Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Babe: Pig in the City

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Moderate -- too intense for younger kids
Diversity Issues:Tolerance of individual (and species) differences
Movie Release Date:1998

Families who loved the adorable and heartwarming “Babe” need to know that this sequel, co-written and directed by “Mad Max’s” George Miller, is a much darker and more unsettling movie, not suitable for most small children.

Once again, Babe is called on to save the day, as the Hoggett’s farm is threatened with foreclosure. Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski) and Babe must appear at a fair to raise the money to save the farm. But everything goes wrong. They miss their connecting flight and are stuck in the strange and menacing city.

Then things get worse. Mrs. Hoggett and Babe are beset upon by every kind of predator, and the warm and cozy scenes of redemption and reconciliation we expect never come. Mickey Rooney plays a genuinely creepy clown. A mildly happy ending is almost coincidental and anti- climactic.

The movie is easier to admire than like, which may be why it ended up on several critics’ end of the year “10 best” lists, and was picked by the late Gene Siskel as the best film of 1998. The visuals are wonderfully imaginative. The city is a miracle of production design, brilliantly conceived. There are special effects of breathtaking skill and small moments of genuine charm. Babe and some of his new friends are adorably endearing. Older kids and teens who are not too embarrassed may appreciate the film’s artistry. But younger children should stick with the original.



  • Joel Frady

    I’ve always enjoyed the reviews of The Movie Mom, primarily because she doesn’t let her parental instincts prevent her from enjoying great films made for mature audiences. Others despise bad elements, but The Movie Mom will tell you that the film is fantastic as long as you leave the kids at home.
    With this in mind, I recommend that The Movie Mom re-visit “Babe: Pig in the City,” which as a 26-year-old writer and film critic is still my favorite film. I smile every time it starts and can watch it at any time – it cheers me up on bad days.
    But on the note “it’s easier to admire than like,” I somewhat disagree. The production value is sky-high, but it’s just such a fun romp through the imagination that I think the “D” rating might be based on a one-time viewing (like my bad review for the good film “From Hell,” which I just didn’t get the first time around).
    Anywho, keep up the good, open-minded work.
    –Joel

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks so much for a very thoughtful comment, Joel. I hope you will visit frequently and let me know what you think about the movies you see. Many people I respect have asked me to take another look at “Babe: Pig in the City,” and I have high regard for George Miller. I am keeping an open mind. Thanks again and all best wishes.

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