The BFG (short for “The Big Friendly Giant”) is a 1982 children’s book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake. It is an expansion of a short story from Dahl’s 1975 book Danny, the Champion of the World. The book is dedicated to Dahl’s late daughter, Olivia, who died of measles encephalitis at age seven in 1962. As of 2009, the novel has sold 37 million copies in UK editions alone.
An animated television adaptation was released in 1989 with David Jason providing the voice of the BFG and Amanda Root as the voice of Sophie. It has also been adapted as a theatre performance. A live-action adaptation directed by Steven Spielberg will be released in theaters on July 1, 2016.
The story is about a young orphaned girl named Sophie, living in a girl’s orphanage run by the cantankerous and abusive Mrs. Clonkers. One night, Sophie sees a large, cloaked person blowing something via a trumpet-like object into a bedroom window down the street. She is discovered by the mysterious person, who carries her to his homeland of Giant Country. There, he identifies himself as the Big Friendly Giant (‘BFG’), who nightly blows bottled dreams into the bedrooms of children, and explains the other type of giants that eat humans, mostly children. Because the BFG refuses to eat people or steal food from humans, he subsists on a foul-tasting vegetable known as a snozzcumber.
Sophie and the BFG quickly become friends; but Sophie is soon put in danger by the sudden arrival of the Bloodbottler Giant, who suspects the BFG of harboring Sophie. Sophie hides in the snozzcumber, unknown to the BFG, and the BFG offers the snozzcumber to the Bloodbottler, hoping that its foul taste will repel him from the area; whereupon the Bloodbottler spits out the snozzcumber and Sophie, and leaves in disgust. When Sophie announces she is thirsty, the BFG treats her to a fizzy drink called frobscottle, which causes noisy flatulence because of the bubbles sinking downwards. The BFG calls this “Whizpopping”. The next morning, the BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country to catch more dreams, but is tormented by the other giants along the way; notably by their leader, the Fleshlumpeater, the largest and most fearsome.