'The BFG': Steven Spielberg's newest family-friendly film gets a trailer

Spielberg has established a reputation as a creator of classic family movies. Where else are viewers of all ages finding quality films today?

A trailer has been released for the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie “The BFG.” 

Based on the book of the same name by Roald Dahl, “The BFG” tells the story of young girl Sophie, who encounters a Big Friendly Giant.

The BFG himself is being portrayed by Mark Rylance, who is currently winning awards-season acclaim for his turn in another Spielberg movie, “Bridge of Spies.” “BFG” also stars Ruby Barnhill as Sophie and Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, and Bill Hader. 

The film will be released this July. 

If it is well-received critically, “BFG” looks like another classic family film from Spielberg. The director has been releasing adventure movies for all (or at least many) ages since the 1980s and 1990s, when he helmed such films as “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.,” “Hook,” and “Jurassic Park.”

His run has continued into the current millennium, with Spielberg taking his place behind the camera for movies such as “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse.” 

His adaptation of the popular young adult book “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline, which will arrive next December, is also eagerly anticipated.

Spielberg has of course had some misfires with films like “A.I.,” but his track record remains impressive. 

What makes these movies appeal to a wide audience? Spielberg’s movies often explore universal themes like the idea of family, from the children in the “E.T.” family adjusting to day-to-day life after their parents’ divorce to the paleontologist Alan Grant taking care of two children that come into his care during the disaster at Jurassic Park.

His movies also often feature memorable characters, from archaeologist Indy to the visitor from another planet in “E.T.” These characters no doubt catch young viewers’ imaginations (and older ones’, too).

Has anyone else also assumed this mantle of consistently producing quality movies for all ages? Animated studio Pixar has had only one or two films that were less than rapturously received and movies produced by the studio like “Inside Out” and “The Incredibles” are viewed as instant classics. 

Since it hasn’t come out yet, it’s unknown whether “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be okay for younger viewers, but the original “Star Wars” movies have been beloved by people of all ages for decades now. If the upcoming “Star Wars” movies are creatively satisfying, the series could renew its reputation as a destination for great stories for families.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.