As a child, the work of strangely named Roald Dahl was possibly the most exciting. His stories capturing my childhood imagination like no other, plus it was a valid away for enjoying fart jokes without facing the disapproval from parents. So what direction will Dreamworks take with one of his most famous novels, The BFG.
The BFG (that’s Big Friendly Giant, and not a reference to that massive weapon in the Doom video games) is about a young girl who cannot sleep one night, and discovers a dream-collecting giant outside her house. The giant shows the girl his world, and they appeal to the Queen of England to help him capture other giants, who tend to eat children whenever they’re hungry.
The story has a magnificent visual scope, from the encounter with a giant, to his world, to the dreams and nightmares he can create, to the clash of worlds as the humans battle the evil giants. It’s a wonderful story that has already been made into a 1989 hand-drawn film. And of course plenty of Dahl’s other stories have made it to the big screen, ranging from the great (The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox) to the poor (Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
So what does Dreamworks have to offer. The company tends to be seen as a poor man’s Pixar, making technically apt films that rely on spoof humour to get laughs and tell cliched tales. But with Pixar now relying on tired sequels, perhaps it’s time for Dreamworks to step up their game (like they seemingly did with How To Train Your Dragon). It also helps that writer Melissa Mathison (E.T., The Indian in the Cupboard) is on board already.