Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. Australia, 1998. Kennedy Miller Productions. Screenplay by George Miller, Judy Morris, Mark Lamprell, based on characters created by Dick King-Smith. Cinematography by Andrew Lesnie. Produced by Bill Miller, George Miller, Doug Mitchell. Music by Nigel Westlake. Production Design by Roger Ford. Costume Design by Norma Moriceau. Film Editing by Jay Friedkin, Margaret Sixel. Academy Awards 1998.
Weird sequel to the classic 1995 comedy doesn’t come anywhere near the perfection of its predecessor but is a curiousity in itself. George Miller (who produced the first instalment) takes over the director’s helm and comes up with a visual style so visceral and post-apocalyptic where Chris Noonan’s was wry and gentle, thus alienating much of the family-oriented audience the film is meant to play to (the film bombed thanks to preview audiences warning parents against the film’s dark feel). Babe, the pig who continues to stand for the individual, travels to the generic Big City with Mrs. Hoggett when Farmer Hoggett suffers an injury and needs to sort out some affairs for the ownership of the farm. There, he gets into all sorts of trouble but eventually befriends all the renegade stray animals living on the streets, helping them stand up for their own rights. Mickey Rooney makes a cameo appearance in this satisfying but not crowd-pleasing oddity.