Newest Reviews
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Battling Butler
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Antonio Gaudi
Newest Articles
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
  Babe Pig Tales
Year: 1995
Director: Chris Noonan
Stars: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Christine Cavanagh, Miriam Margolyes, Danny Mann, Hugo Weaving, Miriam Flynn, Russi Taylor, Evelyn Krape, Michael Edward-Stevens, Charles Bartlett, Paul Livingston, Roscoe Lee Browne, Zoe Burton, Paul Goddard
Genre: Comedy, Drama, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: In general, pigs were judged to be only good for eating by most people, but the animals themselves didn't know that, they just thought that they spent their time being factory farmed and then went off to pig paradise, never to return because they were having such a great time there. One piglet saw his mother taken away from him early, and though his siblings were none too bothered he was most upset, but then something happened to take his mind off his problems for rather than spending the rest of his existence in the warehouse, he was chosen by Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) to live at his farm in the country...

That said, Hoggett still planned to eat him come Christmas, so this began to take shape as a tale of how Babe, which is what the creature was called, managed to avoid the dinner table, and once you knew it was based on the classic book by Dick King-Smith called The Sheep-Pig, you had more than a hint of how he managed that. This was the surprise hit of 1995, apparently a silly family film with talking animals designed by Jim Henson's Workshop that actually had a lot more to it than simply some throwaway live action cartoon. For one thing, producer George Miller and director Chris Noonan had laboured over not only getting this right, but getting it made at all, such was their strong belief in the material.

Once it was released, Babe's charm proved irresistable and it even ended up being Oscar nominated for Best Picture, which it lost to Braveheart in spite of this being a far better movie. Naturally this was a work to appeal to vegetarians with its themes of there being better ways to treat animals than eating them, but if it made millions pause before biting into that bacon sandwich then the pigs of the world were presumably grateful. Yet it went deeper than that, as what was more on its mind was working out a way of getting through the struggles and problems of life with kindness and decency over barging your way through your days with more thought for yourself than others: Babe always takes care to consider others' feelings.

This might have made him a piggy messiah in other, less sure and more showy handling, but Miller and Noonan were careful to keep the humour levels up to a high standard, as if to say, yes we know it's daft, but isn't it nice as well? So Babe (voiced by Christine Cavanagh) is looked after by the sheepdog Fly (Miriam Margolyes) who has just delivered a litter of puppies, which gives the piglet an idea: why can't he be a sheepdog as well? Not a sheepdog, perhaps, but what about a... but you're ahead of me, and so the porcine prodigy works out the best method to get others to work together and do what he would like is politeness and courtesy. Good manners cost nothing was the moral, or perhaps the less stern it's nice to be nice, but the cumulative power of the piglet showing the way through each encounter he had was unexpectedly affecting.

That's not to say the jokes dried up halfway through, but the pathos and amusement were expertly regulated throughout, so one moment you would be laughing away at Babe's frantic friend Ferdinand the Duck (Danny Mann), an excellent comic creation, the next worried when the piglet was falsely accused of attacking the flock and threatened with the chop. But then, if he could survive the hungry attentions of Mrs Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) then the odds were favourable he would make it to the end of the movie intact. The grand finale took place at the region's sheepdog trials where Farmer Hoggett found faith in the small pink animal and realised he was as good a guide for the sheep as Fly or Rex (Hugo Weaving), the fierce and sceptical hound who is resistant to Babe's entry into his profession. It could be that this was the hit it was due to its novelty, yet you may arrive for that and leave in an improved mood, as truly this was a movie good for the soul. Composer Nigel Westlake's use of a Saint-Saens theme throughout was the icing on the cake, that and the singing mice.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1794 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: