We're all used to thinking of bugs as icky, ugly, squishy, and repellent. James and the Giant Peach, a film that mixes live action and stop-motion animation, will change your view of bugs forever.

This marvelously inventive and emotionally involving fairy tale is based on Ronald Dahl's 1961 children's book.

When his parents are killed by an angry rhinoceros, young James (Paul Terry) moves in with his tyrannical and abusive aunts. His life is one nightmare after another until an Old Man gives him a bag of glowing green crocodile tongues. Soon a magical peach grows in the yard and James crawls inside where, as an animated character, he meets his extended family — Grasshopper, Centipede, Spider, Earthworm, and Glowworm.

Buoyed with songs by Randy Newman, the troupe sets off for New York City, but not before they do battle with some terrible mechanical sharks and underwater pirate skeletons. James and the Giant Peach celebrates the solidarity of all creatures and proclaims proudly that every child must eventually stand tall and square off against his or her worst fears.