BABE ... THE COMEDY REVIEW
"This is the tale of an unprejudiced heart," and how it changed life in our valley forever."
Arthur Haggett (James Cromwell), and his wife, Esme (Magda Szubanski), run a sheep farm, providing a home for not only sheep, but the usual farm animals as well, each having a purpose and a job to fulfill. At the country fair, Haggett correctly guesses the weight of the little piglet, and brings him home to raise as possibly the future Christmas dinner entree. Babe is clueless as to where he fits in, until he is adopted by the female sheep dog, Fly, when her puppies are sold to new homes. Because of his kind, loving heart, and his earnest desire to do the right thing, no matter how hard it is, he soon makes friends with the sheep and other animals, with the exception of Rex, the male sheep dog, and the nasty cat. When Babe's talents are noticed by the farmer, unusual things start to happen, and unusual ideas pop into minds, all of which leads to a very entertaining story, with a moral lesson or two, skillfully weaved throughout the plot.
Babe is an originally delightful film about overcoming stereotypes, prejudice, and the importance of love, trust and friendship which can help us fulfill our potential, using our talents and gifts to accomplish great things. It is sure to entertain all generations, and is a gem for anyone's collection. "Some movies ennoble your mind; some tug at your heart. It did both!"
Everything that went into making this film was well done. The screen play, the direction, the pacing, the special effects, the set designs and lush locations, and the casting of the performers and voices all come together perfectly, which earned this film an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
James Cromwell, nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Arthur Haggett, is marvelous as a quiet man of few words who thinks quite differently than most people, perhaps coming off a bit quirky and eccentric. Because of this ability, he is able to see the possibilities and talents of this little pig, and comes up with a new job for the pig, a new way to please "the Master," which is much better than becoming someone's special meal. "That'll do pig... that'll do," is a phrase he uses to let the dogs and Babe know when they have pleased him.
The sharp screenplay, by George Miller and Chris Noonan, who also directed this film, was based on the book, The Sheep Pig, by Dick King Smith, who started writing later in life. Chris Noonan does a terrific job, directing his first feature film. The film is divided into various chapters, like a story book, introduced by some cute furry mice, that sometimes sing as well.
The Special Effects did win the Oscar. The animatronics, which were a combination of computer animation, live animals, and puppets, (done primarily by Jim Henson's creature shop), really are high quality efforts, that enhanced the enjoyment and believability of talking animals. The animals are instantly captivating and convincing us of the storyline, drawing us into their life.
If you enjoyed BABE, you may like "Charlotte's Web," "The Incredible Journey," "Homeward Bound- The Incredible Journey," "Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco," "Babe, Pig in the City," "Chicken Run," "Doctor Dolittle," and/or "The Wizard of Oz."
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