Babe (1995)

CHRIS NOONAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

Australia/USA, 1995.  Universal Pictures, Kennedy Miller Productions.  Screenplay by , Chris Noonan, based on the novel The Sheep Pig by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , George Miller, .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Roger Ford.  Film Editing by , .  Academy Awards 1995.  Golden Globe Awards 1995.  New York Film Critics Awards 1995.  

One of the best family films made since The Wizard of Oz, a terrific look at life on the farm from the quadruped point of view. Babe is an orphaned piglet who is won at a county fair by peaceful Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) and brought to live in his barn with all the other animals.  Immediately cared for by a loving sheepdog family, Babe eventually discovers that the purpose of the life of a pig is simply to be slaughtered and eaten. Rising to the occasion and deciding to give his life some more meaning, the pig who always marches to the beat of his own drummer (and delightfully so) learns to take on the tasks of a sheepdog himself, befriending the stubborn sheep and recruiting them to his command. The astonishing visual effects allow for the animals to speak in a remarkably human manner, but even more effective is that the dialogue they utter is brilliantly written. Appropriately dark in places but never as menacing as its underachieved sequel, this Australian charmer is seamlessly edited and perfectly directed by newcomer Chris Noonan.

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