I went back

into my childhood

and re-read

James and the Giant Peach,

perhaps my favorite book

by Roald Dahl.

While Matilda

and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory

are within reach,

there's something about

that juicy fruit

flying over the ocean

that truly dazzles.

The 1961 book is a quick

and playful read,

full of lengthy songs

sung by centipedes

and spiders alike.

Flying over the Atlantic

while being harassed

by cloud architects

was one particular scene

that I forgot about

as a kid.

I did not, however,

forget about the pit

being relocated

to Central Park,

or about a bunch

of insects traveling

a great distance

with thousands of pieces

of string tied in order to fly.

With that in mind,

is it worth mentioning

that this is the original

version of Pixar's Up?

The only difference here

is seagulls vs. balloons.

Moving forward: 

the 1996 movie

is just as good,

combining live action

with stop-motion animation

to create an inventive

experience unlike many others,

not far in style and aesthetic

as the recent Netflix series

Lemony Snicket's Series

of Unfortunate Events.

How fitting that both

book/film combos

feature main characters

as orphans

who go on to live with

horrible caretakers.

Creativity inspires creativity

with a major difference here

being cause of parental deaths:

rhino vs. house fire.

 In regards to adaptation,

the movie adds more conflict

than the book, adding content

with the rhino that killed

James' parents, as well as

more chomps

from mechanical ocean sharks.

It's a great ride,

both in book and film form

(the film which

Tim Burton produced).

All hail Roald Dahl,

may he rest in peace,

as well as

illustrator Quentin Blake,

who is still very much alive.

The book version I had

as a child featured

the original artwork

by Nancy Ekholm Burkert

as featured at the top

of this page,

but Blake's version

(a much more playful version)

can be seen in the banner

as well as below:

his rendition of Aunts

Spiker and Sponge.