Babe (1995)


Finally, a new letter! Progress is (slowly) being made!

When we started this blog I expressed my disdain at having to watch a lot of Jim Carrey movies. To which Ben responded, “Well I have to watch Babe.” I really resented that comment, because Babe is one of the finest films ever made.

People might be quick to belittle this as “just a kid’s movie.” But here’s the thing about really excellent “kid’s movies:” they aren’t just for kids. In fact, if you look at the issues being dealt with in most films marketed to children, you’ll find that the problems aren’t things most of us outgrow as adults. Many of us are still searching for our purpose in life, just as Babe searches for his purpose on the farm. Even as adults we face ridicule and discouragement from others for daring to act outside the norm, like when the crowd laughs and jeers at Farmer Hoggett and Babe at the sheep dog trials. We all can suffer from pride, as Rex the sheep dog does about going deaf. And we must all face the loss of loved ones, as Babe faces the loss of his mother and his sheep friend Ma.

Dismissing Babe or any of the truly wonderful children’s films being made is not only disrespectful to the movies, but to the kids who watch them too. Children are often much smarter and more astute than we give them credit for. In fact, it’s often adults in who feel things need to dumbed down for the kids to understand. But the funny thing is, I’ve watched dozens of “grown up” films based on books which dumb down the plot to make the movie more palatable to a wider audience. I’ve seen movies for adults that throw in scenes which practically scream, “HERE’S THE THEME! RIGHT HERE! THINK ABOUT THIS!”, as if we’re all too dumb to come to that conclusion on our own. And I’ve also watched a lot of “kid’s movies” with incredibly sophisticated imagery, symbolism, and themes. Yes, some of it may go over a child’s head at first, but kids like watching things over and over, and eventually it will sink in and they’ll understand. Maybe even before their parents do.

Rating: A

This is a cute movie. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I purchased this movie because Sally said she really liked it so when I found it for $5 somewhere, I grabbed it. I’ve never been interested in a film like this. I have a real aversion for Australian films. I think most of them are rubbish, all of them are overrated. Especially by reviewers in Australia. This is a good film. The animatronics used to make the animals mouths move when they talk still l hold up today. The human actors don’t have much to do here, this movie is all about the animals.

The plot revolves around a small pig named Babe, who is adopted by Fly, a border collie because he’s alone and she misses her puppies that were just sold by the farm they both live on. The pig connects with his new adopted mother well despite being different species. Babe eventually decides he wants to be a sheep herder like his mother. His first few attempts are laughable, but he finds if he’s polite to the sheep and asks nicely they will do what he asks. This is a different tact than border collies take, as they just yell at the sheep until they move.

This is a fun movie, with interesting lessons about manners. I think more people should understand that politeness and manners will sometimes get you further than just yelling at someone. As someone who recently experienced the Boxing Day sales firsthand, this is a good tip for other shoppers to take on.

The voice cast is good, Hugo Weaving was my favourite as the gruff Rex. He is Fly’s partner who doesn’t like Babe at first but warms to him eventually. He has some great lines throughout the film. His interactions with the farmers sheep are particularly funny.

Rating: B-

One thought on “Babe (1995)

  1. Pingback: Cats & Dogs (2001) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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