The BFG saw Steven Spielberg return to one of his most beloved specialties – movies about kids. After making three critically acclaimed adult movies in War Horse, Lincoln, and Bridge of Spies, Spielberg returned to the land of magic with his adaptation of the children’s beloved classic The BFG.
For people who never got a chance to read this as a child, BFG stands for “Big Friendly Giant” and is about the giant of the title meeting and befriending a young child and saving Britain from evil giants that lived just to eat children.
The movie was beautiful. It looked great in theaters and it looks great on this Blu-ray as well. Spielberg is a master when it comes to the look of his films and The BFG is no different. This is an immaculate looking film, from the location shooting to the CGI work, everything looks amazing.
The animation work on the BFG himself is especially impressive. Mark Rylance stars as the giant, and while he looks like a giant animated creature, the expressions and movements are just perfect. Honestly, Rylance playing the motion-captured character is the best performance in the movie. He is just perfect in this role.
Ruby Barnhill plays the young girl Sophie, and while she is not bad in the role, she comes across as a bit too precocious for the character to work as well as it should. Despite this, she plays a great foil to the BFG in the movie and their scenes together are always fun.
At the end of the day, The BFG is a movie that looks beautiful and has good to great performances, but it is also a movie that seems a little shallow by the end. It is almost like all the work went into how the movie looks but not so much as to the actual depth of the story.
Things happen and there is a resolution. Never once do any of the characters really feel like they are in danger, especially once Sophie and the BFG return to England. The stakes are just not high enough to invest too much fear into the character’s safety.
Despite that, the movie is charming and magical and is a nice movie in an era where everything wants to be edgy. This is a fun movie to watch with the kids without worrying about traumatic lingering after effects. It never reaches the level of E.T., but it is a nice movie to have alongside those earlier Spielberg efforts.
The BFG Blu-ray Special Features
The big question is whether or not to buy The BFG on Blu-ray. The movie looks amazing, but in today’s streaming world, there needs to be more than that to buy a physical copy. First of all, if a person gets the Disney digital copy, the special features are included. That means it all comes down whether a person wants the physical copy or not, but the special features make it worth it to buy.
The biggest special feature on the Blu-ray is the 27-minute feature called Bringing the BFG to Life. This is a video diary from the making of the movie, introduced by Ruby Barnhill herself. It includes interviews with the daughter of Roald Dahl, as well as cast and crew members.
This feature really goes into depth on the making of the movie, from pre-production through completing the film. It is also nice to see Spielberg back doing what he is best at, working with his imagination. This is a great feature and well worth the watch.
Up next, The Big Friendly Giant and Me is an animated short that tells the story of The BFG and his friendship with the little boy that Sophie learned about in the movie. This clocks in at under two minutes.
Gobblefunk: The Wonderful Words of The BFG is a three-minute look at the special language created for The BFG and is the lesser of all the special features. Giants 101 is a five-minute look at the creation of the giants in the movie and is pretty entertaining and I am curious why this wasn’t included in the longer feature on The BFG Blu-ray.
Finally, the last special feature is a six-minute tribute to Melissa Mathison, the screenwriter of both E.T. and The BFG. The feature has interviews with Mathison, Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy, and others who worked with her on the movie. The crew celebrated her last birthday with Melissa on the set with no idea that she was going to pass away before The BFG was released.