LACMA continues to celebrate Tim Burton not only with their incredible exhibition of his work, but also a family friendly Friday night outdoor film series in August. This week’s Friday screening is “James and the Giant Peach,” produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi and directed by Henry Selick (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”). The film starts at sundown (approximately between 8 and 8:30 p.m.) at LACMA’s Hancock Park.
“James and the Giant Peach” is adapted from Roald Dahl’s 1961 book of the same name. Dahl also wrote such children’s classics as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” While living, Dahl resisted offers to have “James” animated, but after his death, his widow, Liccy Dahl, allowed Disney access to this piece; she has said that Dahl would have been proud of this adaptation.
A mix between live action and stop-motion animation, “James and the Giant Peach” tells the story of 7-year-old James who is forced to live with his horrible Aunts, Spiker and Sponge, after a rhinoceros kills his parents. Saving a spider from his two miserable aunts, a wounded Confederate soldier later rewards James with a magic bag of crocodile tongues. James accidently spills the tongues near the peach tree’s roots, which causes the tree to grow to huge proportions. A group of giant insects inhabit the giant peach in the giant tree, and soon James finds himself on an adventurous journey to New York City with his new insect friends.
Two more Burton films will round out the Outdoor Tim Burton Film Sampler. Next Friday, August 19 screens “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” directed by Tim Burton and starring none other than Pee Wee Herman (Paul Reubens), Phil Hartman and Michael C. Varhol. Then wrapping up the series is “Alice In Wonderland” on Friday, August 26. Directed by Tim Burton, “Alice” stars Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. (This film will not be screened in 3-D.)
The “Outdoor Films: A Tim Burton Sampler” take place in Hancock Park’s Dorothy Collins Brown Amphitheater behind the LACMA buildings, adjacent to 6th street. The screenings are free, and begin between 8 and 8:30 p.m. It’s best to arrive sometime after 7:00 p.m. for good lawn seating. Blankets and low chairs (low chairs, only) are recommended for the lawn seating. Picnickers are welcome as well. Pets are allowed on a leash, but LACMA cautions that the events are crowded with a lot of families with young children.
The weather continues to be lovely this summer for outdoor film screenings. So take advantage of LACMA’s Fridays in August outdoor screenings of Tim Burton films. There’s never been a more celebratory time to catch up on such Burton classics as “James and the Giant Peach” (August 12); “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” (August 19) and “Alice In Wonderland” (August 26).