|“||You're not even a real rhino! You're just a lot of smoke and noise! I'm not afraid of you!||„|
|~ James to the Rhino.|
The Rhino (also commonly known as the Rhinoceros) is a minor, but pivotal antagonist from the 1961 children's novel James and the Giant Peach by the late Roald Dahl and the overarching antagonist in the 1996 Disney live-action/stop-motion animated film of the same name. It is the one responsible for killing James's parents and it is also his archenemy.
Its vocal sound effects were provided by Frank Welker.
The book showed the Rhino as a savage animal that ate people like a carnivore, similar to that of an alligator or possibly a giant snake. However, like all rhinoceroses, the Rhino is still a herbivore, as it feeds on plants.
In the movie, the Rhino appeared to be a sadistic and intimidating monster when it haunted James' dreams.
In the book, the creature is an actual rhinoceros with a carnivorous appetite that escaped from the zoo and killed James' parents.
In the film, the Rhino is a giant black cloud that is shaped like a rhinoceros with glowing yellow eyes.
In the book
The rhino is a normal rhinoceros that escaped from the London Zoo and has eaten James' parents when they attended.
In the film
Despite being the overarching antagonist, its role in the film is small. The Rhino is a demonic force of nature that came out of nowhere and gobbled up James' parents before he ended up with the two nasty aunts named Spiker and Sponge.
Spiker and Sponge used the Rhino to scare James. It is unknown whether it was once a real rhinoceros when it killed James' parents or if it is just an ominous spirit that haunts James (the second possibility is much more likely since actual rhinoceroses are herbivores and do not eat meat).
That night, James had a nightmare about his aunts who came to attack him with their pesticide weapon in order to summon their rhino. He ran away from them, rushes into a tunnel-like can of turnip soup and hides inside a rock, and then their rhino catches him.
|“||Mr. Grasshopper: Could it be!
Mr. Centipede: No, it can't be!
James: It's the Rhino!
|~ James, Mr. Grasshopper, and Mr. Centipede's exchange after seeing that the Rhino has appeared once again.|
When James and his insect friends finally reach New York, the destructive Rhino appears and tries to slow down their progress. Slowly, it approaches the giant peach, using the power of fear. When James manages to muster up the courage to say that he is no longer afraid of the Rhino, it attempts to get closer to James before weakly shooting its final lightning bolt at the Giant Peach until the Rhino and the clouds dissolve away and he dies.
It is later revealed that James' insect friends are still alive and have survived the thunderous Rhino's lightning bolt thanks to the remaining seagulls after the giant peach finally landed in New York, and they proceed to get rid of Spiker and Sponge and rescue James.
Powers and Abilities
- Intangibility: The Rhino's body is made of clouds, so it probably cannot be physically harmed.
- Atmokinesis: The Rhino seems to have the ability to control the weather, because when it is seen, a strong wind comes and a destructive storm cloud appears, and when it arrives, lightning appears afterwards followed by thunder.
- Fear Embodiment: The Rhino also uses fear as a weapon; the more a person fears it, the stronger it gets. In fact, it represents James' fear.
- James' parents
- Mrs. Ladybug
- Mr. Grasshopper
- Ms. Spider
- Mr. Centipede
- Although it is the overarching antagonist, the Rhino turned out to be more dangerous than Spiker and Sponge.