A young pig fights convention to become a sheep dog -- or, rather, sheep pig -- in this charming Australian family film, which became an unexpected international success due to superior special effects and an intelligent script. The title refers to the name bestowed on a piglet soon after his separation from his family, when he finds himself on a strange farm. Confused and sad, Babe is adopted by a friendly dog and slowly adjusts to his new home. Discovering that the fate of most pigs is the dinner table, Babe devotes himself to becoming a useful member of the farm by trying to learn how to herd sheep, despite the skepticism of the other animals and the kindly but conventional Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell). Because technically impeccable animatronics and computer graphics allow the farm animals to converse easily among themselves, first-time director Chris Noonan can treat the film's menagerie as actual characters, playing scene not for cuteness but for real emotions. The result is often surprisingly touching, with Noonan and George Miller's script, based on Dick King-Smith's children's book and, indirectly, a true story, seamlessly combining gentle whimsy and sincere feeling. These same qualities are embodied by in Cromwell's beautifully understated performance as Farmer Hoggett, which anchors the film. Despite its unlikely premise and low profile, Babe's inspirational story was embraced by audiences and critics, and the movie became an international sleeper that won an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. It was followed in 1999 by the less successful Babe: Pig in the City.~Judd Blaise
I like the DVD. I give it 5 stars. But not the store. No one offered to help us find the DVDs that we came in for and we were unable to find. I just happened to see the Babe DVD on sale and bought it. I found out later that I would have to order the DVDs I wanted online. Since we didn't receive any help at the store, we weren't offered the option to place an order at the store. The employees were around but not interested in helping us. Pretty much blew us off. The cashier was nice despite the Babe DVD rang up the wrong price and it seemed we had to wait a bit too long for a manager to come by and fix it. The security guard/greeter guy (?) was very polite and he greeted everyone with a smile. I haven't been in the store since then to order the DVDs. I'm usually pleased with this store. Now it seems like the employees are just there to put their time in and then go when their shift is over. It's sad. Very sad.