Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings
AndrewGJun 1, 2009Heartwarming and beautifully made, with great special effects. I've always loved this film.
Jun 3, 2014Summary
+ Clever use of visuals
+ Fantastic voice acting
+ Good story with interesting themes that at times are quite depressing
- Some bad elements of character developments.
- Limited dialogue
- Quite dull at times
In brief it is a great family adventure full of good blights, which is and entertaining. As a result I would recommend it as it is worth a watch.
Perhaps the first striking thing about Babe is how well directed it is. The use of animals as the main characters would undoubtable presents its own challenges, but the way the film is directed makes the character/ animal interaction feel really. It is strangely entertaining to watch animals interact and speak to each just as humans would. Particularly like the little elements that help make Babe feel that little bit more special as a film, e.g. moments when Fly lick Babe as a sign of love. Such an approach helps to increase the uniqueness of Babe.
The next thing that really stands out about Babe is the voice acting. All the characters feel unique and at the same time display emotions within their voices. This is particularly the case with Cavanaugh and his voice over of Babe, which emphasises the innocent nature of Babe as a character, while at the same time still depicting Babe as brave and a character who develops throughout the film. Likewise Margolyes depiction of Fly (a female dog) is great as it helps to set Fly as a heart-warming character who takes care of Babe. Such voice acting is enhanced by the acting of James Cromwell as Arthur (the Boss) and Magda Szubanski as Esme Hoggett (the Boss’ wife). Both actors depict real life conflicts of a couple. As a result such acting helps to enhance the film as a whole.
However the main element I found to be good about Babe is that of how it has a really interesting story with elements of cheerful moments which are particularly provided by Ferdinand, and at the end. However such moments, are balanced out with themes within the film that are quite depressing. Such themes include obedience to rules and defining conventions, life and death. In particularly I found it quite saddening when a character close to Babe dies, which not only comes as a surprise but also strengthens Babe as a character. Likewise the challenging by Ferdinand of challenging conventionality in order to save his life is entertaining. I also enjoyed the conflicts between Fly and Rex (male dog who acts like the leader of all the animals on the farm) and the deceptive nature of the cat. Such elements help to make it so Babe is a film that peaks in happiness and sadness. However unlike other kid films that have sad moment like the Lion King, I found babe to be unique because of how it consistently goes back and forth in whether it is sad or happy. The nature of the story helps to make Babe a film that is entertaining for both children and adults.
However there are so elements of Babe I did not find particularly enjoyable. I think the first one is that of how some of the characters are undeveloped/ poory portrayed. This is particularly the case with the Hoggett family members who are hollow shells, except the grand-daughter who is a spoilt brat. However the main character who I feel is under-developed is that of Rex who develops a hatred of Babe. While the source of his anger is well explained, it contradicts his great sense of loyalty to the Boss. However, this is hardly a major criticism given that these characters play a limited role.
The second major issue is how the dialogue of the characters is pretty limited. This is particularly the case with Arthur who seems to lack the verbal capacity to say words beyond that will do, good, pig, dog, and nothing. Likewise I find the narrator to be a bit too simple.
The final complaint I have with the film is that of how within the story there are elements I found to be a bit boring, in particular the start when Babe tries to settle in to his new home.… Full Review »