In the way that you might argue Walt Disney set the tone of much children's storymaking in the mid and late 20th Century, so it was with Roald Dahl in the UK.
Dahl was of course a novelist, but several well loved films were made of his books. I particularly like Nic Roeg's film of The Witches, and we could argue all day about the relative merits of the two Chocolate Factory films, Mel Stuart's Willy Wonka and Tim Burton's Charlie.
But one Dahl movie has not been widely seen in a good while now – and it hasn't been seen in its original widescreen aspect ratio since it was in cinemas.
The BFG or Big Friendly Giant is a feature length hand-drawn animation directed by Brian Cosgrove and animated by the troops at Cosgrove Hall, home of Dangermouse, Count Duckula and Chorlton and the Wheelies.
The restored BFG is headed to DVD and Blu-ray in the UK this September 10th. That happens to be in time for the original book's 30th anniversary, I'm told – as well as our annual Roald Dahl week. They're rolling out the PR barrel for this one, with a new Twitter account and Facebook page and the like. It's very, very rare the UK film industry has something like this to offer its younger patrons, so I know why there might be some fuss.
As well as the crucial aspect ratio correction, the film has been given a general tidy-up. Now, the colours are correct and the tones are set right. I asked for a demonstration video I could show you to prove this point.
So here it is.
There you can at least see how the colouring and detail have been fixed.
Far too few full-length animated features have ever been made in the UK. Glad to see one of them getting the respect it's due, at last.