Today: April 14, 2024

The BFG

It may be fashionable to make live-action versions of much-loved animations, but I’d defy anyone to capture the magic of Cosgrove Hall’s superb The BFG.

Roald Dahl’s tale of the Big Friendly Giant and the young orphan, Sophie, is all sorts of fun — and packed to the brim with snozzcumbers, whizzpoppers, laughter, and childlike glee.

The cast won’t mean much to today’s youngsters, but people of ‘a certain age’ are sure to get misty-eyed when they hear the unmistakable tones of David Jason (Only Fools and Horses) as the BFG, Mollie Sugden (Are You Being Served?), Don Henderson (Bullman) Angela Thorne (To The Manor Born), Frank Thornton (Are You Being Served?), and Ballard Berkeley (Fawlty Towers).

Created before CGI became widespread, the visuals are pure Cosgrove Hall, with a dash of 1980s ingenuity. The sky in the alien looking land of the giants, for instance, was made by getting a fish tank, bleeding paint into it, and filming the result on an over-cranked 30mm camera.

Along with The Wind in the Willows, The BFG was one of Cosgrove Hall’s two full-length feature films. Which is a shame, because, while Cosgrove Hall never had the Hollywood budgets, they really knew how to tell a story.

The BFG is simply classic British TV fodder, with a dash of nostalgia, and tons of feel-good vibes. Your kids will love it. Which is the perfect excuse to buy yourself a copy.

Extras include:

  • Roald Dahl interview.
  • Interview with Brian Cosgrove.
  • Gallery.
  • Songs.
  • Storyboards.
  • Before/After restoration.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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