25 Disney characters that are actually good role models

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13. The Bugs (James and the Giant Peach)

Family is a complicated thing. Sometimes, Disney gets just a little too saccharine with the whole affair, making it seem as if family is a beautiful, perfect thing that everyone should enjoy. Such lessons can even get downright harmful if taken the wrong way. Sadly enough, not everyone is born into a loving and supportive family. Indeed, depictions of seemingly perfect, conflict-free families might even make someone feel deficient when it comes to their own imperfect home life.

But the family you’re born into isn’t the only option available to you. As many people throughout human history have discovered, found family can be just as valuable as genetic relations, if not even more so. Such is the central conceit of James and the Giant Peach.

To be fair, James Henry Trotter does start out as a happy young kid with a loving mother and father. When his parents are killed by a ghostly sky-rhinoceros (seriously), he’s sent to live with his aunts. These are no kindly, doting aunts with plates full of cookies, however. They’re a mean pair named, evocatively, Spiker and Sponge. James soon learns to be miserable in his new home.

However, James soon finds escape in an unusual way. A mysterious man gives him a bag of glowing green “crocodile tongues” to somehow make his life better. While this sounds like the setup for a horror movie, it turns out that this weird plan actually works.

First, the crocodile tongues make a normal peach grow to gigantic size in the front yard. James then discovers that a number of bugs have also grown, both in size and intelligence. He soon sets off on an oceangoing adventure across the Atlantic. Over the course of the movie, James and the bugs bond and form the kind of loving family that the young boy has been missing for so long.