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Babe

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Chris Noonan
Produced by Catherine Barber
Philip Hearnshaw
Bill Miller
George Miller
Doug Mitchell
Daphne Paris
Written by Screenplay
George Miller
Chris Noonan
Book
Dick King-Smith
Narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne
Starring James Cromwell
Magda Szubanski
Christine Cavanaugh
Zoe Burton
Miriam Margolyes
Hugo Weaving
Miriam Flynn
Russi Taylor
Roscoe Lee Browne
Doris Grau
Danny Mann
Music by Nigel Westlake
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Marcus D'Arcy
Jay Friedkin
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) August 4, 1995 (1995-08-04)
(United States)
December 14, 1995 (1995-12-14)
(Australia)
Country Australia
United States
Language English
Followed by Babe: Pig in the City

Babe is a 1995 family film that tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheep dog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs and Border Collies. The film is based on the book The Sheep-Pig (known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the U.S.) by Dick King-Smith, and later spawned a sequel called Babe: Pig in the City.

Babe was filmed in Robertson, New South Wales, Australia.[1] The talking animal visual effects were done by Rhythm and Hues Studios. Although the setting and style of the film is distinctly British/Australasian pastoral, many of the human speaking parts were over-dubbed from Australian to American accents for popular acceptance in the American film market.

Contents

Plot

After a pig's mother is taken away to be slaughtered by humans (or, as the film's pigs think, to a "Pig Paradise"), Babe is picked out for a "guess the weight" booth at a county fair. Farmer Hoggett guesses the correct weight and wins the pig. Babe is brought to the farm and is allowed to stay with the female sheepdog, Fly (a Border Collie), and her pups. He meets Ma, a resident sheep. She tells him what a nice pig he is and how he should watch out for dogs she calls "wolves". He encounters a duck named Ferdinand, who wakes the farm each morning by stealing the rooster's job and crowing. He tricks Babe into helping him destroy the alarm clock- or "mechanical rooster" as he calls it, because it threatens his job. They succeed, but wake the cat and end up covering the living room with paint. Babe gets in trouble with Rex (a Border Collie), Fly's mate and leader of the farm, and is told to stay away from Ferdinand and the house as punishment.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoggett are seen talking about Christmas dinner and whether they would have roast pork or Duck a l'orange (and whether they would kill Babe or Ferdinand). Mrs. Hogget seems to have her mind set on pork. At Christmas, Hoggett, convinces his wife to keep him so they can show him in the fair.

Babe hears the sheep baaing and witnesses two men trying to steal the sheep and alerts Rex, Fly and Mr. Hoggett, who are able to prevent some of the sheep, including Maa, from being taken. Babe watches Fly herd the sheep and decides that he too wants to be a sheepdog. The next day Hoggett sees Babe herd the hens outside into a straight line, separating the brown ones from the white ones. Impressed, he takes the pig to the sheep field with Fly and Rex. Rex feels threatened by Babe, especially when Hoggett tells Babe rather than Rex to herd the sheep. Taking advice from Fly to be rough, Babe charges in and bites one of the sheep. This angers Maa, who advises him to be nice and ask politely. The sheep then file out in a straight line, impressing Farmer Hoggett. But Rex regards Babe's behavior as an insult to all sheepdogs, and fights Fly for putting ideas in Babe's head. Fly's right-front leg is injured, and Mr. Hoggett is bitten by Rex while trying break the two dogs up. Rex is chained to the dog house and sedated, causing him to lose his working ability. It is now Babe's job to herd the sheep.

Hoggett soon considers entering Babe in the sheepdog trials. One morning, as Babe runs out to the field early, he witnesses a pack of "wolf" dogs attacking the sheep. After scaring them away by ramming into their sides, he learns that Maa has been fatally injured and she then dies. Hoggett sees Babe standing over the dead sheep (with blood on his snout) and assumes the worst. As he prepares to shoot Babe, Fly tries to talk to the sheep for the first time to find out what happened. By barking, she manages to distract Mr. Hoggett long enough to allow Mrs. Hoggett to come out and tell how she heard that wild dogs killed six lambs on another farm.

When Mrs. Hoggett leaves town, Mr. Hoggett enters Babe in the sheepdog trials under the name "Pig". That evening, it is so wet outside that Farmer Hoggett lets Babe inside the house along with Fly. But the Hoggetts' spoiled cat, Duchess, scratches Babe when he tries to talk to her, and she is thrown outside into the rain. She is eventually let back in, but turns the conversation into telling Babe how humans eat pigs. Fly confirms this when Babe runs to her for the truth. That night Babe runs away, but is found by Hoggett muddy and barely alive the next morning. Babe refuses to eat, despite encouragement from Rex, who has softened his attitude towards him, so Hoggett gives him a drink in a bottle. Hoggett starts to sing "If I Had Words" to Babe, and this eventually leads to Hoggett dancing for him (while the other animals watch through the windows). This restores Babe's faith in the farmer and he begins to eat again.

The trial sheep refuse to listen to Babe, and Rex runs back to the farm to get the secret password from the sheep. The sheep only consent to give Rex this password for Babe's use, and tell Rex that he must promise to treat the sheep better in the future. After much debate, the officials allow Babe to participate. The entire crowd laughs at them, but using the Sheep password, Babe convinces the sheep to do what he asks, and they perform flawlessly. After getting five perfect 10.0s and the adoration of the crowd, Babe sits next to Hoggett, who delivers the famous line "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."

Cast

  • Roscoe Lee Browne as the narrator.
  • Christine Cavanaugh as Babe: the main protagonist. He is a piglet, raised by the sheepdog Fly. He is considered one of the stupid animals at first, but becomes a hero in the end. Unlike his dog family, his tactic of herding sheep is to ask the sheep politely.
  • James Cromwell as Arthur Hoggett: the farmer of Hoggett Farm. He is referred to by the animals as "The Boss". (The exception being Duchess, who considers him "The Boss's husband.") Unlike his wife, he sees how valuable Babe (or "Pig") really is on the farm. He is a man of few words; in fact, it is noted by the Narrator at the end of the film that in his life, Arthur has spoken fewer words than anybody in the stadium at the sheepdog trials.
  • Miriam Margolyes as Fly: Hoggett's female border collie sheepdog. She is the first to consider Babe as one of the family. She is a strong believer in the way things are. Like Rex, she views the sheep as inferior. She is the mother of a litter of pups. Though she firmly believes that sheep are the stupidest animals on the farm, she asks the sheep for information while Farmer Hoggett suspected Babe killed Maa.
  • Hugo Weaving as Rex: Farmer Hoggett's lead sheepdog who fathered Fly's puppies. He is also a strong believer in the way things are. When Babe starts herding sheep, he becomes jealous and very vicious toward everyone, especially Fly, for encouraging Babe. Rex seems to have a particular hatred toward sheep. Both he and Fly blame the "stupidity of sheep" for his impaired hearing, which kept him from the Grand National Sheepdog Champion title. Eventually, he helps Babe win the sheepdog tournament by asking the sheep at Hoggett Farm for help.
  • Miriam Flynn as Maa: an old ewe who lives on Hoggett Farm. She is very old, but cares very much about Babe and does not want him growing up like the dogs, who she views as savages. She teaches Babe that sheep will do anything if you ask nicely. She dies after an attack by stray dogs. She is loved by everyone.
  • Danny Mann as Ferdinand: An Indian Runner Duck. He is all too aware of his tenuous existence and lowly status on the farm, and is somewhat neurotic as a result. Because ducks are viewed as one of the stupid animals, he tries to find a purpose by waking up the Bosses in the morning, much to the annoyance of the Bosses and the rooster. He befriends Babe and tries to get him to destroy the alarm clock. He leaves at one point, but returns after a while. He's allergic to cats.
  • Magda Szubanski as Esmé Hoggett: Arthur Hoggett's wife. She is very happy when Arthur wins Babe at the carnival, for she sees Babe as a delicious Christmas Dinner. She becomes shocked to see Babe in the sheepdog tournament. She is part of the County Women's Guild. She has a daughter, a son in law, and two grandchildren. She always refers to her husband as "Hoggett" even when she speaks to the veterinarian.
  • Russi Taylor as Duchess: the Hoggetts' spoiled cat. She does not like Babe at all. Although the film has no main antagonist, she plays a villainous role. Just when Babe was getting excited about the sheepdog trials, she convinces him to run away by telling him that humans only keep pigs to eat them. Unlike the other animals on the farm, when she is talking about the Boss, she is referring to Mrs. Hoggett.
  • The Horse: a horse who pulls Arthur Hoggett's cart.
  • The Cow: a cow who is a strong believer in the way things are, for her job is to make milk.
  • The Singing Mice: a chorus of mice who introduce each chapter. Every other time, they appear singing silly songs such as Blue Moon, That's Amore, and "Votre toast," an aria in French from the opera "Carmen" by Georges Bizet.

Soundtrack

The instrumental score was composed by Nigel Westlake. The film's soundtrack includes the song "If I Had Words," performed by Yvonne Keeley and Scott Fitzgerald. Westlake adapted Symphony No. 3 by Camille Saint-Saëns for the tune's melody, and the lyrics were written by Jonathan Hodge.

Reception

The film was a critical success and was very warmly received. It currently holds a 98% approval on Rotten Tomatoes and a 100% approval rating from Top critics, making it one of the best rated films on their website.[2] It was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.[3] It won the award for Best Visual Effects, defeating Apollo 13.[4] In 2006, the American Film Institute named Babe #80 on its list of America's Most Inspiring Movies.

It was also a box office success, grossing $254,134,910 worldwide.[5]

Due to its title and subject matter not being "halal", the film was initially banned in Malaysia, although the ruling was overturned almost a year later and the film was released direct-to-VHS.[6] It was later released on VideoCD and even later on DVD, and as of 2009, has aired on Terrestrial TV and pay-per-view movie channels.

Academy Awards

Won

Nominated

Home media

  • March 19, 1996 (1996-03-19) – (VHS and laserdisc)
  • November 10, 1998 (1998-11-10) – (VHS and laserdisc - Universal Family Features with THX, the last laserdisc release)
  • February 23, 1999 (1999-02-23) – (DVD - DTS)
  • November 7, 1999 (1999-11-07) – (DVD)
  • May 22, 2001 (2001-05-22) – (DVD - 2-Pack with Babe: Pig in the City)
  • September 23, 2003 (2003-09-23) – (VHS and DVD - Special Edition, the Special Edition DVD and The Complete Adventure Two-Movie Pig Pack with the second film Babe: Pig in the City were released in separate widescreen and pan and scan formats. As of this date, this is the film's first and only widescreen DVD release, not counting the box set with Curious George. To promote the 80th Academy Awards ceremony, the same widescreen DVD print of the film with an extra Academy Awards DVD cover is available at stores.)
  • February 1, 2005 (2005-02-01) – (DVD - Family Double Feature, this contains Babe: Pig in the City) (Note: This DVD shows pan and scan versions of both films and the widescreen version of the second film.)
  • August 28, 2007 (2007-08-28) – (DVD - Family Favorite Treasures, this DVD contains Beethoven and The Cat in the Hat) (Note: All three films on this DVD are in pan and scan only.)[7]
  • November 6, 2007 (2007-11-06) – (DVD - Two-Movie Collection with Curious George) (Note: This is a widescreen DVD box set only, meaning that outside of the box set, the widescreen DVD may possibly still be available like it is at Blockbuster Inc.)[8]

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Babe is a 1995 Australian film about a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. It is directed by Chris Noonan, based on the book The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith, and written by George Miller and Chris Noonan.

Tagline:A little pig goes a long way.

Contents

Narrator

  • [start lines] This is a tale about an unprejudiced heart, and how it changed our valley forever. There was a time not so long ago when pigs were afforded no respect, except by other pigs. They lived their whole lives in a cruel and sunless world. In those days pigs believed that the sooner they grew large and fat, the sooner they'd be taken to Pig Paradise, a place so wonderful that no pig had ever thought to come back.
  • There are many perfectly nice cats in the world, but every barrel has its bad apples, and it is well to heed the old adage, "Beware the bad cat bearing a grudge."

Farmer Arthur Hoggett

  • If I had words to make a day for you
    I'd sing you a morning golden and true
    I would make this day last for all time
    Then fill the night deep in moonshine
  • That'll do pig. That'll do.

Ferdinand the duck

  • I suppose the life of an anorexic duck doesn't amount to much in the broad scheme of things, but, pig, I'm all I've got!
  • Christmas. Christmas dinner, yeah. Dinner means death. Death means carnage! [really freaking out] Christmas means carnage! [fly away] Christmas means carnage!

Duchess the Cat

  • Oh, do forgive me for scratching you, dear. I got a bit carried away. [chuckles] It's a cat thing.
  • Oh! I haven't upset you, have I?

Dialogue

Ferdinand: Look, there's something you should know.
Babe: Yes?
Ferdinand: Humans eat ducks!
Babe: Huh? I beg your pardon?
Ferdinand: Ah, most ducks would like to forget it, but the fact is that humans like to eat plump, attractive ducks.
Babe: Ohhh, I don't think so. Not the Boss, not the Boss's wife.
Ferdinand: Oh, come on. Humans don't eat cats - why?
Babe: Well, they're...
Ferdinand: They're indispensable: they catch mice. Humans don't eat roosters - why? They make eggs with the hens and wake everyone up in the morning.
Babe: Right.
Ferdinand: I tried it with the hens: it didn't work. So I turned to crowing, and lo! I discover my gift. But no sooner do I become indispensable than they bring in a machine to do the job. Ohhhh-oh-oh, the treachery of it - a mechanical rooster!

Rex: [listen] Until your find his feet.
Puppy: But, Mom, he'll wet the bed!
Fly: [to Babe] Nonsense! If you do want to do anythin', you'll go outside won't 'ya? Good boy!

Duchess: Feeling good about tomorrow, are you?
Babe: Mm-hmm. It should be all right, I think.
Duchess: You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm not sure if you realize how much the other animals are laughing at you.
Babe: Why would they do that?
Duchess: Well, they say you've forgotten that you're a pig! Isn't that silly? They say you don't even know what pigs are for.
Babe: What do you mean?
Duchess: You know, why pigs are here.
Babe: Why are any of us here?
Duchess: Well, the cows are here to be milked. The dogs are here to help the Boss's husband with the sheep. I am here to be beautiful and affectionate to the Boss.
Babe: Yes?
Duchess: The fact is that pigs don't have a purpose. Just like ducks don't have a purpose.
Babe: I don't--
Duchess: Alright, for your sake, I'll be blunt. Why do the Bosses keep ducks? To eat them. So why do the Bosses keep a pig? The fact is animals who don't have a purpose really do have a purpose. The Bosses have to eat. It's probably the most noble purpose of all when you come to think about it.
Babe: They eat ... pigs?
Duchess: Pork they call it. Or bacon. They only call them pigs when they're alive.
Babe: But I'm a sheep pig.
Duchess: [chuckles] Oh, the Boss's husband is just playing a little game with you. Believe me, sooner or later every pig gets eaten. That's the way the world works. Oh! I haven't upset you, have I?

Narrator: [after Babe has performed in the sheepdog trial] And though every single human in the stands or in the commentary boxes was at a complete loss for words, the man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them knew exactly what to say.
Farmer Hoggett: [to Babe - end lines] That'll do, pig. That'll do.

Rex: You and I are descended from the great sheepdogs. We carry the bloodline of the ancient Bahou. We stand for something! And today I watched in shame as all that was betrayed.
Fly: Rex, he's just a little pig.
Rex: All the greater the insult!

Narrator: Fly decided to speak very slowly. For it was a cold fact of nature that sheep were stupid and no one would ever persuade her otherwise.
Fly: [struggling] Please. Please. Would you be ... so kind as to tell me what happened?
Sheep: Quiet.
Fly: Please. Tell me what happened this morning.
Narrator: The sheep decided to speak very slowly. For it was a cold fact of nature that wolves were ignorant and nothing would convince them otherwise.
Sheep: Babe came! He saved us! The wolves killed Maa! But Babe drove the wolves away!
Fly: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you all very much!
Sheep: Pleasure... talkin'... to 'ya.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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