James and the Giant Peach

Synopsis: Featuring stop-motion animation and live action, this inventive adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved children's tale follows the adventures of James (Paul Terry), an orphaned young British boy. Forced to live with his cruel aunts (Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes), James finds a way out of his bleak existence when he discovers an enormous enchanted peach. After rolling into the sea inside the buoyant fruit, James, accompanied by a crew of friendly talking insects, sets sail for New York City.
Production: Buena Vista Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
79 min

Opening Dance/Pantomime

(The opening pantomime begins when the lights dim in the

theatre/gymnasium. All is quiet, until slowly music fills the auditorium. As

if released from a cage, suddenly several “dancers” wearing bright clothing

enter from the back of the auditorium. Each contains a streamer or ribbon or

flag that is peach coloured, and these wave in the air as they skip down the

centre aisle merrily. Meanwhile, from the front of the auditorium, another

group of brightly coloured dancers has entered, also carrying streamers etc.

Both groups converge in the centre, and do a simple dance. NARRATOR #1 is

brought in by hand by one of the smallest dancers who leads the narrator to


the centre. The dancers engulf NARRATOR #1 in the centre, as they

circle/skip around him/her. Finally they open up the circle, creating a semicircle

behind NARRATOR #1 and The DANCER. This dancer takes a peach

out of his/her pocket and holds it out for the audience to see. The two conduct

a brief clown/pantomime scene of NARRATOR #1 trying to get the peach etc.

At last, in a grand gesture, THE DANCER hands the peach to NARRATOR

#1, who takes it, and bows to the dancer. Casually, NARRATOR #1 takes a

bite of the peach and strolls to their place on stage, sitting down languidly

while eating the peach. The dance continues with one or two more skipping

circles and then the dancers exit through the front entrance of the stage.

NARRATOR #2 enters, as if searching for NARRATOR #1. At least they see

each other and wave. NARRATOR #2 joins #1.

Most of the action takes place on the gymnasium floor, except for the two

NARRATORS who are on the stage, until the shift of the play, when James

enters the Giant Peach. The Giant Peach shall be on the stage, and the action

shall shift so that it is now on the stage rather than the gym floor, unless


Scene 1

(A story is about to unfold…)

Narrator #2:
What have you got there?

Narrator #1:
A peach.

Narrator #2:
Oh, it’s just a peach. And here I was jealous for a moment.

Narrator #1:
Just a peach? How can anyone say, (mocking) “just a peach”?

There is no such thing.

Narrator #2:
Well I’ve had peaches before. Just a bit of fruit is all.

Narrator #1:
(As if covering the ears of the peach) Have some respect for this

most sacred of fruits!

Narrator #2:
(Confused) Well I guess my Mum sometimes puts peaches in a

fruit salad and it’s quite del-

Narrator #1:
(Gasps!) Your Mum dares to mix this delicious, unique,

stunning, most magnificent of all pitted gifts into a mash of pathetic bananas

and apples and oranges. (Getting more intense) Don’t you know that those

fruits have NOTHING on the peach!


(There is an uncomfortable silence, while NARRATOR #2 tries to figure out

why his/her friend is so passionate about this fruit. NARRATOR #2 takes a

seat next to NARRATOR #1, and tries several times to speak, as if a bit


Narrator #1:
What is it? Get on with it!

Narrator #2:
Well…I’m not trying to be rude…I just…

Narrator #1:
Spit it out!

Narrator #2:
It’s just that I’ve never seen anyone quite so passionate about

anything really, let alone…(timidly, as if afraid of saying the word) fruit.

Narrator #1:
(Takes a deep breath) You want to know why I am so


Narrator #2:
(back pedaling) Well if it’s a personal question, you don’t have

to answer.

Narrator #1:
I’ll answer the question. You want answers?

Narrator #2:
(Now indignant) Yes actually! I think I’m entitled!

Narrator #1:
(Getting heated) You want answers?!

Narrator #2:
(Nearly shouting) I want the truth!

Narrator #1:
(Standing up, strictly shouting like a drill sergeant) You can’t

handle the truth! Son, we live in a complicated world of microwavable meals,

fast food restaurants and something pretty awful called Chef Boyardee!

None of that is real food. This here peach is not only a beautiful specimen of

unprocessed food, grown straight from our given green earth, but this

particular species of fruit is magic.

Narrator #2:
(Standing up to join NARRATOR #1) Magic?

Narrator #1:
Well it wasn’t always magic. Until James that is.

Narrator #2:
I’m sorry…who?

Narrator #1:
James. You haven’t heard of him? I guess we’ll have to start at

the beginning. Come on out James!


(YOUNG JAMES skips to the centre of the gym floor. He’s a small boy who is

happy and carefree.)

Narrator #1:
This is James Hentry Trotter. He’s about 4 years old here.

Until this point, he’s had a happy life living peacefully with his mother and


(MOTHER and FATHER cheerily enter, and each stand on either side of

YOUNG JAMES, who just looks SO happy.)

Narrator #2:
Oh I know the kind of kid. He’s probably lives in a beautiful

house beside the sea, and he’s got plenty of other children to play with. Mum

and Dad are lovely and it’s the perfect life for a small boy.

Narrator #1:
You called it. Then one day, James’ mother and father went to

London to do some shopping.

(Very sweet) Now James, your father and I have to go do some

shopping in town.

(A little cheesy) We love you so much son! And because you’re the

perfect child, we’ll even buy you a treat while we’re gone!

(They hug him goodbye and wave merrily, as they exit where they came from.

YOUNG JAMES still looks terrifically happy.)

Narrator #1:
And it was the last time he ever saw them.

(YOUNG JAMES spins around to look at NARRATOR #1 with shock.)

Young James:
Wait- what?

(A large silhouette of a rhinoceros appears in the background. It has a

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Karey Kirkpatrick

Karey Kirkpatrick (born December 14, 1964) is an American screenwriter and director. His films include James and the Giant Peach, Chicken Run, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte's Web and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy adaptation, along with contributions to the Smurfs films. He has also directed the films Imagine That starring Eddie Murphy as well as Over The Hedge. Kirkpatrick wrote the English-language screenplay for U.S. release of The Secret World of Arrietty, in 2012 and From Up on Poppy Hill, in 2013. His brother is American songwriter and musician Wayne Kirkpatrick. more…

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