Review: Babe: Pig In The City (1998)

babe

I was once also called a pig in the city, but that was many years and pounds ago!

Written By: Mark Lamprell, George Miller & Judy Morris
Directed By: George Miller

Babe was a surprise hit and a shocking critical success. It was only logical then that a child friendly movie that made all kinds of money would spawn a sequel. This of course leads to the inevitable feeling that the sequel will be a lesser venture and will only serve to make money. Babe: Pig In The City avoids all the pitfalls of a movie sequel and ends up a great film on its own.

Babe: Pig In The City is darker than the original, but not overtly so. Like its titular character, Babe: Pig In The City grows up a little and it expects the audience to grow up along with it. Fitting in is still a main theme, as is being nice and overcoming the problems of the world with a kind heart and an open mind. But, now present are the themes of death, violence, hatred, ignorance and survival. Very adult themes indeed, but Babe: Pig In The City takes on these themes so that both adult and child alike can relate to them. Babe is still just as lovable, and we can still empathize with the characters around him, but now they are characters that are more flawed than those we saw in the Babe.

The animatronics are still outstanding, but the most impressive visual feat in Babe: Pig In The City is the city itself. It is a mishmash of real cities, with locales taken from New York, Sydney, London and more. It is truly a breathtaking city, if the Venice like river passages don’t get you then I don’t know what will. The city is in every way a visual delight in every waking moment of the film. The new characters that are introduced look amazing, but they also provide a nice variety to the film. They have their own flaws and their own issues and they are great contrasts to Babe. Babe: Pig In The City is a treat both visually and story wise.

However, unlike its predecessor Babe: Pig In The City does have a few flaws and missteps. The gun range scene with Ferdinand rings false, and I was more than a little upset that Farmer Hoggett didn’t have more of a role in the film. Admittedly that isn’t a huge deal, but everyone should want more James Cromwell in their pictures. Magda Szubanski as Mrs. Hoggett felt underused. Yes, she did get a lot of play, but she was missing for a good chunk of the story and her character deserved to be expanded upon just a bit more. Flaws yes, but nothing that major or anything that seriously detracts from the film.

Babe: Pig In The City is a few notches below Babe, but it is a great film in what turned out to a great and overlooked pair of movies. Babe: Pig In The City will entice adults and make children happy. Most of all, if you are a fan of using your mind while having fun at the same time then Babe: Pig In The City is a film for you to see.

Rating:

***1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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3 responses to “Review: Babe: Pig In The City (1998)

  1. my cousins loved this, good review, and a reminder that kid films are an artform themselves

    newman

  2. Pingback: These Animal’s Talk! Marathon: Charlotte’s Web (2006) | Bill's Movie Emporium

  3. I’ve met very few people who don’t love this film, it’s a special one in my mind.

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