movie film review | chris tookey
 
     
     
 

Babe

 (U)
Kennedy Miller Productions - all rights reserved
     
  Babe   Review
Tookey's Rating
10 /10
 
Average Rating
8.67 /10
 
Starring
Farmer Hoggett ........ James Cromwell , Mrs. Hoggett .......... Magda Szubanski, Narrator .............. Roscoe Lee Browne
Full Cast >
 

Directed by: Chris Noonan (AAN, LONDON CRITICS' CIRCLE AWARD - INTERNATIONAL NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR)
Written by: Chris Noonan, George Miller . Based on The Sheep-Pig, by Dick King-Smith.

 
 
 
Released: 1995
   
Genre: FAMILY
COMEDY
   
Origin: Australia
   
Colour: C
   
Length: 92
 
 


 
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Displays gentle, mature wisdom and doesn't resort to cheap humor or terror, as was the case with the greatly overrated Toy Story... Some scenes are too strong for preschool children, but it is ideal for the rest of the family.

(James M. Wall, The Christian Century)

A movie made with charm and wit, and unlike some family movies it does not condescend, not for a second. It believes it is OK to use words a child might not know, and to have performances that are the best available (James Cromwell, as the farmer, and Magda Szubanski, as his plump wife, are always completely convincing). And instead of the usual contrived melodrama of most kids' pictures, this one develops a story that depends on the character and upbringing of the animals involved. It knows things, and teaches lessons. And it is so well made that adults will find it entertaining, too - maybe more than some kids, because they'll see the invention that went into it.

(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Dazzling family entertainment.

(Leonard Klady, Variety)

It's inspiring what real talent, imagination, and style can do.

(Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly)

The most touching love story of the year - about the deepening relationship between Farmer Hoggett and Pig - was also the darkest satire, the most exciting thriller (check out the stealing-the-alarm-clock sequence) and the fullest use of film's power to create an independent world. This one's for the ages.

(Stuart Klawans, Nation)

Has the enchantment of an extended magical illusion - 91 minutes of wondering how they did it... It may have been complex to make, but their fable shines with the classic virtues of the form - surface simplicity, seductive imagery, gently instructive resonances.

(Richard Schickel, Time)

I've seen nothing like it for sustained invention.

(Alexander Walker, Evening Standard)

Never were pigs so very piggy as in Babe, never did the quintessence of duck so flourish on the screen. Most children's animal films play it by the rules, perpetuating common preconceptions of how animals should behave. This, Jane and John, is a dog. A dog rounds up sheep. This, children, is a piggie and it lies around going oink oink and getting nice and fat for Sophie Grigson's chopping board, And this is a cow, and, well, frankly, the cows have been rolling their eyes and frothing at the mouth lately, and are best avoided for the time being. But in Chris Noonan's, film, things ain't that simple. This is the first time I've seen the nature or nurture debate applied to the animal realm in a film... Babe is one of the three films in history that you can call charming and mean it as a compliment. It looks extraordinary, photographed with extravagant style by Andrew Lesnie; it does technical things that you can hardly imagine being achievable; it tells a winning story; and, foremost in any New Statesman and Society reader's checklist, it, er, well, it raises important Questions around identity, if you must know.

(Jonathan Romney, New Statesman and Society)

Quite simply the most original comedy in years.

(David Quinlan, TV Film and Video Guide, 1997)


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