The story James and the Giant Peach was originally written by renowned author Rohl Dahl in 1961 and has since captivated many young minds around the world. In 1996, a movie based on the classic book was finally shown in theatres. I grew up with both versions of the story, watching the movie over and over again during the day and listening to my mother read the book to me at night, picking up where see had left off the night before. Both the book and the film are dear to my heart. However, even though the movie was based on the book, the stories told by the two have their differences.
The story is that of an orphaned boy named James Henry Trotter who sets loose a bag full of magical crocodile tongues, causing a giant peach to grow and a group of insects, whom he meets inside the fruit, to grow large and start to talk. Using the peach as a ship, they all journey away from James’ abusive two aunts, ending up in New York City toward the end of the story.
Firstly, one of the characters of the book, the Silkworm, was completely omitted from the movie. Second, the book portrayed a rivalry between the Centipede and the Earthworm. The movie replaces this rivalry to one between the Centipede and the Grasshopper. Thirdly, in the book−just before the peach grows−James is chopping firewood, whereas in the movie, he is trying to save a spider from being killed. Even before this time in the story, an old man gives James a paper bag full of magical crocodile tongues and explains to him−though only in the book−what exactly to do with them.
James’ two aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, meet different fates in the two versions of the tale as the peach is disconnected to the tree and begins to roll down the top of the aunts’ steep property. In the movie, Sponge and Spiker are spared being squished to death by taking shelter in their car. The book, however, reveals a much more macabre outcome of the peach’s escape as Sponge and Spiker are flattened by the...