Over the next few months, some of our favourite fantasy-fictional universes will come alive on screen: a big, friendly giant who catches dreams, a bunch of peculiar children, and a Hogwarts’ textbook about magical species. If this sounds like gobbledygook to you, let us explain
The BFG (July 1)
Roald Dahl’s The BFG is about a big friendly giant (BFG) who catches dreams and blows them into children’s bedrooms. One night, Sophie, a young orphan sees him. And he takes her to Giant Country where this sweet, vegetarian giant is bullied by the much larger, evil, man-eating giants. Eventually, Sophie and the BFG hatch a plan (and make a dream) for the Queen of England to lock all the giants up. This is full of nonsense pertinent for fully-grown ’uns too: you mustn’t ‘gobblefunk around with words’. Judging by the trailer (and the response at Cannes), Steven Spielberg’s adaptation is warm, fuzzy and all kinds of wonderful.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Sept 30)
Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was originally supposed to be a picture book. And in a way – an incredibly cool way – it is. Riggs used a bunch of vintage (and rather creepy) photos of children, which he’d been collecting since he was a child, and spun a story around them. It’s about Jacob, a 16-year-old, who travels back in time and meets peculiar children (one controls fire, one can levitate, one can become invisible, one has incredible strength... that sort of thing) who live in an orphanage (in a time loop) run by a Miss Peregrine. Jacob, as it turns out, is peculiar himself: he can see monsters, the ones who murdered his grandfather. This book is loosely structured around a fantastic premise, and for Tim Burton, all it took was a trailer to transport us to the shadows.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov 18)
After the Harry Potter universe took over the universe, JK Rowling turned a textbook from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into a book for muggles like us: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by magizoologist Newt Scamander – a guide to hippogriffs, basilisks, merpeople and all kinds of magical species. In the upcoming film adaptation, Newt Scamander – who had been expelled from Hogwarts for “endangering lives” – carries a briefcase full of magical creatures to America where they escape. And this, for us opens up a whole new magical world: an intersection between magic and muggle.
From HT Brunch, May 29, 2016
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