Big (Not Always) Friendly Giants: Size Up These Movie Behemoths

Originally published on Yahoo Movies. Click here to view.

The BFG, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Roald Dahl story, stomps into theaters this weekend. In it, Mark Rylance stars as the “Big Friendly Giant” referred to by the title, who befriends a young orphan girl and helps her fend off his evil, human-eating compatriots. Rylance joins the ranks of actors who have played and voiced giants on screen (though you may think of some as just The VTP — Very Tall People) we salute here.

Willie the Giant, ‘Mickey and the Beanstalk’
Disney’s 1947 animated feature Fun and Fancy Free included the “Mickey and the Beanstalk” segment, a cute adaptation of the classic fairy tale. Willie captures Mickey and Co. once they venture up the beanstalk, and the rest of the short sees them attempting to escape. (Photo: Disney)

Alice, ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Alice appears in many different sizes during her travels in Disney’s 1951 animated feature. After eating a small cake, she initiates a sudden growth spurt — and that’s not just a tall tale. (Photo: Disney)

Giant Ants, ‘Them!’
The only enormous insects on our list made a huge impression on 1954 sci-fi fans. Reflecting the anxiety of its era, the creepy crawlers, naturally, are a result of mutation via radiation from an atomic bomb test. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

The Cyclops, ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad’
The 1958 adventure has our hero and his crew battle the one-eyed behemoth in order to return to the beautiful Princess Parisa. (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, ‘Ghostbusters’
Ghostbuster Ray Stantz tried to think of the most harmless thing ever, “something that could never, ever possibly destroy us.” Think again: the oversized Stay Puft Marshmallow Man gleefully drowned Manhattan in white fluff in the 1984 comedy adventure. (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Fezzik, ‘The Princess Bride’
The late wrestler-turned-actor André the Giant embodied William Goldman’s rhyme-loving giant Fezzik in the 1987 comedy classic and made him the kind-hearted and beloved character he remains today. (Photo: 20th Century Fox Film Corp.)

Adam Szalinski, ‘Honey, I Blew Up the Kid’
Following the success of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the 1992 sequel had Rick Moranis’ hapless inventor working in the opposite direction. This time, he supersizes his two-year-old son, who becomes extra-destructive at seven feet tall. (Photo: Disney)

Nancy Archer, ‘Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman’
The 1993 made-for-TV adaptation of the 1958 B-movie classic cast Daryl Hannah in the title role; her growth spurt begins after an encounter with a UFO. (Photo: Allied Artists Pictures)

Max, ‘My Giant’
The 1998 comedy stars Billy Crystal as a shady talent agent who discovers an incredibly tall man in Romania, and turns him into a big star. At 7 feet 7 inches tall, NBA player Gheorghe Muresan easily fit the title character’s shoes. (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

The Iron Giant, ‘The Iron Giant’
Before revving up the Fast and Furious franchise, Vin Diesel voiced the alien Iron Giant in 1999. Darker than your usual animated kids film, the Iron Giant idolizes Superman and makes the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Hagrid, the ‘Harry Potter’ Series
Though technically a half-giant, Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) debuted in 2001 in the first Harry Potter film and remained Harry’s loyal friend through the eighth film in the series in 2011. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Karl, ‘Big Fish’
Matthew McGrory stars as the misunderstood giant Karl in Tim Burton’s underrated Big Fish (2003). Joining the movie’s hero on his adventures, Karl becomes a good friend and eventually finds a job in the circus. (Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Giant Troll, ‘Trollhunter’
In this 2010 Norwegian found-footage fantasy film, college students hunt giant trolls who emerge from the forest to cause mayhem. (Photo: Magnet Releasing)

Lemuel Gulliver, ‘Gulliver’s Travels’
Based on the classic 18th-century story, this 2010 adaptation finds Gulliver (Jack Black) traveling to the town of Lilliput where the tiny townspeople mistake him for a big bad dude. (Photo: Twentieth Century Fox Film)

The Hulk, ‘The Avengers’
Several actors have played the Hulk on screen, including Eric Bana and Edward Norton. But Mark Ruffalo’s understated and sympathetic take on the green giant in 2012’s The Avengers and last year’sAvengers: Age of Ultron hit it big with fans.(Photo: Disney)

General Fallon, ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’
Bryan Singer’s 2013 fantasy film turned Bill Nighy and John Kassir into two-headed giant General Fallon, who imprisons the titular hero and his friends. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Giant-Man, ‘Captain America: Civil War’
Ant-Man shows off a new trick during Civil War’s climactic airport battle, turning himself into Giant-Man. A welcome surprise in the movie, we only wish we got more of him before he came tumbling down. (Photo: Disney)


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