It’s been five years since his father died, leaving Jack in charge of the farm, the family just barely surviving because of the drought. Their mother works outside of the home to help provide for the family, earning most of the money, while the five children, Jack, Angelina, Sara, Carlos, and Peter, take care of the farm and the house. Jack in particular is excited as the days go by, his eighteenth birthday draws nigh, the day when he can become an apprentice and start earning money for his family so his mother can leave her job. (Insert song about plans and hope for the future . . . maybe? And then the rest of the children join in with thoughts/lines about what they hope for?*) Jack, however, wants to start accepting more responsibility and offers to take the rent money the next time it’s due. By the time that day arrives, the family finds that they are in worse condition than they thought and will have to give their rentor their cow just to stay afloat. As promised, Jack takes the cow into town. Along the way, he meets a peddler, and the two begin talking. The peddler offers Jack five beans that he claims are magical for the cow, stating that they would relieve the family of their stress. After several attempts, Jack fnally says yes, the peddler promising the beans will come through. Jack returns in high spirits, only to have them shot down by his mother, his brother Carlos, who had always looked up to him, making it worse by not forgiving him for his mistake. The youngest, Peter, is more forgiving, but the whole family is disappointed with the turn of events. Upset to the point of tears, Jack goes out to the field and plant the beans, watering them with his tears, hoping that they might work like the peddler said they would. (Insert song about growing up, decisions, and/or failing?) All of a sudden, the cow walks back onto the property, with a bag full of coins attatched to its horn. Jack figures the cow must have gotten away from the peddler by mistake. He leads the cow to the barn, thinking of taking her back to the peddler the next day, and trying to find some way of paying the rent. He goes to bed, leaving the cow to witness the night’s events.
Jack is the first one up the next morning, determined to make everything right. He still hasn’t figured out what to do yet, but he hopes he doesn’t make another mistake. He walks to the barn deep in thought, only realizing the cow is hiding in the back when she doesn’t answer his calls. He goes back out to the field to find out why she won’t come out, and sees the biggest beanstalk he had ever seen. His shouts of joy rouses his family, and they gather outside to see what’s going on, seeing the beanstalk for the first time. Jack begins climbing it and picking the bean pods, letting them drop to the ground, where Sara and Peter begin taking the beans out of the pods. Angelina joins in, but Carlos goes back inside, still upset over his brother’s foolishness. Jack becomes ecstatic with hope, the peddler was right! He continues to climb the beanstalk, getting higher and higher, until he reaches the clouds. Jack’s mouth drops open, he didn’t even realize he had climbed so high, much less that the beanstalk went that high. On top of that, a pair of giant eyes are staring right at him. The giant girl immediately jumps up and shouts with joy, plucking Jack right out of the beanstalk, against his protests. (Insert song about being right and staying true to your beliefs? Though it’ll be mainly about the ‘tiny people’/humans and how they’re like dolls) She takes him home and shows him off to her family, her father clearly upset at seeing him, asking his daughter, Inma, if she gave any thought to Jack’s family. Jack asks to stay awhile, stating no one knew that there were giants in the sky. Inma’s father mumbles something that states otherwise, but Jack soon forgets it when Inma proceeds to explain everything about the sky giants, leading to the question of the rain. Inma explains that the giants too have been in a drought, the rain having come from their gardens (the excess water seeps through the ‘ground”/clouds, making it rain below), but they have not been able to get any water lately, ever since Faustus became king of the giants. Inma explains that he had been regulating the water usage, most of the little that is brought in is used at his castle. Inma’s mother changes the subject to Jack’s family, the giants learning of Jack’s plight. Inma offers Jack some giant gold to help, but Inma’s father explains that it wouldn’t work, giant gold is made of sunshine, it would disappear the instant it reached the ground. Inma takes Jack back to the beanstalk finally, and he leaves after promising her that he would visit again. Upon reaching the ground, Jack relates his adventure to his family, ending his tale with the promise he made. Carlos rudely snaps about the promises Jack can’t even keep to his own family before marching off to bed. Jack’s mother tries to console both boys, but Carlos refuses to listen, and Jack simply states that since it was his fault that Carlos feels this way, it is his responsibility to cheer him back up.
The children make many things using the beans and the pods, selling them to make money. They quickly make enough money to pay off their rent, with plenty left over to last them for weeks. Jack wants to keep his promise and goes to visit Inma again as soon as their mother leaves to work her job one morning, only to find the giant world much more different than when he had left it. Inma is at home all alone, Faustus having arrested her parents on some false charge, but the sight of Jack instantly cheers her up. He talks with her a bit before leaving, determined to help her free her parents. He tells his family what he’s going to do before climbing back up the beanstalk, unaware that Carlos is following, the rest of his siblings not far behind once they realize that Carlos has left. Jack rushes to Inma so that they can go over plans before leaving, only to find Carlos just outside. An argument ensues between Jack and Carlos, Carlos accusing Jack of trying to take their father’s place. Angelina steps in, revealing that the rest of the siblings had followed, Peter winning the day by stating that they are family, they’re going to do this together. Jack reluctantly agrees as Carlos is right, he is not their father, though he does realize that this will only make things harder, and possibly worse. The children ride on Inma’s shoulders as she walks to the castle which isn’t all that far, seing as how clouds are fairly small. (Insert song about family and doing what’s right, probably started by Peter, though Carlos does not participate) They get to the castle and Inma, being rather small for a giant, is able to sneak past the gaurds with some help from Jack (he gets off her shoulders to create a diversion, then rejoins them inside). They continue to sneak past the rest of the gaurds, finally reaching the dungeon, where Inma’s parents are being held in separate cells. They are surprised and upset that Inma got into the castle, even more so at seeing Jack and his siblings, but Jack explains that family and friends are important. Despite the warning from Inma’s father, Inma gets captured, along with Angelina, Sara, and Peter; Jack and Carlos managing to get away. They race through the castle, keeping up with giant strides as best as they could, until the group arrive at the dining room, where Faustus and four other giants sit around the table. The guards place Angelina, Sara, and Peter on the table, and force Inma to bow before her king. Faustus smiles, revealing that he had been searching for Inma for a long time. Inma asks why, but Faustus only states that she and her parents are to be executed the next morning. One of the giants at the table asks about the three on the table, Faustus decides that he will keep them, as pets to showcase to the rest of the giant kingdom. Meanwhile, Jack and Carlos decide to put aside their differences long enough to come up with a plan to save everyone. Jack goes down one side of the dining room, Carlos down the other, the two planning on creating some chaos so that the others could get away. Faustus quizes the three on the table, visibly startled at learning that there are five siblings total. Faustus rises from the table and unsheathes a dagger, asking again about the number of siblings. The three reply truthfully, but Jack knows what’s going to happen and literally leaps into action. His momentum is enough to topple over several suits of armour, catching the attention of the giants, spooking the guards. Faustus gets upset that his men hightail it out of the room, but it gives enough time for Inma to gather up the five and dash off back towards the beanstalk. Jack orders his siblings down the vine and Inma to hide at her house before heading down the beanstalk, Faustus gaining loudly on them. The siblings race down the vine, climbing as fast as they can, Faustus starting to climb down as Jack reached the halfway point. Angelina notices and screams for them to hurry as Faustus is gaining on them, and fast. The race continues down the vine, Faustus shortening the distance by the minute. The four reach the bottom first, and Jack calls for them to get the ax and to have it ready for when he reaches the bottom, clearly hoping to chop down the beanstalk before Faustus reaches the ground. But as soon as Jack reaches the ground, Faustus just about does too, barely giving Jack the time to start chopping down the beanstalk. Faustus jumps to the ground, sending the children scattering out of the way, and he goes for the closest of the children, Carlos and Peter. Jack notices and rushes to them, jumping in the way, right as Faustus thrusts his dagger at the two, but Jack gets the dagger in his chest. Jack falls over in pain, his siblings crowding around him, unsure of what to do, except cry and try to make him comfortable. Angelina remembers that she brought some parts of the beanstalk with her, and tries to bandage Jack up with it. Carlos cries for Jack’s forgiveness, stating that he doesn’t want Jack to die. Faustus asks why Jack took the blade for his brother. Jack answers that he loves his family and would do anything for them. A soft green glow begins to emit from the bean bandages, growing brighter and brighter, until it is so bright that everyone has to close their eyes until it dims down again. Faustus screams in pain as he starts to melt right in front of their eyes.
Inma’s coronation is celebrated with much pomp and splendor, Jack and his family the guests of honor, the entire village was invited to join in. It is learned that Inma’s parents are not really her parents. They were former servants of the previous king and queen before they were killed by Faustus, Inma is actually the princess of the giants, hence why Faustus wanted her dead, the people would follow the true ruler of the giants. Later, when it’s time to leave, Jack and Inma speak apart from the crowd, promising to visit each other whenever they can. The entire village goes back down the beanstalk, Jack and his family the last to leave. Inma reminds Jack of his promise as he climbs down, but he glances back up at her with a smile, saying he’ll be back for sure.
*Jack wants to eventually be his own boss, Angelina wants to be a wife and mother, Carlos wants to be Jack’s right-hand man in everything, Sara wants to spend a lot of time in nature, and Peter wants candy, lots and lots of candy! And, he adds as an afterthought, joy for his family. I’m also thinking that the three on the table represent the three items Jack takes from the giant in the original story: Angelina = the harp, she’s pretty, musical, and gentle; Sara = the goose, she loves birds and is very tomboyish; and Peter = the bag of coins, he’s bouncy, talkative, and a bit on the mischievous side.