The BFG is a 2016 American fantasy adventure film directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and based on the 1982 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film stars Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall and Bill Hader. In the film, an orphan human girl befriends a benevolent giant, dubbed the “Big Friendly Giant”, who takes her to Giant Country, where they attempt to stop man-eating giants that are invading the human world.
Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall began development on an adaptation of The BFG in the 1990s, and various screenwriters were hired to work on the screenplay in the subsequent years. DreamWorks acquired the screen rights to Dahl’s book in September 2011, and Marshall and Sam Mercer joined as producers, Mathison as screenwriter, and Kennedy as executive producer. Spielberg was announced as director in April 2014, alongside his production company Amblin Entertainment as co-producer. Principal photography commenced in March 2015, marking Spielberg’s first directorial film for Walt Disney Pictures.
The BFG premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2016, and held its North American debut at the El Capitan Theater on June 21, 2016. The film was released in the United States in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, and conventional theatrical formats on July 1, 2016, the same year of Dahl’s centennial. It received generally positive reviews from critics and has grossed over $41 million on a $140 million budget.
Sophie, an orphaned young girl, lives in a London orphanage. One late evening, she is awake and looks out the window, where she sees an elderly-looking giant. The giant captures her and takes her into Giant Country. There, he explains that Sophie must stay with him for the rest of her life because she saw him and must not be allowed to reveal the existence of giants. The giant introduces himself as the “Big Friendly Giant” (or BFG for short). That night, the BFG gives her a nightmare about her trying to escape, only to be eaten by an even bigger giant.
When Sophie awakens and realizes the BFG gave her the nightmare, the BFG says that it would not be safe for her if she tries to escape, as the other giants (who are much larger than even the BFG) eat humans. Just then, the fearsome leader of the man-eating giants called the Fleshlumpeater, enters the BFG’s home. Sophie hides in a gruesome vegetable called a snozzcumber. She is almost eaten, but the Fleshlumpeater leaves upon the BFG stating that his group does not like vegetables.
The BFG then explains that he catches dreams. The BFG puts Sophie inside a tree house and starts working on his dreams. Sophie eventually convinces the BFG to take her to Dream Country. But first, they must pass Fleshlumpeater and his fellow man-eating giants Bloodbottler, Bonecruncher, Gizzardgulper, Manhugger, Childchewer, Meatdripper, Maidmasher, and Butcher Boy, who are asleep. They accidentally wake up the man-eating giants, who decide to bully the BFG and play a game with him. Sophie narrowly evades their detection, but accidentally drops her blanket. Eventually, the pair escapes. Sophie tells the BFG that he should not allow the other giants to bully him. Meanwhile, the other giants find Sophie’s blanket and set out to look for her.
The pair arrive in Dream Country and manage to catch two dreams: a good dream about Sophie and a nightmare about committing unforgivable crimes. The two then head to London to spread the good dreams to sleeping children. As they do so, Sophie realizes that she has lost her blanket. The BFG realizes that the other man-eating giants know about her. He explains that the last human child he took and raised was discovered and eaten by the other giants. Not wanting any harm to come to Sophie, the BFG drops her off at the orphanage. Sophie instead convinces him to allow her to stay. When they return to the BFG’s home, the other giants barge in and upend the place looking for Sophie. Sophie again evades detection and the enraged BFG finally stands up to them and drives them off with a hot fire iron.
Sophie devises a plan to forge a nightmare and give it to Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom. The nightmare consists of giants eating the children of England, the British Army fighting the giants, and Sophie appearing on her windowsill. They head to Buckingham Palace where they meet the Queen, her maid Mary, and her butler Mr. Tibbs. Upon waking from her nightmare, the BFG and Sophie inform the Queen that the child-eating beasts in her dream are indeed real and must be stopped at all costs before they cause any more harm to her subjects. The Queen soon dispatches soldiers to Giant Country.
Before they capture the man-eating giants, the BFG plans on giving them the nightmare Sophie had caught before. The BFG’s trumpet was forgotten at the Palace, so Sophie smashes the jar. Almost all of the man-eating giants are immediately consumed by guilt, but the Fleshlumpeater awakens and intercepts the dream before it can affect him. As the Fleshlumpeater is about to kill Sophie, he is stopped by the BFG. The soldiers then capture the nine giants and drop them off by helicopter on a remote island far away from civilization where they will have nothing to eat but snozzcumbers.
In the aftermath, Sophie begins living in the Queen’s palace. The BFG returns to Giant Country where he begins growing a wide variety of vegetables and still delivers dreams to which he was introduced during his visit with the Queen. He also receives proper education and begins to write a book about his experiences. The film ends with Sophie whispering “Good Morning” to BFG, which he happily hears from his friend.