How dare you disagree with us!
~ Aunt Sponge to James.

Aunt Sponge (also simply known as Sponge) is one of the two main antagonists of the 1996 Disney live action/stop-motion animated film James and the Giant Peach (which is based on the 1961 children's novel of the same name by the late Roald Dahl), the other being Aunt Spiker. She is one of James' two cruel aunts and Aunt Spiker's sister.

She was portrayed by Miriam Margolyes, who also played Leef Apple Glyn Slitheen-Blathereen in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Background

After the death of James' parents, Sponge and Spiker had no choice but to take in James and "raise" him. Instead of caring for him, she and Spiker force him to do every work around the house, they had a tendency to beat him when he disagrees with them or backtalk, and almost always make him go into his room without dinner. She and Spiker make fun of poor James, and they never call James by his name, but always refer to him with mean, insulting, and opprobrious names such as "you nasty little beast".

Appearance

Aunt Sponge is a greedy, selfish and morbidly fat woman, who is equally cruel, repulsive, unsympathetic and vituperative as her sister Spiker, and presumably the younger of the two. Both she and Spiker are vain, each singing praises of their imagined beauty while they are actually grotesque, but each usually ends up attacking the other's repulsion. Dominated by Spiker, Sponge is apparently a bit more dimwitted, gluttonous, and acquisitive, thinking of eating the peach while Spiker seizes the money-making and remunerative opportunities it will bring to make them rich. According to the musical, Sponge also has "voluptuous curves" and a "solid gold tooth". Sponge attempts to save her own life instead of Spiker's when she notices the giant peach rolling towards her. However, they trip up over each other and both meet the same end.

History

Sponge and Spiker adopted James after his parents were eaten by a rhinoceros and are very abusive and treat him like a slave, forcing him to do hard labor and feeding him nothing but fish heads. Both have a terrible hatred of insects and bugs and kill them in a variety of awful ways, and are thus hated by them as well. It is unknown if Spiker and Sponge are the sisters of James' father or mother. In the book, the illustrations show them to be elderly, so they could also be his great-aunts.

Sometime later, she and Spiker discover a peach on a withered old tree, and watch it grow to immense proportions in a matter of seconds. She and Spiker use the giant peach as an attraction, making lots of money as James watches from the house, not allowed to leave or play with the other children. That night, she and Spiker send James outside to pick up the garbage dropped by their customers. One night, while navigating on the peach, James has a nightmare of him as a caterpillar being chased and attacked by Spiker, Sponge, and the rhino, eventually getting trapped in a blind alley before he awakens.

Later, when James escapes on the giant peach, he is followed by her and Spiker all the way to New York, apparently somehow managing to drive their now-crushed car under the ocean and reach New York covered in seaweed and crabs, where they try to convince the authorities that James is a liar and that he be released to them. However, James, now no longer afraid of her and Spiker, stands up to them and reveals the truth about their horrible treatment of him.

Fed up with James daring to stand up to them, she and Spiker furiously attack him with firemen's axes until the sudden reappearance of the insects, who all come to James' rescue. The scared aunts realize that the bugs turned their nephew against them. James and the bugs tie her and Spiker up with Miss Spider's thread, and the beat cop has them taken away on a crane. What happens with Sponge and Spiker afterwards is completely unknown, but most likely, the two sisters were arrested for child abuse after being taken away, paying for their crimes once and for all. Another possibility, however, could be that, with their faces clogged with spiderweb, they were not able to breathe and suffocated to death. However, it is plausible that James would have not allowed to let his aunts die even though they tried to kill him.

After the credits, there is a scene showing an arcade-like game which consists of controlling a rhinoceros to attack replica models of her and Spiker.

Book

In the book, when the peach gets loose and rolls, it rolls over her and Spiker, killing them both, and they subsequently do not reappear at the end.

In the 1996 film, they survive and pursue James to New York City in their beat-up car (in the Ice World, James and Miss Spider see a shipwreck with figureheads, having a terrible resemblance of the two aunts). Upon arriving in New York, both are soaked as if they had been driving their car across the seabed. They attempt to kill James but are tied up with Miss Spider's silk and arrested.

In the 2015 musical, which combines material from both the book and the film, James' aunts survive like in the film. However, the peach lands atop the Empire State Building, and eventually it falls off at the story's climax. As such, Sponge and Spiker are both crushed to death by the peach-pit like in the book.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Both the novel and the film never specify whether Sponge and Spiker were the sisters of James' dad or James' mom. However, considering that in the film they insulted James' dad, it is possible that they were sisters of James' mom at least in the film canon, though they also mocked about her, albeit not so bad like they did with his father. Another explanation could be, also, that they are actually James' great-aunts, especially considering that they are depicted to be old in the book.
  • Aunt Sponge was portrayed by Miriam Margoyles, who also voiced the Glowworm in the same film, and later voiced the Matchmaker in Disney's Mulan.
  • When James and Miss Spider were searching for both Mr. Centipede and a compass, one of the sunken ships had both the aunts on the mast for unknown reasons. Interestingly, both Miss Spider nor James take note of this and such matter even doesn't go addressed later on.
  • When the aunts arrive on New York, it is implied that they drove their car underwater, which is really unrealistic, considering the distance between England and New York and how they would have been able to not breath during all that time. A possible explanation could be that when the peach rolled over the car, it could have given magic powers to the vehicle and her occupants, and thus the car was given the ability to be drivable underwater and the aunts were given the ability to breathe underwater or hold the breath for days.
  • Aunt Sponge in the film resembles her appearance in the original 1961 book.

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Disney Parks
Alien | Lava Monster | Mad Hatter | Nebula Ghosts | Professor J.T. Wu | S.I.R. | Yeti (Expedition Everest) | Yeti (Matterhorn Bobsleds)

See Also
101 Dalmatians Villains | 2010 Marvel Animated Universe Villains | A Twisted Tale Villains | Air Bud Villains | Aladdin Villains | Alice in Wonderland Villains | Amphibia Villains | Artemis Fowl Villains | Atlantis Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Beauty and the Beast Villains | Big Hero 6 Villains | Cinderella Villains | Club Penguin Villains | Darkwing Duck Villains | Descendants Villains | DuckTales Villains | Fantasia Villains | Fillmore! Villains | Frozen Villains | Gargoyles Villains | Gravity Falls Villains | Haunted Mansion Villains | Hercules Villains | Kim Possible Villains | Kingdom Hearts Villains | Lilo & Stitch Villains | Little Einsteins Villains | Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains | Medfield College Villains | Mighty Ducks Villains | Milo Murphy's Law Villains | Mulan Villains | Muppet Villains | Narnia Villains | Peter Pan Villains | Phineas and Ferb Villains | Pinocchio Villains | Pirates of the Caribbean Villains | Pixar Villains | Recess Villains | Robin Hood Villains | Sleeping Beauty Villains | Snow White Villains | Sofia the First Villains | Star Wars Villains | Star vs. the Forces of Evil Villains | Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Villains | Tangled Villains | Tarzan Villains | The Hunchback of Notre Dame Villains | The Jungle Book Villains | The Lion King Villains | The Little Mermaid Villains | The Owl House Villains | The Princess and the Frog Villains | Treasure Planet Villains | Wander Over Yonder Villains | Winnie the Pooh Villains | Wreck-It Ralph Villains | Zootopia Villains

           Roald Dahl Logo.png Villains

Books
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge & Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Cloud Men
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth
The Magic Finger: The Girl
Fantastic Mr Fox: Boggis, Bunce and Bean | Rat
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator: Vermicious Knids
Danny, the Champion of the World: Mr. Victor Hazell
The Enormous Crocodile: Enormous Crocodile
The Twits: Mr. and Mrs. Twit
George's Marvellous Medicine: Grandma
The BFG: Giants (Fleshlumpeater, Bloodbottler, Bonecruncher, Meatdripper & Gizzardgulper)
Revolting Rhymes: Big Bad Wolf | Little Red Riding Hood | Ugly Sisters
The Witches: Witches (Grand High Witch of all the World, The Woman in Black, Beatrice, Henrietta & Elizabeth)
Dirty Beasts: Crocky-Wock | Stingaling
Boy: Tales of Childhood: Headmaster of Llandaff Cathedral School | Mrs. Pratchett | Captain Hardcastle
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me: The Cobra
Matilda: Agatha Trunchbull | Harry Wormwood
Rhyme Stew: Lord Hellespont | The Emperor | The Witch
The Minpins: Red-Hot Smoke-Belching Gruncher

Movies
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth
The Witches: Witches (Grand High Witch, Susan Irvine, Nicola Cuttle, Pamela, Lois Leffour, Mildred, Elizabeth, Henrietta, Jacqueline & Beatrice)
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark
Matilda: Agatha Trunchbull | Harry Wormwood
Fantastic Mr. Fox: Boggis, Bunce and Bean | Rat
The BFG: Giants (Fleshlumpeater, Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher)

           Tim Burton Logo.pngVillains

Movies
Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill |
Edward Scissorhands: Jim
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock and Barrel
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Mars Attacks!: Martian Leader | Martians (Martian Ambassador & Martian Girl)
Sleepy Hollow (1999): Lady Van Tassel | Headless Horseman | Reverend Steenwyck
Planet of the Apes (2001) General Thade | Attar | Limbo
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth
Corpse Bride: Barkis Bittern | Maudeline Everglot
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd | Mrs. Lovett | Judge Turpin | Beadle Bamford | Jonas Fogg | Adolfo Pirelli
9: Fabrication Machine | 1 | 8 | Machines (Cat Beast, Winged Beast, Seamstress, Steel Behemoths, Seeker Drones & Spiderbots) | Chancellor Fredinand | The Chancellor's Party
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Red Queen | Knave of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Hamish Ascot
Dark Shadows: Angelique Bouchard | Julia Hoffman
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Adam
Frankenweenie: Mr. Whiskers | Shelley | Were-Rat | Sea Monkeys | Mr. Burgermeister
Big Eyes: Walter Keane
Miss Peregrine's Homes for Peculiar Children: Mr. Barron
Dumbo (2019): V.A. Vandevere | Neils Skellig | Pink Elephants | Rufus Sorghum

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