James Henry Trotter lived a happy life with his parents, until a rhinoceros escaped from the London zoo, and devoured Mr. and Mrs. Trotter. James was then sent to live with his two abusive aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker who mentally and physically abuse him and basically treat him as a slave. In one of James's most miserable moments, a mysterious little man appears and presents James with a bag of magical objects (crocodile tongues) which he claims will improve his life. Subsequently James accidentally drops the crocodile tongues, which are then soken up by an assortment of bugs (an earthworm, a glowworm, a silkworm, a centipede, a spider and a grasshopper) and an old peach tree growing on his Aunts' property.
Behind the Scenes
Only the film version confirms his birth.