8 Human Giants in Movies to Get You Ready for ‘The BFG’

There’s been a lot of great movie giants over the years and with Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of The BFG coming to theaters, what better time than now to look back as some of our favorite movie Human giants. While King Kong, Godzilla and a host of other monsters and dinosaurs are certainly giant, they are not humans and don’t make the list. Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, let’s have some giant fun.

The Giant – Time Bandits (1981)

Eleven-year-old Kevin (Craig Warnock) is swept up into a fantastical world when a gang of time-traveling dwarves fall into his bedroom and whisk him away on their adventures (stealing valuable objects from moments in time). Of course, there’s heaps of trouble for the boy and his newfound friends, and at one point, as they are sailing about the oceans, their ship appears to strike land, but . . . not so much . . . when suddenly, they rise up out of the water, their boat stuck on the head of an enormous giant coming ashore. Like a hat on his dome, the giant is oblivious and takes to land in long thunderous steps as the frantic time-travelers try to figure out how to get down without falling. Kevin finally comes upon the idea to inject the giant’s head with potions that are aboard the vessel, and using a stove bellow as a syringe, pumps the massive man full of drugs straight through his cranium. Not long after, the giant (played by Ian Muir) gets sleepy, settles down along the shore, and sets the ship-hat to one side, freeing the gang. This is a classic Terry Gilliam moment.

Lurch – The Addams Family (1991)

The butler for the famously macabre Addams family, Lurch is a kindly, quiet fellow who looks a little like Frankenstein’s monster and a very tall zombie. Best known for his deep voice and slow calculated movements, he got his start in the beloved television series in the 1960s (itself based on a comic strip begun in the 1930s). In the 1991 rebooted film version, he’s played by Carel Struycken and like all iterations, takes the absurd happenings within the Addams house in stride. His deadpan eyes and side glances offer all we need to know about his attitude and while he is loyal to the family, seems content to roam about alone answering the door (even before the bell rings). “You rang?”

Karl, the Misunderstood Giant – Big Fish (2005)

Living on the outskirts of Ashton, Alabama, Karl (Matthew McGrory) makes a cave his home, misunderstood to be a cattle-eating monster. Edward (Ewan McGregor), telling his adventures in flashback, tracks down the supposed beast, only to find a humble, good-natured man who just happens to be almost 12-feet tall. And hungry. Edward talks with Karl, and convinces him that he’s not too big for Ashton, but that Ashton is too small for him. Karl thinks Edward is only trying to trick him into leaving, but Edward has plans of his own as well. He’s a giant in his own way and talks his new friend into packing up and leaving town together to find their dreams and better adventures away from the small town life that has trapped them where they are. The two become lifelong friends, and years later, when Edward finds love with an old flame, he wishes to fix up her crumbling home. In steps Karl and with a little nudge, rights the house. Easy-peasy when you’re that big.

Lemuel Gulliver – Gulliver’s Travels (2010)

Lemuel (Jack Black) works in the mail room of a New York City newspaper, complaining about his dead-end life. Wanting to impress journalist Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet), he makes up a story about his globe-trotting travels and ends up on assignment to the Bermuda Triangle, alone. After falling asleep at the helm of a rented boat, he wakes up tied to the ground by a village of very tiny people from the country of Lilliput. Their captive, despite his enormous size, he turns things around when he saves the King (Billy Connolly), Princess Mary (Emily Blunt), and all of Lilliput from an attack, becoming their hero. Loaded with Jack Black-isms, this is not so much a faithful interpretation of the classic Jonathan Swift novel, but it sure is funny.

General Fallon – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

A twist on the classic Jack and the beanstalk story, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young farm boy enchanted by tales of a land above the clouds where giants rule. Years later, after tries to sell his horse to support his family, a monk offers him ‘magic’ beans that when tossed outside by his angry uncle later, sprout up to the clouds. As part of an exploratory party, Jack and some soldiers climb the stalk, eventually making it to a kingdom in the sky populated by massive giants, who soon kidnap the princess (whom Jack loves of course). The giant’s leader is a two-headed beast named General Fallon (Bill Nighy) who wants to lead the giants to the human world. Not if Jack can help it.

Baby Adam – Honey, I Blew Up The Kid (1992)

Whacky inventor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) shrunk his kids the last time out, now he’s done the opposite and zapped his two-year-old son with a ray that can increase the size of anything. All by mistake of course, after the ray strikes Adam (Daniel & Joshua Shalikar), he soon begins to grow. A lot. Straight up out of the house in fact. Basically a toddler reaching 115 feet, Adam doesn’t know anything about adult life and so instead looks at the ever decreasing world like a big box of shrinking toys. As Adam grows, he gets more and more out of control, especially since even though he’s big, he’s still a little kid. Ending up on the Las Vegas strip, he rampages through Sin City looking for his mommy, leaving a trailer of baby destruction. Adorable.

Nancy Archer – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Nancy (Allison Hayes) just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when she has an encounter with a “flying satellite” that leaves her exposed to radiation. Soon, it’s not long before she sprouts into a giant and in her ragged bed-sheet dress, stomps all over town looking for her cheating husband. A classic, cheesy, poorly-made special effects film, the movie is still, so fun to watch, simply for the sheer madness of Haye’s performance and the truly terrible projection visual effects where you can often see right through her. Remade many times with different titles, this is the greatest of the lot and should be seen. 50 feet seems to be a fluctuating number, too.

Fezzick / The Princess Bride (1987)

Discovered in Greenland by his current employer Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Fezzick (Andre the Giant) was a “jobless, friendless, helpless, and hopeless” giant until given work by the trouble-making Sicilian. A kind-hearted fellow, he’s not above taking the law into his own hands if it serves the better good, and really travels along with his current crew for the fun of it. One of his favorite things is to play rhyming games with Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), who is seeking revenge for his father’s murder. Working for Vizzini, who has been hired by Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) to kidnap his new fiancé in hopes of starting a border war, Fezzick smiles as he plays along. Unknown to them all is that the princess is the secret lost love of the Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes) who has come ashore to rescue her. Vizzini is confident in his crew to dispatch the masked swordsmen, but he easily bests Inigo but has his hands full when facing the giant. Vizzini informs Fezzick to smash the pirate’s head with a rock, but Vizzini doesn’t think it’s very sportsmanlike so when Roberts arrives, they agree to drop their weapons and fight by hand, a situation still decidedly in Fezzick’s favor. Naturally, Roberts gets the upper hand and due to his merciful ways with both Inigo and Fezzick, he makes new friends and the three join up to save the girl. As you wish.

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