enough to escape the giants are mentioned, one in detail. Characters are bullied and mocked. Nightmares are discussed and depicted. Weapon use, property destruction and battling forces are portrayed without any graphic detail.
Sexual Content: Crude and detailed depictions of flatulence are used to create humor.
Language: Some name-calling occurs.
Drug and Alcohol Use: Loud and drunken patrons are seen leaving a pub.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for The BFG after the break...
The BFG Parents' Guide
How do outward appearances influence the way we see others? What conclusions does Sophie come to about The BFG? What do the bigger and tougher giants assume about him? What can you do to help you judge others more fairly?
In the movie, characters visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace. What manners and social graces are expected when in the presence of a monarch? How does the story use the audiences’ understanding of this formal behavior to create humor? If you were invited to visit the Queen or another dignitary, how would you behave?
Part of this movie was shot in the Faroe Islands, an isolated and remote part of the world. After looking at some pictures of this rocky landmass, can you identify what scenes were filmed there?
News About "The BFG"
The most recent home video release of The BFG movie is November 29, 2016. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: The BFG
Release Date: 6 December 2016
The BFG releases to home video (BD + DVD + Digital HD) with the following extras:
- 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.”