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If you could blame this movie for one thing, it is that it started a long running and tiresome trend of talking animal movies. In all seriousness, this is of course not something you should hold against this movie, fore "Babe" as a movie is about as good as a talking animal movie could get and you should blame all other genre movies for not being as heartwarming, fun and original as this movie.

Guess it's true this movie is mostly using the Disney formula, minus the musical numbers but that's a big part of the reason why this movie works out so well. It actually feels more Disney-like and entertaining than any live action movie Diseny ever produced and it feels just as good and heartwarming as some of Disney's greatest family orientated animated movies.

It really is a movie that uses some of the oldest and most formulaic genre ingredients and when you when you truly start to think about it, this really is a movie by the numbers, in which nothing should really come as a surprise to you but yet it all works out very well for the movie. It's probably most likely due to it that it remains a very involving movie to watch. The movie is filled with some very likable characters and the story, even while it's all being formulaic in its core, has plenty of good developments to it.

There is basically always something new happening in the movie and it's always moving and never has a slow moment in it. I do believe that's also why the more dramatic and emotional undertones of the movie work out so well. The movie doesn't dwell on them, which actually makes all of it feel more honest and heartfelt. The movie doesn't ever force you to tears or to make you root for the little pig with over-the-top moments and drama or swelling dramatic music. It's actually a far more subtle movie than that, which again, does in fact gets you more involved with its main characters and the story.

And this goes for everyone. It's perfect family entertainment, at which both the young and old ones can laugh, marvel and be entertained, all throughout. It's not an incredibly childish movie and it's not a hard too serious one either. It manages to find a perfect balance, somewhere in the middle, making this a perfectly watchable, heartwarming and likable movie to watch, for the entire family.

Another key as to why this movie works out so well is because it gets approached as a serious movie. Lots of effort got put into it and everyone involved obviously took their jobs very serious. This means it also took its audience serious and the movie never settles for anything less than perfect.

The movie for instance has a great look to it as well. The farm doesn't even really looks like a real farm but more like a fantasy farm, especially also in all of its wide-shots. The fantasy like atmosphere and premise still don't ever gets in the way of its realism though. As far as you could call a talking animal movie realistic of course.

And who would had ever guessed a movie about a talking pig would be James Cromwell's breakthrough role, at the age of 55. He even earned himself an Oscar nomination for his role in this movie, which he throughout deserved as well, even while he doesn't do an awful lot of talking throughout the movie.

But it are of course still foremost the animals that steal the show. Thanks to some nifty special effects, it really appears as if the animals are talking but the movie even deserves more credit for its animal trainers. The timing often is perfect and it even is successful at letting different animals interact with each other, which must have been a hard thing to accomplish. Also the voice casting for all of its animals is just perfect, with Hugo Weaving as a standout as the veteran sheepdog Rex.

Another thing that truly adds to the movie is its musical score by Nigel Westlake, who got brought in after Jerry Goldsmith's score got rejected. It's funny how often the speediest of composing jobs for movies can be the best ones.

Great harmless and heartwarming entertainment for the entire family!

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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