The BFG is Steven Spielberg’s first Disney movie and it’s based on a famous book by Roald Dahl, one of the world’s most notable authors. Those things all add up to some pretty daunting expectations. The film, which opens Friday, meets those expectations, but doesn’t surpass them, leaving a suitably entertaining and magical film aimed squarely at the younger people in your life.
Based on the novel of the same name, The BFG is about a young orphan named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who is taken from her London home by a big, friendly giant (a performance capture Mark Rylance). The BFG, as she begins to call him, takes her to a magical world where he collects and manipulates dreams. Sophie realizes that, despite his size, she and The BFG share some insecurities, and solving those becomes something the pair embrace with all their heart.
Visually, The BFG is a delight. Spielberg and his long time director of photography Janusz Kaminski have created a human world that feels both modern and ancient, along with a giant world that feels magical on the surface, and gets even more beautiful and inviting as you explore it. I mention this first because the visuals of The BFG are the best thing about it. The textures, the colors, the physical representations of dreams, it’s a world that’s quite pleasant to spend some time in.