Frobscottle (noun): Giant Country’s green fizzy drink where the bubbles go down instead of up causing giggle-inducing whizzpoppers! In American English, Frobscottle is pop (or soda depending on where you’re from) which causes no-holds-barred flatulence as opposed to burps. Fans of Roald Dahl’s book can even make their own if you look up the recipe online; although I would suspect that non-movie Frobscottle’s bubbles would go up instead of down. Too bad.
The BFG, the latest offering from famed director, Steven Spielberg, recalls the magic of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Visually, the film provides a feast for the eyes, especially the tree in Giant Country where BFG (Mark Rylance) gathers the ingredients for his dreams, but the story of the unlikely friendship between the big, friendly giant and little orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), makes The BFG another family classic.
Sophie suffers from insomnia and prowls the halls of the orphanage all hours of the night. During one of her night wanderings, she sees a giant prowling the London streets and in order to keep her from telling anyone about him, the giant whisks her away to Giant Country. There, the other giants bully him and call him “Runt” since he’s a mere 24-ft tall. They like to eat “human beans” (as they call us) so BFG has to protect Sophie.
Quite the precocious little kid, Sophie’s fascination with BFG knows no end. She convinces him to stand up to the bullies but because he’s small (in giant terms), he stills gets beat up. Not having any of that, Sophie hatches a hare-brained scheme to get help from Queen Elizabeth (Penelope Wilton) against the giants. The greatest gag of the movie comes when, despising the coffee offered him by the Queen, BFG offers her, and the whole court (including the corgis), some of his Frobscottle. Whizzpoppers abound, much to the delight of all the kids in the audience.
While The BFG can be somewhat outrageous at times, for a Catholic audience, it bears mention that one of the BFG’s magical gifts is being able to hear people’s secret thoughts. While I would not consider BFG to be a God-figure, in this one sense he is a bit like God. Little Spoiler Alert! When Sophie is returned to the orphanage, she sends out her thoughts to BFG, knowing that he can hear her. Isn’t this like God when we pray or lift our hearts and minds to him? Just like Sophie called on BFG and he answered, so God answers us when we call. One could also think of BFG as a sort of guardian angel, unseen but always watching over us. God has entrusted each one of us to a guardian angel and it’s that angel’s job to always be by our side, inspiring us to do good and return the love we have from God.