Animal Farm (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

Animal Farm (1954)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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The British animation firm of John Halas and Joy Batchelor perform yeoman service in adapting George Orwell's allegorical novel Animal Farm to the screen. As any high-school English student can tell you,the original 1945 novel was Orwell's spin on the rise and fall of the Communist myth. A group of intelligent animals overthrow their corrupt human owner and set up their own self-sustained farm, predicated on an idealistic credo: "All Animals are Created Equal", "No Animal Shall Ever Drink Liquor", "Four Legs Good: Two Legs Bad" etc. But when Snowball the Pig (read: Trotsky) is overthrown by the despotic Napoleon (read: Stalin), all idealism goes out the window, and soon the pigs are ruling dictatorially over the other animals. Before long, Animal Farm operates on but one principle: "All Animals Are Created Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others." Orwell's ironic ending, in which it becomes impossible to tell the difference between the Pigs and the Humans, is blunted in favor of a grafted-on happy ending, perhaps to mollify the kiddie trade. Maurice Denham supplies all the character's voices, while Gordon Heath serves as narrator. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Maurice Denham
as The Animals
Gordon Heath
as Narrator

Critic Reviews for Animal Farm

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

It is a serious pity that one can only praise the film version of George Orwell's Animal Farm as a valuable beginning or experiment, and hardly more than that.

Full Review… | January 23, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

An ultimately disappointing adaptation of a classic book.

Full Review… | July 3, 2010
Three Movie Buffs

Click to read the article.

Full Review… | December 31, 2004
StaciWilson.com

Comes in an excellent full frame transfer, with an authoritative commentary track by Brian Sibley.

Full Review… | November 5, 2004
Movie Poop Shoot

Though too broad at points (especially the ending), this animated update of Orwell's masterpiece still captures the imagination.

October 15, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

as interesting on screen as it is behind the veil

January 1, 2000
Filmcritic.com

Audience Reviews for Animal Farm

The gist here is simply to enjoy Orwell's popular take on the rise and fall of Communism, which is still in a pretty creative way. The animation, for 1954, ain't bad either, but its the story that carries the efforts entirely.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

I prefer this adaptation of Animal Farm to the nineties version, it really works better in animation. If you like the book, check out this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

The first full-length animated picture to be released in Britain, this is a fantastically intelligent film. Never putting its political satire as top priority, it is an entertaining movie on any level, but the brilliant portrait of Stalinism is its strongest point.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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