Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

Released: 1998
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Genre
Director: George Miller
Starring: Mickey Rooney, Elizabeth Daily, Magda Szubanski, ,
Run time: 97 min
IMDb: 5.7/10
Country: Australia
Views: 96965

Synopsis

Storyline:
After Babe’s great victory in the shepherding contest, Farmer Arthur Hoggett turns down all offers to make money with his pig’s talents. But when he gets hurt severely in the well, his wife has to take up farming. She does her best but cannot meet the bank’s requirements, which results in the necessity of getting back to Babe. Soon, Esme Hoggett is sitting in a plane headed for “the” city. There, Babe unwillingly causes deep trouble. He has to stay with Mrs. Hoggett in the only hotel in town that accepts pets. Friendly neighbours send officials who catch all animals from the hotel: Cats, dogs, chimpanzees and many others. Babe, who managed to stay free, decides to help his new friends and gets unexpected help – not only by Ferdinand, who flew all the way to the city.
Written by
Julian Reischl <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Babe: Pig In The City is captivating; a triumph. It’s right up there with other subversive, surreal masterpieces like Delicatessen and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover, but in spite of what you might have heard Babe 2 isn’t too dark for children, or for any older human. It’s full of many wonderfully melancholy moments but it’s not nasty. Above all Babe: Pig In The City is a triumph for gentleness and a plea on behalf of the marginalised; the weak in our community. It’s one of the best films yet made and an ideal film for children to see.

What did Hollywood expect? Writer/director of Babe: Pig In The City, Australian George Miller couldn’t be expected to roll over and produce a sweet (read merchandisable) sequel to the original Babe. He’s far too human and thoughtful for that.

George Miller for heaven’s sake has been intimately involved with The Mad Max Films, Lorenzo’s Oil, Flirting, Dead Calm, Bangkok Hilton (TV), The Year My Voice Broke and The Dismissal (TV) a list that has no hint within it of a thoughtless panderer to the consumer society. The Witches Of Eastwick was the only aberration and Miller reportedly hated that experience, swearing to never work with Hollywood again, not on their terms anyway.

But then there was the phenomenon of Babe which made a fortune. Miller consented to do a sequel but demanded final cut and dismayed the toy makers when they found that Babe 2 didn’t fit in with the money machine. So Babe: Pig In The City was dumped, with bad reviews generated probably from people who haven’t even bothered to see it.

Babe: Pig In The City sees James Cromwell as Farmer Hoggett dumped (down a well) early in the film and the famous sheep-pig heading off to the city with Mrs Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) to earn some money to save the farm. The Pig gets separated from Mrs Hoggett and becomes aligned with a set of urban frightened animals who are threatened with being evicted from their homes. Babe saves the day by means of his sweet, giving nature.

This film looks wonderful. The same digitalised mouth movements to match speech are used as in the original movie. Similarly amazing animal training has the stars doing wonderful things as they tell the story and the sets are simply superb. The city is a composite of Sydney, New York , Paris, London and others with the copperplate ETERNITY graffiti well known by older Sydneysiders sitting gently above it all; an appropriately sensitive emblem for the world Miller has created.

Babe 2 is about innocence; about children. Some would say that the film is concerned with Animal Rights but I don’t think it’s drawing too long a bow to say that the film is commenting on the loss of power and self determination many millions are feeling in the western world as their jobs are disappearing. The lost, threatened animals in Babe have an aura of hopelessness, or at least helplessness before the bright and brave Babe shows them the way to assert themselves.

Babe: Pig In The City is also often very funny, very human, even if animals are the stars. It’s an absolute must see for all animal lovers, of any age. And if you think it’s too dark, well grow up. That’s life.

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