The 1996 Disney Pictures movie James and the Giant Peach is based on the 1961 novel by Ronald Gahl (PBworks, 2005). The movie’s characters, plot, and themes deal with child development concepts such as social development, emotional development, family, friendship, relationships, and attachment.
The movie begins with the family and parenting styles concept of child development by introducing the audience to the main character James and his parents. James lives in a two-parent household with his authoritative parents who are providing him with warmth, love, and encouragement (Levine & Munsch, pp. 521-522). This concept of parenting styles is shown as the movie begins and James is seen spending time with his parents. Then suddenly, James’ world changes and he is abandoned as a result of his parents being killed. This causes James to become orphaned and forced to live with his authoritarian aunts, Spiker and Sponge. Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge are very controlling towards James and expect him to obey their rules without allowing him to express his feelings. This authoritarian behavior is seen throughout the movie. Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge are also uninvolved, neglectful, and abusive, using verbal and physical punishment on James when they feel it’s necessary, which is also seen throughout the movie (Levine & Munsch, p. 522). These behaviors cause James to develop lower self-esteem, show less intellectual curiosity, and feel lonely and afraid, which are typical outcomes of an authoritarian parenting approach (Levine & Munsch, pp. 521-523). Although James’ aunts’ authoritative parenting style has an effect on his emotional and social behaviors, it is his parents authoritative parenting that plays a...
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...ent: An Active Learning Approach (p. 436). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishers.
Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2011). Regulations of Emotions. In L. E. Levine, & J. Munsch, Child Development: An Active Approach (p. 371). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishers.
Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2011). Temperament. In L. E. Levine, & J. Munsch, Child Development: An active Approach (pp. 342-343). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers.
Patel, R. (2010, November 3). Children and the Media: The Effects of Movies on Children. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from Loving Your Child: http://www.lovingyourchild.com/2010/11/children-media-exposure-effects-movies-children/
PBworks. (2005, December 5). childrensliterature. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from PBworks: http://childrensliterature.pbworks.com/w/page/15756439/GiantPeach
Selick, H. (Director). (1996). James and the Giant Peach [Motion Picture].
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