Babe

Critics Consensus

The rare family-friendly feature with a heart as big as its special effects budget, Babe offers timeless entertainment for viewers of all ages.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 70
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Movie Info

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, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Babe

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (21)

  • Much to my surprise, I found Babe charming in an eccentric, oddly tough-minded sort of way. And if it isn't quite good enough to change my mind about the entire critter-chat genre, it is certainly good enough to recommend.

    Jun 16, 2015 | Full Review…
  • He's brave and bright, good-natured and ambitious, naive and vulnerable. All in all, he's probably the most winsome orphan to appear on the screen since Freddie Bartholomew impersonated David Copperfield 60 years ago.

    Aug 19, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Thanks to well-trained live animals, clever voice characterizations and a big dash of muppetry from Henson's Creature Shop, Babe and his barnyard friends not only walk the walk and trot the trot, they also talk the talk.

    Aug 19, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Here's the summer's sleeper for kids and their parents, a terrific picture that takes a lot of risks and makes them all pay off in a charming story about a pig who fancies himself a sheepdog -- or sheep-pig.

    Aug 19, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Babe is not, strictly speaking, a kid's movie. It is a preposterously funny fable that strikes a chord with adults, too.

    Jul 30, 2013 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • For children, the movie will play like a storybook come to life. Adults, at first, will marvel at the special effects and puppetry. But ultimately, they'll be won over by the nuances of a story that finds a fresh way to deliver a timeless message.

    Jul 30, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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