From the start, The BFG faced a hype problem. Roald Dahl is one of the most beloved children’s authors of all time. The BFG might be his most popular book. Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular directors ever, and he hasn’t let us down since… well, War Horse, but that was almost five years ago. The truth is, he’s pretty hit-or-miss, but a lot of people love him. Not to mention it’s got the Disney name behind it, a company that is synonymous with wonder in the minds of people all over the world and has had one of the best years in their entire history. And it probably didn’t help that all the film’s promotional material insisted that it was the next E.T. Hey, same writer! Same director! Acronym title! So yeah, it was kinda doomed to lukewarm reviews.

I still think it was really good, myself. Sure, it didn’t take as many risks as Roald Dahl himself might have liked, but it was still a very captivating film. The special effects and visuals were phenomenal. There were a few moments where BFG was holding Sophie and it sort of left you like, “That’s not real,” but in general it was very well-done. Very whimsical, very imaginative, very true to the book.

My main problem with the film was that there were a few moments that hinted at something really sinister, just some very dark underpinnings behind the film. But, whether on the request of Disney or Spielberg himself, none of these are ever acted upon. There’s only one or two scenes that present an actual sense of danger, and as a result, the film does start to wear thin after a while. I like kids’ movies with menacing undertones, so I definitely appreciated that they left some of that in there from the book, but I sort of wish they would have gone a little further with it.

What else? The cast mostly does a great job, I love the visual representations of dreams, and the scene with the Queen in her bed might be the best scene in any movie this year. There’s two fart jokes in it, which feels like about a hundred too many. What time period did this film take place in? Like, the Queen looks vaguely like the current one and there’s highway systems and modern military helicopters, but there’s also a lot of cars from the ’50s and there are orphanages and people are still reading newspapers and listening to the radio. Maybe they were trying to go for the off-kilter, anachronistic vibe of A Series of Unfortunate Events, but they don’t do a good job of it. Also, when was the last time there was a black person in a Spielberg movie? Even Lincoln barely had any.

Still, I’ll give it a solid A-. Another solid mark on Disney’s near-perfect record this year. See it. Bring the kids. Weigh it against other Roald Dahl movies (I’d rank it below Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory but above Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I’ll have my songs-of-the-month list for June out real quick.

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