James and the Giant Peach (film)

children's book written by Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 American-British musical fantasy film, part live-action and part stop-motion animation. It tells the story of James Henry Trotter, a boy who ends up in the abusive care of his two repulsive aunts after his parents are eaten by a monstrous rhinoceros from out of the clouds. But when a mysterious man gives him magical green "crocodile tongues" which end up producing a gigantic peach from the old peach tree, James soon finds himself on an amazing adventure, along with a company of kind-hearted enormous bugs.

Whenever I had a problem, my parents told me to look at it another way.
James Henry Trotter
Directed by Henry Selick. Produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi. Music and songs by Randy Newman. Based on the novel by Roald Dahl.
Marvelous things will happen!

James Henry Trotter

  • [As he sees Spider crawling from his cold bedroom window] Hello there. Where did you come from? [Holds out his hand for Spider to land on] You know, you probably shouldn't build your web up here in the window. Spiker and Sponge might see you and they hate spiders. [Places Spider on his chair] I'll be your friend, though.
  • [to the other bugs, while riding on Miss Spider's back] Stay by the line. And when you feel two tugs, pull us up.
  • When I had a problem, my mom and dad would tell me to look at it another way.
  • It's the Rhino!
  • [yelling at the Rhino] YOU'RE NOT EVEN A REAL RHINO! YOU'RE JUST A LOT OF SMOKE AND NOISE! [The Rhino roars] I'M NOT AFRAID OF YOU! [The Rhino charges at James] I'M NOT AFRAID OF YOU!!!!!
  • [After seeing Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge emerge from the car, completely drenched] No!
  • [standing up to Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge] No, not this time! I flew the peach across the ocean. I landed on top of the tallest building in the world. I made it! I'm not the one who's nothing, you are! And I'm never going back with you! Not me and not the peach!

Aunt Spiker

  • And the beast will get you, too...if you don't behave.
  • Careful, Spongy. Wouldn't want to ruin that girlish figure.
  • What's going on out here?!
  • Shut up, you little grub! This has nothing to do with you, so just keep away from it!
  • No! [stopping Sponge from eating the peach] It smells like money!
  • Start, start, you piece of junk!
  • Look! That little maggot's stuffing his face with our peach! Get him, Sponge.
  • How dare you speak to us this way!

Aunt Sponge

  • How dare you disagree with us!
  • You can't crawl away from us!
  • Can you smell that, Spikey? It smells delicious!
  • Roll up, roll up! SEE THE GIANT PEACH! The eighth wonder of the World!
  • No peaking at the peach! Have your money ready, ladies and gentlemen!


  • Listen to me, kid. I know a place that'll refresh your memory.
  • Time to go make a pest of myself.
  • [after the robotic shark is defeated] Teach ya to mess with me, ya overgrown sardine! I'm from Brooklyn!
  • [screams as he sees that Captain Jack is holding his suspenders] I should've worn a belt!
  • [As he, Spider, and James escape Captain Jack, his pet Parrot Skeleton, and his crew of Pirate Skeletons (Viking, Eskimo, Duckman, and Pegleg)] Hey, I got a new one for you. Why can't skeletons play music in church? Because they got no ORGANS!
  • [As he tries to steer the peach] [Yawns] Oh, boy, what I wouldn't do for a cup of coffee. [Grunts and groans] Cup of joe.
  • [As Mr. Grasshopper relieves him of his post] I said I steer the peach...have steer the peach. Can't quit...now. [Sleepily; after Grasshopper puts him in a chair and covers him with a blanket] Thanks...Mr. Grasshopper...
  • Kid, you're stuck with us for life.
  • No, it couldn't be!
  • [After Miss Spider tells James that no one will be eating him] Naw, she'll just puncture your head and suck out the brains!
  • [When New Yorkers ask to eat the peach; to James] It won't keep forever.


  • [repeated line] Fascinating, isn't it?
  • [to Mr. Centipede] You incompetent, blithering nitwit!
  • Mr. Centipede, would you please do us the honor of navigating us out of this icebox?
  • [to Mr. Centipede, warmly] I say, old sport. Came to relieve you of your duties.
  • [As Spiker and Sponge are being tied up] Well, I'll be...The kid was telling the truth. [determined] Get those two creeps OUTTA HERE!


Narrator: This is James Henry Trotter. He lived with his mother and father in a cozy little house by the sea.
James' father: [playfully grabs and picks up his son] Hey, I've got ya! [he and James laugh]
James' mother: [holding a birthday cake] Happy birthday, darling. Now quickly, blow out the candle before the wind does.
James' father: Make a wish first. [James blows out his candles]
Narrator: It was a wonderful life. [James and his parents are looking at the clouds] They had each other and they had their dreams.
James: Look! [points to a cloud] That cloud looks like a camel. [points to another cloud] And that one over there looks like a train engine.
James' father: Can you see the tallest building in the world? [James looks but sees only a horizontal cloud line]
James: I can't find it.
James' mother: Try looking at it another way. [James turns his head and sees the cloud shaped like the Empire State Building as the scene tilts]
James: [fascinated] I see it!
James' father: [holds out a travel book about New York City] That's where we're going. On the great ship that will take us across the ocean. And we'll go right to the top of that building. The three of us on top of the world.
James: Are there any kids there like me?
James' father: [opens the travel book] Hundreds of them. It's a wonderful place, James. It's a city where dreams come true.
Narrator: [the scene changes to James looking at the clouds as a storm rolls in] Then, one day, a terrible thing happened. [thunder roars and wind blows] An angry rhinoceros appeared out of nowhere and gobbled up his poor mother and father. [James sees the ghostly rhino appearing in the clouds] Their troubles, if they had any at all...were over in 35 seconds flat. [the rhino roars and the scene changes with James waking up in a dark bedroom] But James' troubles were just beginning [James hides his travel book under his pillow] for now he lives here with Aunt Sponge... [James' wicked aunts burst through the door]
Aunt Sponge: Get up, you lazy, little bug!
Narrator: And Aunt Spiker.
Aunt Spiker: You've already wasted four minutes of daylight.
Aunt Sponge: Look at him!
Aunt Spiker: Lolly-gagging in dreamland when there's so much work to do.
Aunt Sponge: Weeds to pull, wood to chop.
Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker: [in unison] Work, work, work, work, WORK!

Old Man: Have a look! There's more magic in them things than in all the rest of the world put together.
James: What are they?
Old Man: Crocodile tongues.
James: "Tongues"?!
Old Man: One thousand long slimy crocodile tongues boiled up in the skull of a dead witch for twenty days and nights with the eyeballs of a lizard! Add the fingers of a young monkey, the gizzard of a pig, the beak of a parrot, and three spoonfuls of sugar. Stew for another week, and then… [winks; the pupil of his eye becomes a likeness of the full moon] … let the moon do the rest!

Aunt Sponge: [Yawns] Spiker, look! A peach!
Aunt Spiker: A what?
Aunt Sponge: A peach! There, on that branch.
Aunt Spiker: Why that old tree's never had so much of an old blossom on it, let alone a... Well, I'll be blowed. There really is a peach there. A nice big one, too.
Aunt Sponge: How can we get it?
Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge: [In unison] The boy!
Aunt Sponge: Now you be a good little boy and climb up there and get that peach for your dear aunties.
James: Can we eat it?
Aunt Sponge: Of course, we can! We'll share it. Me and your Aunt Spiker. Start climbing.
Aunt Spiker: Wait!
Aunt Sponge: What? What? What?
Aunt Spiker: It-It's growing!
Aunt Sponge: [Dumbly] The boy?
Aunt Spiker: No, the peach, you idiot! Look!
[The peach on the withered old branch begins to grow to an enormous size]
Aunt Sponge: Come down!
James: But I won't get hurt.
Aunt Sponge: Climb down!
Aunt Spiker: What a peach. What a peach!
Aunt Sponge: Look, Spiker, it's still growing!
Aunt Spiker: I'm not blind, you dolt. I can see for myself. [she and Sponge gasp] Look at it go! It's a miracle.
[The peach continues to grow and becomes the size of a house]
Aunt Sponge: It's coming down! Stand back!
Aunt Spiker: Oh my heavens! My...

Mr. Grasshopper: I'm a vegetarian.
Mr. Earthworm: I eat dirt.
Miss Spider: No one will be eating you, James.
Mr. Centipede: Naw, she'll just puncture your head and suck out the brains!
Miss Spider: That I am saving for you.
Mr. Centipede: Whoa! Pretty fast, long legs. Oh-oo-oo!

James: The old man, the one who gave me the green things - he said marvelous things will happen.
Mrs. Glowworm: Did he say, "Marvelous pigs in satin"?
Mr. Grasshopper: No, dear lady. [through a megaphone] "Marvelous things will happen!" [to James] Poor Glowworm. She's a little deaf.
Mr. Earthworm: I, however, have exquisite hearing.
Mr. Centipede: Yeah? Well listen to this: [does a fanfare with his armpits, then shouts through the megaphone] LET'S GET OUTTA HERE!
James: You mean leave the hill? I can't. The rhino will get me.
Mr. Earthworm: Rhino? [hides in a glove]

Mrs. Ladybug: [about Spiker and Sponge] Oh, please don't let them spray us!
Mr. Earthworm: Spray us? They'll see the Yank [the Centipede] up there and come after us with a shovel! It happened to my brother.
James: How awful.
Mr. Earthworm: Split him right down the middle. Now I have two half-brothers.
Mr. Grasshopper: Shh. They'll hear us!

[In the darkness]
Mr. Earthworm: [Centipede pinches him] Ow! Something pinched me!
Mr. Centipede: Sorry. Thought you were the Spider.
Mr. Grasshopper: [Spider hits him] Ouch! What was that?!
Miss Spider: Excuse, I thought you were the Centipede.
Mr. Centipede: Hey Glowworm, how about some light?
Mrs. Glowworm: I can't hear you, dear. I'll have to turn my light on.

James: We're going to New York City!
Mr. Centipede: New York? They love me there!
James: Wonderful! They've got a whole park full of leaves for you, Mrs. Ladybug.
Mr. Centipede: Central Park!
James: [to Miss Spider] And loads of dark hiding places.
Mr. Centipede: Nightclubs!
James: [to the Old Green Grasshopper] And museums and concerts.
Mr. Centipede: Not to mention Yankee Stadium!
Mr. Earthworm: What about me?
James: Why, they've got miles and miles of underground tunnels!
Mr. Centipede: The subway!
James: My father said it's the place where dreams come true!

Mr. Centipede: I've sailed all the five seas! From the sun-drenched reefs of Bora Bora to the icy shores of Tripoli! Commodore Centipede, they used to call me!
Mr. Grasshopper: Seven.
Mr. Centipede: Huh?
Mr. Grasshopper: There are seven seas. And Tripoli is in the subtropics, "Commodore".
Mr. Centipede: Trim the sails!
Mrs. Ladybug: There are no sails.
Mr. Centipede: Start the engines!
Earthworm: There are no engines.
Mr. Centipede: I can't work with this miserable crew!

[James bumps into Mr. Earthworm]
Mr. Earthworm: Whoever you are, keep away from me! KEEP AWAY!
James: Earthworm, it's me!
Mr. Earthworm: Oh, James. Oh, thank goodness.
James: You mustn't frighten yourself like this all the time.
Mr. Earthworm: Why not?
James: You'll make yourself sick. When I had a problem, my mom and dad would tell me to look at it another way.
Earthworm: How? First I was bird-bait, then I was shark-bait!
James: I suppose. Or you could say you gave us wings to fly, and defeated a giant shark single-handedly!
Mr. Earthworm: No-handedly!
James: Exactly! You're a hero!
Mr. Earthworm: I am! I'm... Wonder-Worm!
James: You are!

Mr. Centipede: Want food... food...
[He eats his cigarette like a sausage.]
Mr. Grasshopper: You sure you know where we're going? I don't see how you can navigate without a compass.
[As Mr. Grasshopper speaks, Centipede imagines him as a bottle]
Mr. Earthworm: It's very hot up here. I'm roasted.
[Mr. Centipede imagines Mr. Earthworm as a hot dog. He looks at one of the seagulls, and imagines it as a chicken. He pulls it down, and prepares to take a bite]
Mrs. Ladybug: [hitting Centipede with her purse] Unhand that bird!
[The seagull bites Centipede in the nose and flies off]
Mr. Centipede: Aah-aah! But I'm dying of hunger!
Mrs. Ladybug: Oh, perhaps I have a bit of soda bread in here somewhere... [rummages in her bag and takes out a bit of soda bread]
Mr. Grasshopper: Food?
Mrs. Ladybug: It's not much, but it's--
Mr. Grasshopper: Not so fast! [grabs a bit of soda bread and starts eating] I need this food! I have a much higher metabolism!
Mr. Centipede: BITE ME! [starts fighting him]

[As Miss Spider makes a web for James to sleep in]
James: You keep to yourself, don't you?
Miss Spider: I prefer to be alone.
James: I was alone for a long time once. I think it's much nicer to have friends, don't you?
Miss Spider: I would not know.
James: They would be your friends too - the others, I mean - if you'd just let them.
Miss Spider: No, it is in their nature to have fear of me. This I cannot change.
James: You're very kind to me.
Miss Spider: Maybe this is because you are kind to me first.
James: [realizing] You were the spider in my window!
Miss Spider: [nods] Mm-hmm.
James: You were my first friend. I mean, since I went to live with my aunts. They hated me!
Miss Spider: Shh. Do not think of them now.
James: But what if they find us? What if we don't make it to New York? I'll die if I have to go back to the way I was! They can't make me!
Miss Spider: Nobody can make you do anything, James, if you do not let them. You are a brave boy. [kisses his forehead] Now to sleep. You have had a very "tired-making" day.

Mr. Grasshopper: This is an outrage! You are a disgrace to your phylum, class, order, genus and species!
Mr. Centipede: Say it in English!
Mr. Grasshopper: You, sir, are an ass!
James: Where are we? What's going on?
Mr. Grasshopper: I found this dime-store timmy asleep at the helm! Now we're lost!
Mr. Centipede: We are not lost!
Mr. Grasshopper: Then where are we?
Mr. Centipede: Somewhere north! Or possibly very, very far south.
Mr. Grasshopper: What's your latitude? What's your longitude?
Mr. Centipede: Hey, hey, hey! That's personal, bub!
Mr. Grasshopper: You said you could navigate!
Mrs. Ladybug: You said you traveled the world.
Mr. Earthworm: You said you'd been to Bora Bora.
Mr. Centipede: Well, not Bora Bora, per se, uh--
Miss Spider: What about the shores of Tripoli?

Mr. Centipede: [As he tries to steer the peach] [Yawns] Oh, boy, what I wouldn't do for a cup of coffee. [Grunts and groans] Cup of joe.
Mr. Grasshopper: [to Mr. Centipede, warmly] I say, old sport. Came to relieve you of your duties.
Mr. Centipede: [Sleepily] I said I steer the peach. Have to steer the peach. Can't quit...now.
Mr. Grasshopper Good show, old boy.
[Mr. Grasshopper moves Mr. Centipede to the other side of the peach]
Mr. Centipede: [Sleepily] Thanks...Mr. Grasshopper...
[Mr. Grasshopper puts the blanket over Mr. Centipede and smiles at him as he dozes off to sleep]

James: That music!
Mr. Grasshopper: Oh, Sir James! Did I disturb you? So sorry. [stammering as he puts his violin away] I'll put this away.
James: No, no. I like it. I used to hear it at my aunt's house before I went to sleep. That was you, wasn't it? Or do all grasshoppers play music?
Mr. Grasshopper: All grasshoppers... try. I'm sure you've heard this. [rubs his legs together, making a chirping sound]
James: Mm-hmm.
Mr. Grasshopper: Ghastly, isn't it? Cricket stuff. Music should be the voice of the soul.
James: What does that mean?
Mr. Grasshopper: It means that when I'm happy, my music sounds like this. [plays a cheerful, upbeat tune on his violin] And when I'm sad, it's like this. [plays a slow, mournful tune]
James: When I was sad, I used to climb in bed with my mom and dad. But that was a long time ago.
Mr. Grasshopper: I'm sure they'd be very proud of you, James. I know we are.

Aunt Sponge: Hello, little angel.
Aunt Spiker: So kind of you to look after our little lost lamb.
Cop: Who are you?
Aunt Spiker: We are the boy's legal guardians.
Aunt Sponge: We've missed him so much.
Aunt Spiker: So we'll be taking him home now.
Aunt Sponge: And the peach, of course. We're taking that as well.
Cop: Well, wait a minute. Back up. You mean to tell me that this thing is a peach?
Aunt Spiker: It's not a peach. It's our peach.
Aunt Sponge: Our peach.
Aunt Spiker: Show him, Spongy.
Aunt Sponge: Yes. [shows the cop a picture of her and Spiker with the giant peach]
Cop: Looks like it's their peach all right.
Aunt Spiker: Yes! Yes. And we're very proud of it.
Aunt Sponge: We're going to be in the record book.
James: It's not their peach. The old man gave the green things to me. That's what made it grow.
Aunt Sponge: [Shocked and angry with what James had just said] How dare you disagree with us!
Aunt Spiker: [Places her hand on Sponge's shoulder, holding Sponge back] Patience, sister. Remember his... condition.
Cop: His condition?
Aunt Sponge: He's a chronic liar.
Aunt Spiker: Sad, really. He needs his treatment.
Aunt Sponge: Well, that's why we're here; to bring him home. So, you come here with us. Hey, Lovey!
[Sponge and Spiker maliciously try to get to James but he climbs up to the truck to get away.]
James: I'm not the one who's lying. They are!
Aunt Spiker: As you can see, Officer, it is urgent that you release him to us immediately.
[The crowd utters in agreement.]
Cop: Alright, alright, alright! Let's get to the bottom of this! This thing is a peach. Now, all right. I'll buy that. Now, does someone wanna tell me how it got here?
James: We attached it to a hundred seagulls.
Aunt Spiker: Seagulls? [laughs with the crowd]
James: That's what happened! Me and Miss Spider and the Centipede and the Old Green Grasshopper.
Aunt Sponge: [laughs with the crowd] I think he's gone mad.
Aunt Spiker: This is all something he dreamed up.
James: Well, maybe it started that way, as a dream, but doesn't everything? Those buildings, these lights, this whole city! Somebody had to dream about it first, and maybe that's what I did. I dreamed about coming here, but then I did it!
Aunt Spiker: The poor boy needs his medicine. Yes. So, we'll just take him...
Aunt Sponge: And the peach.
Aunt Spiker: Back to our cozy little house on the hill. Come along. You're going home with us.
James: [firmly] No, I'm not.
[Aunt Spiker tilts her head back in a disturbing way and her smile melts into a scowl]
Aunt Spiker: [through clenched teeth] What did you say?
James: I said, [enunciating] No, I'm...NOT! I hate that house, and that cold room, and how I was always hungry.
Aunt Spiker: All right! That's enough!
James: And how you beat me!
Aunt Sponge: [the crowd gasps] He's lying!
Woman: They beat him up?!
Boy: They beat him?!
James: And told me I was nothing!
Aunt Sponge: Shut up!
Aunt Spiker: Shut up!
Aunt Sponge: Shut up!
James: NO! Not this time! I flew the peach across the ocean. I landed on top of the tallest building in the world. [turns to Spiker and Sponge] I MADE IT! I'M NOT THE ONE WHO'S NOTHING, YOU ARE! AND I'M NEVER GOING BACK WITH YOU! NOT ME AND NOT THE PEACH!
Aunt Spiker: [enraged] HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO US THIS WAY!!
[Sponge and Spiker grab fire axes and take swings at James. The officer repeatedly blows his whistle to keep the crowd under control]
Mr. Grasshopper: James, up here!
Glowworm: Hello, we are here! [A green light shines down from above.]
Mr. Centipede: Hey, buddy!
Aunt Sponge: What are they?
Glowworm: Young James!
Mr. Centipede: Hey, Jimmy!
Aunt Spiker: Bugs!
Mr. Centipede: Need a little help down there?
Aunt Sponge: Giant bugs! [she and Spiker scream]
Mr. Centipede: Hey, you old biddies! [blows raspberry]
Aunt Sponge: Help! Help us! [but the crowd ignores them as they are too busy watching the sudden appearance of James' bug friends]
Mrs. Ladybug: Whoo-ee! Here we are, dear!
Earthworm: Hello, James!
James: I told you they were real!
Mr. Grasshopper: Hello, old boy!
Miss Spider: Requesting clearance to land!

James: Everyone, these are my friends; the ones I've been telling you about. Mr. Centipede!
Mr. Centipede: Hi! [laughs]
James: Old Green Grasshopper!
Mr. Grasshopper: My pleasure.
James: Earthworm! Mrs. Ladybug!
Mrs. Ladybug: Charmed.
James: Miss Spider! And the Glowworm!
Glowworm: God bless the colonies! [Miss Spider turns her around] Oh.
Kid 1: Could we eat some of your peach?
Mr. Centipede: It won't keep forever.
James: Go ahead.
[The crowd cheers and throws down tons of confetti. All of the children in New York gather and start gobbling down the giant peach like no tomorrow.]
Kid 2: Hey, what was your name?
James: It's James!

Narrator: They ate that peach all the way down to the pit. And set it up in Central Park as a permanent home. And James Henry Trotter, who was once the saddest and loneliest little boy you could find, now had a loving new family, and all the friends in the world.
Miss Spider: James, dinner is ready.
Kid: Hi, Miss Spider.
James: All right. Nearly finished. And -- And then -- And then the seagulls...
Narrator: And since James' visitors begged him again and again to hear the story of his adventure with the giant peach, he wished for a way to share it with everyone. [the narrator reveals his true self as the old man with the crocodile tongues]
Old Man: And that is exactly what you had just seen. [catches a crocodile tongue and winks at the audience as the movie ends]