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The BFG (1989 film)

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The BFG (1989 film)

Directed by Brian Cosgrove
Produced by Mark Hall
Brian Cosgrove
Written by Roald Dahl (book)
John Hambley
Starring Amanda Root
David Jason
Angela Thorne
Music by Keith Hopwood & Malcolm Rowe
Edited by Nigel Rutter
Distributed by Video Collection International (1990s)
ITV (TV airing)
Roadshow Home Video (Australia and New Zealand)
Celebrity Home Entertainment (United States)
Disney Channel UK (1998 TV airing)
Release dates
  • 25 December 1989 (1989-12-25)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

The BFG is a 1989 British animated direct to television movie based on the 1982 book with the same name by Roald Dahl. It was first shown on Christmas Day 1989 on ITV in the UK. It also aired during the premiere of Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit and 8 days after the premiere of Matt Groening's The Simpsons .

The film was dedicated to animator Cosgrove Hall productions before his death in 1986. This film is also the last role of Ballard Berkeley, who died in 1988.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • Videos/DVD releases 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Sophie is a young orphan living with many other orphan girls, in the orphanage run by the cantankerous Mrs. Clonkers. One night, Sophie sees a cloaked giant blowing something through a trumpet into a bedroom window down the street; whereupon the giant carries her to his homeland of Giant Country. There, he identifies himself as the Big Friendly Giant, who, at night, blows dreams into the bedrooms of children, while the other giants were man-eating, and they preferred children. Because the BFG refuses to eat people or steal food from humans, he subsists on a revolting vegetable known as a 'Snozzcumber'. Sophie and the BFG quickly become friends; but Sophie is soon put in danger by the sudden arrival of the Bloodbottler Giant, who suspects the BFG of harboring Sophie.When Sophie announces she is thirsty, the BFG treats her to a fizzy drink called 'Frobscottle', which causes the drinker to fart : this is known as a Whizzpopper to giants, and causes the drinker to fly.

The next morning, the BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country to catch more dreams, but is tormented by the other giants along the way; notably by the Fleshlumpeater, who is the largest and most fearsome. In Dream Country, the BFG demonstrates his dream-catching skills to Sophie; but the BFG mistakenly captures a nightmare. Upon return to his Dream Cave, the BFG shows Sophie all the dreams he has captured already, and takes Sophie to watch him on his dream-blowing duties; but this is cut short when they spot the Fleshlumpeater about to eat one of the children. When Sophie tries to intervene, the BFG rescues her and escapes. Thereafter Sophie tries to persuade the BFG to stop the evil giants.

At first, the BFG is reluctant to do so; but Sophie develops a plan to expose the evil giants to the Queen of England. Using dreams from his collection, the BFG creates a nightmare to this effect; blows it into the Queen's bedroom; leaves Sophie on the Queen's windowsill to confirm the dream; and retreats into the palace gardens. Because the dream included foreknowledge of Sophie's presence, the Queen believes her story, and speaks with the BFG. After considerable effort by the palace staff, the BFG is given a copious breakfast.

Once ready, the army and the airforce, in a fleet of RAF Chinook helicopters, follow the BFG to the giants' homeland, where the giants are taken prisoner. The only one to escape is the Fleshlumpeater, who immediately attacks the BFG and later pursues Sophie; but after a long chase he is stopped. The tethered giants are then each transported by helicopter to London, where they are sealed in a pit and forced to eat Snozzcumbers for the rest of their lives. Contrary to the book's ending, the BFG stays in Giant Country instead of moving to England, and Sophie becomes his assistant at the distribution of dreams.


Actor Role
Amanda Root Sophie
David Jason The BFG
Angela Thorne Queen Elizabeth II
Don Henderson The Bloodbottler
The Fleshlumpeater
Frank Thornton Mr Tibbs
Mollie Sugden Mary
Michael Knowles Head of Air Force
Ballard Berkeley Head of Army
Myfanwy Talog Mrs. Clonkers
Jimmy Hibbert Additional Voices


Writing in The Sunday Times before its broadcast, Patrick Stoddart called it a "delight", and wrote that it "puts its already celebrated British animators, Cosgrove Hall, into the Disney class".[1]

Videos/DVD releases

The film was first released on VHS by Video Collection International in 1990, and again in 1995 and 1997 in the United Kingdom. Roadshow Home Video and ABC Video released the film on VHS in Australia in 1992, while its first video release in the United States was by Celebrity Home Entertainment in 1995.

In 2001, Pearson Television International Ltd released the film on DVD and VHS the same releases, followed by the Daily Mirror DVD. Other releases followed in 2008 by Fremantle Home Entertainment's release. The American DVD release was distributed by Celebrity Home Entertainment in 1999 and A&E Home Video in 2006.

In 2012, Fremantle Home Entertainment released a Digitally Restored DVD and Blu-ray Disc in Widescreen, as Brian Cosgrove originally intended the film to be released in that format.


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External links

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