Brother Emsworth Sun May 12 22:38:31 2002|
Re: Babe - 9.5
This is one of comparatively few non-animated films of the past seven years which I saw at at the theatres, primarily because "Babe the Gallant Pig" was a favorite book as a kid. The film was actually a fairly faithful adaptation (at least as far as I could recall, though I hadn't read the book in years.) I'd cried as a child when Maa died in the book, and was still almost misty eyed as a teenager when I saw the film. James Cromwell deserves his Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination that year. Effective melding of live animals with puppetry and CGI as well. Apart from Cromwell, Magda Szubanski was very funny as Mrs. Hoggett (more so than in the bizarre sequel, as a little of her goes a long way), and the voice cast was uniformly excellent. Roscoe Lee Browne's narration (which also allowed the film to retain much of author Dick King-Smith's original text) was appropriately warm, avuncular, and articulate; character actress Miriam Margolyes was effectively (and authoritatively_ motherly as Fly; Christine Cavanaugh, who I knew from her TV cartoon work, surprised me by giving a full performance as Babe; and Russi Taylor also surprised me, abandoning the squeaky voiced gushiness of Minnie Mouse and others for the cameo role of the aloofly cruel cat. Excellent scenics, and a beautiful score as well. Now I have that "If I Had Words" song in my head again. And the Greek chorus mice were a hoot. Also had an excellent credit sequence.