Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Noonan|
|Produced by||Bill Miller
|Screenplay by||George Miller
|Based on||The Sheep-Pig
by Dick King-Smith
|Narrated by||Roscoe Lee Browne|
|Music by||Nigel Westlake|
|Editing by||Marcus D'Arcy
|Studio||Kennedy Miller Productions|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||92 minutes|
Babe is a 1995 comedy-drama film, co-written and directed by Chris Noonan. It is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the USA, which tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog. The main animal characters are played by a combination of real and animatronic pigs and Border Collies.
The film was a box office success and grossed $36,776,544 at the box office in Australia. It has received considerable acclaim from critics: it was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, winning Best Visual Effects. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film.
An orphaned piglet named Babe is chosen for a "guess the weight" contest booth at a county fair. The winning farmer, Arthur Hoggett, brings him home and allows him to stay with a female border collie named Fly and her pups.
A duck named Ferdinand poses as a rooster in order to keep from being eaten and wakes the farm each morning by crowing. He persuades Babe to help him destroy the alarm clock because it threatens his mission. Although they succeed in this goal, they startle the Hoggetts' cat, Duchess, awake, and in the confusion that ensues, all three accidentally destroy the living room, leaving them covered in paint. Fly's mate Rex orders Babe to stay away from both Ferdinand (now a fugitive) and the house. When Fly's puppies are put up for sale, Babe asks if he can call her ‘Mum’.
Christmas time brings a visit from the Hoggetts' relatives. Babe is almost chosen for the Christmas dinner but a duck is picked instead after Arthur remarks to his wife Esme that Babe may bring a prize for ham at the next County Fair. The day after Christmas, Babe alerts the farmer to some sheep rustlers. The following day, Arthur sees Babe sort the hens, separating the brown ones from the white ones. Impressed, he takes the pig to the fields and tells Babe instead of Rex to herd the sheep. Encouraged by an elder ewe named Maa, the sheep cooperate, but Rex sees Babe's actions as an insult to sheepdogs and eventually confronts his mate for "putting ideas in Babe's head". Fly's right front leg is injured and Arthur's right hand is bitten by Rex while trying to intervene. Rex is then chained to the dog house and sedated.
It is now Babe's job to herd the sheep. One morning, Babe is wakened by their cries and sees three feral dogs attacking the herd. He bravely scares them away, but Maa has been mortally injured. Arthur arrives, sees Babe standing over Maa, and thinks that he killed her because Babe has blood on his snout from when he had nuzzled Maa earlier in an attempt to comfort her during her death. While Arthur prepares to shoot Babe for being a sheep-killer, Fly is so anxious to find out whether Babe is guilty or innocent that, for the first time in her life, instead of barking orders at the sheep, she tries talking with them to find out what happened. The sheep tell her that Babe is innocent and that he in fact saved them. Fly then barks to distract Arthur from shooting Babe, which she succeeds in doing long enough for Esme to come out and say she has heard from the police that feral dogs have been killing sheep on neighboring farms, whereupon Arthur realizes just in time that Babe is innocent.
When Esme leaves on a trip for a few days, Arthur signs Babe up for a local sheep-herding competition. The night before the competition, it is raining outside that Arthur lets both Babe and Fly in the house. However, Duchess scratches Babe when he tries conversing with her, and Arthur confines her outside. When Duchess is let back inside the house later on, she gets revenge on Babe by revealing that humans eat pigs. Agitated, Babe runs out back into to the barn and speaks and asks to Fly if it is true and she confirms this.
The next morning, Fly discovers that Babe has run away. She and Rex alert Arthur and all three go searching for him. Rex eventually finds him, and Arthur brings him back home. However, Babe is still in a bad mood that he refuses to eat, despite encouragement from Rex, who has now softened his attitude and calls him 'Son'. Arthur gives him a drink from a baby bottle and sings "If I Had Words" to him, and eventually dances a jigs for him. This restores Babe's faith in the farmer's affection for him, and he begins eating.
Once having arrived at the sheep-herding competition, Babe meets the sheep he'll be herding, but unlike the sheep back home, they ignore Babe's attempts to speak with them and refuse to listen to him. Rex runs back to the farm to ask the sheep there what to do. The sheep give him a secret password, first extracting a promise from Rex that, in return, he will treat them better from now on. Rex gets back to the competition just in time and conveys the password to Babe. Everyone is laughing at Arthur for entering a pig into the contest, but when Babe recites the password to the sheep and politely ask for their help, they immediately take notice of him and agree to do what he asks. They follow his instructions crisply and he is wildly acclaimed by the crowd and unanimously given the highest score. At that, Babe sits down quietly next to Arthur, who praises him affectionately, in his understated way, by saying, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."
- James Cromwell as Arthur Hoggett
- Magda Szubanski as Esme C. Hoggett
- Brittany Byrnes as The Hoggetts' granddaughter.
- Wade Hayward as The Hoggetts' grandson.
- Voice actors
- Roscoe Lee Browne as the Narrator
- Christine Cavanaugh as Babe
- Miriam Margolyes as Fly, Hoggett's female border collie
- Hugo Weaving as Rex, Hoggett's lead sheepdog
- Danny Mann as Ferdinand, a white Indian Runner Duck
- Miriam Flynn as Maa, an old ewe on Hoggett Farm
- Russi Taylor as Duchess, the Hoggetts' cat
- Michael Edward-Stevens as The Horse
- Charles Bartlett as The Cow
- Evelyn Krape as Old Ewe
- Paul Livingston as Rooster
- John Erwin as a TV Commentator
Classical orchestral music by 19th century French composers is used in the film but is disguised in a number of ways and often integrated by Nigel Westlake into his score. The theme song "If I Had Words", sung by Hoggett near the film's conclusion, was an adaptation of the Maestoso movement of the organ symphony by Saint-Saëns, originally performed in 1977 by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley. This tune also reoccurs throughout the film's score.
It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won the award for Best Visual Effects, defeating Apollo 13. In 2006, the American Film Institute named Babe #80 on its list of America's Most Inspiring Movies.
When Babe was released in the USA, it is reported that "activists around the country staked out movie theatres with flyers documenting the real life abuses of pigs". The film had a marked effect on the growth of vegetarianism, particularly among the young. It also promoted a more sympathetic view of the intellectual, emotional and social capacities of animals. Actor James Cromwell also became an ethical vegan as a result of starring as Farmer Hoggett: "I decided that to be able to talk about this [movie] with conviction, I needed to become a vegetarian." In 1996 he went on to organize a vegetarian dinner for the Los Angeles homeless at a “Compassionate Christmas” event in order to reverse the barnyard view that "Christmas is carnage".
- 68th Academy Awards
- Best Picture for Bill Miller, George Miller and Doug Mitchell (lost to Braveheart)
- Best Director for Chris Noonan (lost to Mel Gibson for Braveheart)
- Best Adapted Screenplay for George Miller and Chris Noonan (lost to Sense and Sensibility)
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role for James Cromwell (lost to Kevin Spacey for The Usual Suspects)
- Best Art Direction for Roger Ford and Kerrie Brown (lost to Restoration)
- Best Film Editing for Marcus D'Arcy and Jay Friedkin (lost to Apollo 13)
- Best Visual Effects for Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlan and John Cox (Won)
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
- Babe - Nominated Hero
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes:
- "That'll do, pig. That'll do." - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers - #80
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) - Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Fantasy Film
- Chanko, Kenneth M. (1995-08-18). "This Pig Just Might Fly | Movies". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "Interview with Chris Noonan", 9 September 1999 accessed 19 November 2012
- "Robertson – New South Wales – Australia". The Age. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office
- Film Score Monthly 53-64, Los Angeles CA 1995, page 70
- ""Babe" Soundtrack Listing". CD Universe. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- "Babe Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- "Babe (1995)". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- Siskel & Ebert week of February 16, 1996 Part 1 Part 2
- ":: rogerebert.com :: Reviews :: Babe (xhtml)". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- AFI's 100 Years... 100 Cheers. American Film Institute. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- Gogoi, Pallavi (2006-11-05). "Banning Borat". Businessweek.com. Retrieved 2010-05-31.
- Laura Elaine Hudson, The Apocalyptic Animal of Late Capitalism, University of California 2008, p.208
- Nathan Nobis, "The Babe Vegetarians", in Bioethics at the Movies, Johns Hopkins University 2009 pp.56-70
- Vegetarian Times, November 1998, p.20
- Vegetarian Times, March 1997 p.24
- "Academy Awards, USA: 1996". awardsdatabase.oscars.org. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08.
- "The 68th Academy Awards (1996) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
- "Award Search". www.goldenglobers.org. Archived from the original on 5 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ballot
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Babe (film)|
- Babe at the Internet Movie Database
- Babe at Box Office Mojo
- Babe at Rotten Tomatoes
- Babe at Anything Oz or New Zealand Films site