on August 04, 1995 by Pat Kramer
A delightful film based on Dick King-Smith's story "The Sheep-Pig," this fairytale follows a pig that struggles to find a purpose in life beyond that of becoming a holiday meal. In this live-action movie, dogs, sheep, a duck, a cat and the pig, Babe, all talk. Narrated chapter by chapter, with singing mice doing the titles, "Babe" tells the story of an orphaned piglet who's won by a farmer at a county fair. As Babe meets the other farm animals, none of which are pigs, he struggles with an identity crisis. Although likable folks, Babe's owners, the Hoggetts (James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski) are oblivious to their animals' intelligence and secret lives, leading to many comical scenes in which the animals take charge.
Australian director ("Mad Max") turned producer ("Flirting") George Miller collaborates with director Chris Noonan in adapting the tale by British author King-Smith, who is one of the world's leading children's novelists with 70 titles in print, all involving animals. Geared to parents with young children (the very youngest might be upset by a few scenes involving animal death), the film boasts technical effects that are realistic for audiences of all ages; the dubbed voices of the speaking animals synchronize perfectly with their lip movements. The heartwarming "Babe" does for pigs what "Lassie" did for dogs: It leaves you cheering for more. Starring James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski. Directed by Chris Noonan. Written by George Miller and Chris Noonan. Produced by George Miller, Doug Mitchell and Bill Miller. A Universal release. Fantasy. Rated G. Running time: 91 min.
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