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Western Animation / The BFG

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The BFG is a 1989 animated movie made by Cosgrove Hall for ITV. It is based on the novel by Roald Dahl and stars David Jason as the voice of the Big Friendly Giant, Amanda Root as the voice of his human friend Sophie, and Don Henderson as the voice of the brutish giant Fleshlumpeater.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Sophie went from having long blonde hair in the book to having short red hair in the animated film. According to the creator, this was done in homage to Sophie Dahl, Roald Dahl's granddaughter and who the character is based off of.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: The ending is changed significantly from the book. For one, the Fleshlumpeater is a much bigger problem in the climax when it turns out that he wasn't among the Giants tied up by the soldiers, and has to be dispatched by the BFG siccing a living nightmare on him. The BFG also returns to his home dimension with Sophie at the end, whereas in the book he decided to integrate into human society.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the book the Fleshlumpeater is the biggest and strongest of the Giants, but he's also a dimwitted coward who gets taken out by an obvious trick. The animated movie makes him far more sinister, and he puts up much more of a fight before being brought down.
    • Also the soldiers to some extent. In the novel, they very fearfully tie up the Giants (while the military commanders wait at a safe distance) and break out into total panic when the Giants wake up. Here, they go about their work rather calmly and bravely fend off the giants whom they awaken with success... at least until the Fleshlumpeater arrives.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Giant Country is littered with the ruins of what appears to be some kind of temple. Near the mountain is a gargantuan stone hand. The mountain itself houses a towering, seemingly infinite column of light.
    The BFG: It is... the Dream Way. The stairway into Dream Country.
    • In the book, the BFG's residential cave holds his numerous bottled Dreams. Here, he keeps them in a separate, underground Dream Cave.
  • Adaptational Karma: In the book, Mrs. Clonkers is only mentioned once and presumably continues to abuse everyone at her orphanage. In this version, she gets her comeuppance in the best way possible! The orphanage gets shut down and the Queen takes all the orphans in her custody and Mrs. Clonkers is sentenced to serving the captured Giants in their prison as the caretaker.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the novel, Fleshlumpeater was dim-witted and Bloodbottler was significantly more intelligent and cunning. Here, their traits are switched; although Bloodbottler maintains his bad temper.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book, the evil giants were actually sincere about upholding the idea that Ape Shall Never Kill Ape despite their frequent abuse of the BFG. They feel betrayed by the BFG when he orchestrates their capture, but it's too late for them to do anything about it. In the animated movie, the Fleshlumpeater outright attempts to murder the BFG in the climax.
  • Alternate Universe: Giant Country is this in the animated adaptation, complete with a creepy-looking portal.
  • Animated Musical: The animated movie has two songs in it. They are called "Whizzpopping" and "Sometimes, Secretly". Two additional songs are included on the soundtrack - "Mirror, Mirror" and "Two Worlds".
  • Animation Bump / Non-Standard Character Design: In the animated adaptation, different characters were drawn and animated in different ways. The Queen, the Paras and the Royal Guards are drawn in a hyper-realistic, rotoscoped way, while the military commanders, the Giants and even Sophie are animated in a more traditionally and cartoonish, but less detailed way.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Giants is never killing their own kind; only humans is. In the cartoon, Fleshlumpeater tries to kill the BFG after his plan to imprison the evil giants is exposed, on the basis that he doesn't consider him a true giant any more, but a "human bean".
  • Artistic License – Biology: All the Giants lack nipples and belly buttons (and presumably reproductive organs as well). This appears to be in line with the BFG's statement in the book that Giants are not born.
  • Artistic License – Space: In Giant Country, the world according to BFG is ancient, just as he is. Said world orbits two stars, one like our own sun, but the other is a bright blue stellar object; such stars burning their mass in a hotter spectrum have ridiculously short lifespans in comparison to other Suns like ours. Given its close proximity, it should exhaust its hydrogen and become a supergiant that'd swallow up the binary yellow star and Giant country.
  • Ax-Crazy: Bloodbottler.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Sometimes, Secretly" from the movie. It didn't work, though.
  • Alien Sky: Giant Country has an orange sky with two suns, while dream country's is dark blue and is full of stars.
  • Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The BFG at first attempts to persuade Bloodbottler into eating a Snozzcumber by comparing it to fruits, which he rejects with disgust, but when he suggests it tastes like bones, he's quick to accept.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: For obvious reasons, Sophie is missing certain anatomy during the bath scene.
  • Bathtub Scene: A non-fanservice example; again, for obvious reasons. Sophie has to take a bath after being spat out of and very nearly eaten by the Bloodbottler.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Sophie gives a particularly terrifying one when she watches the Fleshlumpeater devour a sleeping boy she and BFG had just given a happy dream.
    • The Fleshlumpeater himself lets out an even more terrifying one of these as he falls off the entrance to the BFG's cave while hallucinating that he is face-to-face with Jack the Giant Killer
  • Binary Suns: Giant Country has two suns, with one being large and yellow while it's twin is smaller and green.
  • Canon Foreigner: The mouse-like creature in giant country, who also doubles as a Chekhov's Gunman to an extent. His purpose is mainly to provide comic relief in the first half of the film and doesn't interact with the main characters at all until the very end, where he attempts (in vain) to help Sophie escape the Fleshlumpeater.
  • Censored Child Death: The scene in which the Fleshlumpeater devours a sleeping boy is made even scarier because we don't actually see him do it. Instead, when he reaches into the boy's window, it cuts to Sophie, whose reaction says it all before cutting back to Fleshlumpeater obviously chewing something we can't see.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the movie, a nightmare caught early on is used to defeat the Fleshlumpeater and save the day during the climax (in the book, the nightmare is used much earlier, and just to play a trick on the giants).
  • Child Eater: Just like in the books, the Giants also devour children, but here the Fleshlumpeater actually eats a child on-screen (though with Gory Discretion Shot).
  • Covers Always Lie: The Italian DVD cover shows Bloodbottler in the town even though that didn't happen in the movie, it was Fleshlumpeater who came to town. The BFG is also seen holding the red mouse next to Sophie, despite the mouse staying in his cave throughout the movie.
  • Cowardice Callout: Sophie calls BFG a coward when he doesn't intervene to stop Fleshlumpeater from eating a human child when they run into him at an English village at night and decides to flee instead. BFG explains that he was thinking about Sophie's safety first and that there is no way for him to stop Fleshlumpeater or the other Giants by himself. They're so much stronger that they would just swat BFG aside, before finishing what they were doing. Before his final confrontation with Fleshlumpeater, BFG tells Sophie that he doesn't want to be a coward anymore.
  • Death of a Child:
    • We see into a boy's dream and are allowed to at least on some level "bond" with this kid, only for him to be very heavily implied to have been eaten.
    • When Sophie and The BFG discuss the other Giants' plans to eat some school children it is acknowledged to have happened.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The evil giants all have deep, booming voices.
  • Giant's Droplet, Human's Shower: When Sophie relates her terrible experience at the Orphanage of Fear, the BFG cannot help but feel sorry for her. As he cries, one of his tears nearly splatters on Sophie.
  • HA HA HA—No: Given that he's the only Giant who has absolutely no desire to eat them, the BFG does this when discussing the different flavours of humans from around the world with Sophie.
  • Hell Is That Noise: All of the other Giants make noises that fit this trope constantly, but the most notable example has to be the absolutely terrifying scream the Fleshlumpeater makes when the BFG first launches a nightmare about Jack The Giant Killer at him.
  • Hope Spot: It appears that her Majesty's soldiers have bravely captured all the evil giants, despite one of them waking up halfway through before knocking himself out. Then their commander realizes that they're one short, and they hear the Fleshlumpeater furiously roaring in the distance.
  • I Choose to Stay: The BFG goes back to Giant Country so he can continue making dreams and Sophie decides to go back with him as his assistant.
  • I'll Kill You!: Fleshlumpeater during his final confrontation with BFG:
    BFG: I would rather be like one of them note  than like you!
    Fleshlumpeater: YEAH??!! Then... I... KILL YOU! RAAAAAAAAAARGH!
  • Jump Scare: The moment when Bloodbottler first enters the BFG's home is extremely jarring.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted somewhat: Mrs. Clonkers, who is thoroughly unpleasant and cruel, not only has her Orphanage of Fear shut down, but it is also decided that she will become the evil Giants' keeper. She can't have been too happy about that.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The other Giants; they induce Mood Whiplash whenever they appear and their Child Eater habits are played very seriously.
  • Large and in Charge: The Fleshlumpeater is the biggest and strongest of the Giants, and is their unofficial leader. He's so huge he can encircle the BFG's torso with one hand and doesn't even fit inside BFG's cave, whereas the Bloodbottler was at least able to squeeze through the entrance.
  • Lean and Mean: The Childchewer is the only Giant who eskews the Fat Bastard physique of the other evil Giants, resembling a skeletal old man instead.
  • Magical Land: Giant Country and Dream Country. The visuals in the animated movie seem to imply they are more akin to other dimensions.
  • Maniac Monkeys: The Butcher Boy is given a rather ape-like appearance.
  • Mind Rape: In the movie, the last evil Giant standing (Fleshlumpeater) is defeated when the BFG blows a nightmare into him, causing him to hallucinate that he is face-to-face with Jack the Giant Killer. In the book, Fleshlumpeater is given that dream much earlier, but only as a humorous aside.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Sophie floating through the galaxy-strewn skies of Dream Country to the tenderly awestruck "Sometimes, Secretly" is followed by a fretful musical jolt as the horrified BFG struggles to contain a fiery Trogglehumper.
    • To the softly awed "The Fishing Village," the BFG fondly sets to work delivering whimsical dreams; and then, from the sea, rises the hungry Fleshlumpeater...
  • No Indoor Voice: Fleshlumpeater and Bloodbottler constantly talk in loud voices.
  • No True Scotsman: The other Giants essentially disown the BFG for not eating humans, though neither party does anything to patch the ties. The climax of the film makes it clear that they don't even consider him a giant.
    Fleshlumpeater: You... you is not giant! You is like... human bean!
    BFG: Human being! Yes! I'd rather be one of them than like you!
  • The Nose Knows: The other Giants can detect the BFG trying to sneak past them just by smell.
  • Obviously Evil: The giants look even more evil in the animated movie than their physical descriptions and illustrations from the book. For instance, Fleshlumpeater is not only a towering brute, but has fanged, rotten teeth, a scarred face, barbaric regalia, non-human skin color (grey) and two different colored eyes; one blood-red like the other evil Giants, and one completely clouded over, suggesting that he is blind in that eye.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After the Army captures eight evil Giants:
      Head of the Army: Funny. He [the BFG] said there were nine!
      Head of the Navy: You know he can't talk English. He probably can't count, either! Ha-ha!
      Fleshlumpeater: [roars as he emerges]
      [panic ensues]
    • The BFG's expression changes from a satisfied one to this when he sees that the snozzcumber he duped the Bloodbottler into eating has Sophie hiding inside of it.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: The vortex that connects Giant Country to the human world.
  • Phlegmings: Several of the Giants have almost constant saliva between their teeth, such as the Bloodbottler.
  • Perpetual Frowner: The other evil Giants get an Evil Laugh, but the Fleshlumpeater never smiles at all; though he is heard demonically cackling slightly after he traps Sophie.
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: In most of the film, Sophie wears a nightie. Unlike in the book, she also wears shoes, which she puts on just as she gets out of bed.
  • Plot Hole: The child-eating Giants are trapped forever in a deep pit in London city where they are to be imprisoned for their murderous and cruel ways ... they can travel back and forth between dimensions, but they can't escape a simple hole? Alternatively, Giant Country seems to be bridged by the ethereal tunnel seen in the opening titles, so their inter-dimensional travel may depend on this.
    • But it appears to be only accessible via flight (which we know the BFG can do, so we're left to conclude that the other Giants can fly as well). Surely they could just fly out?
  • Precursors: The mountainside by which the other Giants lounge is set with the ruins of some gigantic building, overseen by a squared passageway. The stairway to Dream Country is then shown to be inside a mountain shaped like a vast, reaching hand - a possible hint of what happens to the remains of Giants, when, as mentioned in the book, they eventually disappear?
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: At the climax of the movie, when the enraged Fleshlumpeater is hunting down the titular character: "B! F! G!"
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The evil Giants all have red eyes in the animated film. Although the Fleshlumpeater has one eye which is completely white.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The red and green mouse-type-creature that lives in the BFG's house.
  • Scenery Porn: The shots of Dream Country and the exterior shots of the volcano in Giant Country are beautiful.
  • Sergeant Rock: The unnamed Paratrooper Sergeant.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The young boy who is eaten by the Fleshlumpeater has a Danger Mouse poster in his bedroom. This also is an in-joke on the production studio, Cosgrove Hall's part, as they animated both this movie and Danger Mouse.
    • The scene where the BFG runs/flies in front of the moon is likely one to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • Stalker Shot: As the BFG tells Sophie his concerns about the other giants finding out about her, the scene switches from them to the cave entrance where their voices carry out, loud enough to be overheard. Cue a monstrous figure stepping into view, sniffing and eavesdropping...
  • Subhuman Surfacing Shot: Fleshlumpeater's true monstrosity is revealed in a scene that begins with a close-up shot of him as he slowly rises from the sea just outside a small fishing village, surfacing just high enough to reveal his mismatched eyes and Sinister Schnoz as he surveys the area, then rising to waist height and marching inland to prey on sleeping children.
  • Toilet Humor: There is an entire song dedicated to a drink that makes one fart (or rather, "make a Whizzpopper")... in pretty epic proportions.
  • The Voice: Mrs. Clonkers never appears; only her voice is heard.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Fleshlumpeater is an example of this trope. And it is damned creepy.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Fleshlumpeater has a single, very long fingernail on each hand that he is implied to stab children with so he can eat them.
  • You Monster!: When Fleshlumpeater hunts down the BFG and demands an explanation for why BFG showed the soldiers the way to Giant Country, BFG tells Fleshlumpeater that he's evil, and that he'd rather be like a human than him.
    BFG: Human being! Yes! I'd rather be one of them than like you!


Video Example(s):


Whizzpopper Song

The drink called "frobscottle" causes the drinker to fart so hard they're launched into the air.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ToiletHumour

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