In our continuing series of 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams, we look at Chris Noonan’s beautiful Babe.
Babe‘s the perfect film. Flawless and exceptional from conception to finished product. On the surface, an inspirational fairy story about a pig and a farmer, defying the odds but underneath there are more layers than a royal wedding cake.
It deals with issues of class, race and religion in a simple but tremendously intelligent and effecting way. Who knows how many thousands were converted to vegetarianism after their first viewing? If you don’t like Babe, there’s obviously something fundamentally wrong with you: you’re a monster. If you’ve ever on a first date, ask ‘Do you like Babe?’ and if they say ‘no’, run for the hills and never look back.
Made for $30 million and taking in well over $200m at the box office the screenplay (based on Dick King Smith‘s popular children’s story The Sheep Pig) was written by George Miller, the man behind Mad Max for Christ’s sake and if that isn’t strange enough some obscure guy called Chris Noonan who hadn’t made anything worth a damn before or since seems to have been temporally blessed with ‘Mad skills’ as those who dwell in deprived urban areas might say. Then we have James Cromwell‘s Farmer Hoggett, he barely utters a word throughout but when you consider the environment he was working in, basically a room full of animals and puppets his performance is nothing short of majestic.
People often forget it received seven Oscar nominations, losing out to Braveheart for best picture. I happen to like the Willy Wallace yarn but it’s not even in the same league as the pig flick and things get weird when you browse through those top 100 hundred family films list that plague the internet. Babe doesn’t feature once in any top twenty and in lots of lists doesn’t feature at all. It’s as though there has been some conspiracy by the pork industry to downplay the movie’s popularity and appeal and yet it’s easily equal to the best of the Toy Storytrilogy and as far as I’m concerned, it’s up there with the all time greats, such as The Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins.
If you’ve never seen it you’re in for a treat. If you’ve not seen it for a while refresh your memory and if you’re a parent and you’ve never sat and watched it with your children then that’s akin to criminal neglect and the authorities should be notified immediately.
For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams CLICK HERE.
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