ADVENTURES THIS BIG DON’T GROW ON TREES.
Young James Trotter’s (Paul Terry) parents are dead and he’s now living with his wicked aunts, but a huge peach in the garden leads him into adventures… The Nightmare Before Christmas director strikes back with another stop-motion film that also includes live-action footage. The story is familiar to every Roald Dahl fan as a young boy is rescued from his rough humdrum life and thrown into an imaginative fantasy world. Expect witty dialogue, a few songs, a nice sense of humor and creative, charming animation with characters that come alive thanks to the cast. That includes Simon Callow as a snooty grasshopper and Richard Dreyfuss as a cocky centipede.
1996-U.S. Part Animated. 80 min. Color. Produced by Denise di Novi, Tim Burton. Directed by Henry Selick. Screenplay: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jonathan Roberts, Steve Bloom. Novel: Roald Dahl. Music: Randy Newman. Cast: Paul Terry (James Henry Trotter), Miriam Margoyles (Sponge), Joanna Lumley (Spiker), Pete Postlethwaite, Mike Starr. Voices of Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Jane Leeves, Susan Sarandon.
Las word: “‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ had been about 80 minutes long at a cost of something like $25-30 million. They wanted ‘James’ to be longer, but couldn’t afford to give it a bigger budget, so they decided one way would be to have a live-action framing story. So it was already like that when I came on board, and I’m pretty sure that the concern at first was budgetary. I think they could probably have done it all as stop-motion, but I’m not sure it would have worked. Because this voyage across the ocean was a breaking point in the story, like ‘The Wizard of Oz’.” (Kirkpatrick, MJ Simpson Presents)