Babe
G
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: +3 1/2

Babe, a film based on the novel, "Babe, The Gallant Pig" by Dick King-Smith, will captivate audiences of all ages. Set in rural Australia on a farm owned by Farmer and Mrs. Hoggett (James Cromwell and Magda Szubanski), it's the story of a quite precocious piglet named Babe. Babe wiggles his way into the hearts of all the farm animals soon after Farmer Hoggett wins it at the county fair. Mrs. Hoggett is delighted to have a pig to fatten up in time for Christmas dinner. Primarily a sheep farmer, Mr. Hoggett has two reliable sheepdogs who have just presented the farmer with a new litter of pups. The bewildered pig is quickly adopted by the mama dog, and it's not long before the pig thinks he is a dog. Some jealousy among the other animals provokes mischievous tricks to get Babe in trouble. But naive Babe always manages to turn animosity into friendship. Farmer Hoggett is completely enchanted by his combination "watch-pig" and "sheep-pig." Indeed, Babe saves his valuable sheep herd on two occasions. But the climax is Babe's performance at the annual sheepdog championship competition. Adding to the fun is Ferdinand the duck, a genuine troublemaker who thinks he is a rooster, and a prissy cat whose sole purpose is to "look pretty." The delightful live-action comedy seamlessly blends state-of-the-art special effects with performances by animal actors with human voices. Babe, a delightful visual treat, is as refreshing as a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer day.

The animals know they have a special purpose and once they can no longer fulfill that duty, their lives are in danger. They see the pig as a threat to their status, but Babe's honest affection for all of them turns the diverse group into a real family. He even herds sheep with gentle kindness instead of the harsh barking the seasoned dogs use. A brief dog fight and a mortally wounded sheep might disturb very young children. A very tense moment also occurs when Farmer Hoggett thinks he is going to be forced to destroy Babe. With the exception of one exclamatory profanity and one crude expression, the film contains no offensive material. Babe is scheduled to open on August 4 "take the whole family!" Universal Pictures is to be commended for this family-friendly movie.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal Blvd., Universal City, CA 91608

Summary
Crude Language: Once - Moderate
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once - Exclamatory
Violence: Twice - Moderate (brief dog fight; bloody wound shown after wolf attacks sheep)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Message that more can be accomplished with love than with hate
Running Time:
Intended Audience: All ages over 4

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