Children who’ve seen Ghostbusters may find it hard to believe that the woman who played the wild-eyed character possessed by demons in that movie is the same person who narrates Peachboy, an enchanting Japanese fantasy by Eric Metaxas. Yet Sigourney Weaver’s reading comes about as close to breaking down the inherent barriers of videotaped storytelling as the medium allows. Her voice is comforting and reassuring, a magnet for young children accustomed to the warmth and intimacy of a parent’s lap during story time.
Although Jeffrey Smith’s impressionistic illustrations don’t move, the camera lens does, thereby creating the illusion of movement by the characters.
The title refers to the baby boy discovered inside a peach by an elderly couple whose children had been kidnapped by ogres. The boy plans to defeat the ogres on the horrible island they inhabit. Youngsters will enjoy the child’s journey (he acquires a retinue of unusual animals en route) and the exciting confrontation on the island. Parents will appreciate the simple beauty of the story and the sensitive treatment it gets — and deserves. A