That’ll Do Pig

Babe is nothing short of a masterpiece. When it comes to live action talking animal movies, they can go one of two ways. They either convince you or they don’t. Animals are unpredictable and take time to train. So you never know if the final product will turn out right or not. Babe is the rare talking animal movie that truly works. Even better, Babe is also rare because it received a huge amount of critical acclaim despite being a G rated family movie. Better than that, Babe earned 7 Academy Award nominations upon release in 1995 (the year I was born). Including Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor James Cromwell, Best Director, and even Best Picture. Probably the most non-traditional Best Picture nominee of all time. The only Oscar it did win was for Best Visual Effects. Which struck me as odd for a long time until I discovered the full extent of the effects. Babe has some of the most convincing talking animals I’ve ever seen. As they used CGI in place of the animal mouths. It’s practically impossible to tell the difference…


“La la la la la la la la la la la”

Babe is based on a children’s book titled The Sheep-Pig. So the movie uses a book format to tell its story. By having individual short chapters spoken by a trio of singing mice. Along with a sophisticated narrator. Babe is about a little piglet named Babe, because that’s what his mom called him and his siblings. After Farmer Hoggett wins Babe in a contest, he’s sent to live on Hoggett farm. It’s there Babe meets his new animal family. Specifically Border Collie Fly, her mate Rex, and their puppies. Fly adopts Babe as one of her own and teaches him the ways of a sheep dog. Much to the dismay of Rex. Babe also makes friends with a duck named Ferdinand who (like Babe) wants to change his destiny. So he pretends to be a rooster. Babe may be a G rated family film, but it actually deals with a lot of mature themes. The theme of prejudice is embodied by Maa, an elderly sheep that Babe befriends. She believes that all dogs (which she calls wolves) are vicious. While Fly and Rex believe that all sheep are stupid. Babe is the one who helps both sides come to an understanding. Another major theme is one specific to animals. Which is an animal’s purpose. Every pig has to face the possibility of becoming Christmas dinner. Babe deals with the issue in the smartest way they could. Leading to many children wanting to stop eating meat. I wasn’t one of them, but I still loved Babe and wanted him to survive. While Mrs. Hoggett wanted to eat him, Farmer Hoggett saw big things from him since the beginning. James Cromwell more than earned a nomination. He’s a man of few words, but what he lacks in communication, he makes up for in ambition. As he puts all his faith in Babe’s ability to herd sheep. Even going so far as to put him in a competition. Leading to a genuinely moving cheerworthy ending. Babe is beautifully shot, flawlessly rendered, and above all, heartwarming. I’ve seen Babe many times in my life and every time I see the movie it always puts a big smile on my face. Babe is without a doubt the greatest live action talking animal movie ever made.


“That’ll do pig, that’ll do”

Followed by: Babe: Pig in the City

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