When his parents are killed by a giant rhino, James Henry Trotter has to live with (and skivvy for) his nasty aunts Spiker and Sponge. However, after he is given magic crocodile tongues by a stranger, amazing things begin to happen. James escapes from his aunts by climbing inside a giant peach, and setting off with all the friendly, talking insects who live inside it. A mixture of live action for the out-of-peach sequences and animation for the main part of the story.
Roald Dahl's modern classic for children becomes a delightful combination of live action and stop-motion animation by the team that made The Nightmare Before Christmas
: director Henry Selick and producers Tim Burton (Batman
) and Denise Di Novi. The story concerns young James (played for real and through voice-overs by Paul Terry), who is orphaned and left in the charge of two cruel aunts (Miriam Margolyes, Joanna Lumley). Rescued by a mysterious fellow (Pete Postlethwaite), James ends up inside a giant peach, drifting over the Atlantic Ocean in the company of a gentleman grasshopper (voiced by Simon Callow), a fast-talking centipede (Richard Dreyfuss), an anxious earthworm (David Thewlis), a matronly ladybug (Jane Leeves), and a sexy spider (Susan Sarandon). The collection of actors and their creepy-crawly alter egos are a delight, especially when some of the song-and-dance numbers (tunes are written by Randy Newman) get everyone going. --Tom Keogh