A bit of a landmark here, as I’ve reached my 200th film of the year!
That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.
When young piglet Babe is taken away from his mum and picked as a ‘guess the weight’ at a fair, local farmer Arthur Hoggett correctly guesses, and wins the young pig. Babe is ‘adopted’ by Fly, one of Farmer Hoggett’s border collies, and the piglet soon overcomes his confusion and sadness at being at a strange new place.
On Christmas Day, sheep rustlers attempt to steal the flock, and Babe impresses Hoggett when he warns the farmer. After the pig is spotted herding some hens, the farmer gives him a chance to herd some sheep, much to Fly’s partner Rex’s disgust, who attacks Fly. Hoggett chains Rex up, and it’s up to Babe to do the herding. But is it reasonable to enter a pig into a sheepdog trial? After all, he’s not a sheepdog…
The animatronics are excellent, and the singing mice introduce each chapter which is very sweet, but the film ultimately stands out for its clever, rather unsentimental script and lack of schmaltz. It’s funny, sweet and emotional, but with a darker edge, preventing it from being a run-of-the-mill kids film.