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All the Little Animals (1999)

John Hurt , Christian Bale , Jeremy Thomas  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Christian Bale, Daniel Benzali, James Faulkner, John O'Toole
  • Directors: Jeremy Thomas
  • Writers: Eski Thomas, Walker Hamilton
  • Producers: Jeremy Thomas, Chris Auty, Denise O'Dell, Hercules Bellville, Peter Watson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000A1HQI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,715 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "All the Little Animals" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This DVD feature film stars John Hurt and Christian Bale.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Beautiful September 12, 2005
As has been noted, this is an allegorical film and people will often divide down the middle over allegories. If you appreciate them and like digging beneath the surface, this is a remarkable film in a great many regards. Even as just a basic tale, the film works and is given outstanding performances by the three principal actors. Not enough good can be said about Christian Bale, who is maturing one of the finest actors we have today. Here, Bale is playing his exact age, 24, but looks no more than 17. As Bobby is mildly retarded due to a childhood accident of which he has more than one scar to serve as reminder, he is eternally a boy trapped in a man's body. When it comes to playing "damaged goods" Bale pulls off the nearly impossible, making you forget the actor and see only the character. (This was my primary difficulty with Forrest Gump, where everything seemed to draw attention to Mr. Hanks' brilliant "acting.")

Bobby isn't too dim to sense the evil of his stepfather "The Fat" aka Mr. De Winter, and upon his mother's death, realizes the man is out to do him serious harm. By refusing to sign over to The Fat, his inheritances, including the family's successful London department store, Bobby has sealed his fate. The Fat is going to have him declared mad and institutionalized for the remainder of his life. Bobby escapes the mansion, and wends his way towards Cornwall in search of his grandfather. The journey is brief, but symbolic as he finds rides along the trek, a young, hippy family in a van, complete with happy little dog, and an odious trucker whose zest for killing animals in the road causes his death. Wanting to help the trapped, barely alive trucker we stumble upon Mr. Summers (John Hurt) an odd hermit with a few affectations and full of mystery.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and real August 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This film is visually stunning and a must see for animal lovers. It seems to be presented through Bobby's eyes which makes it refreshingly innocent and very honest. I attribute any fairytale-like moments to be the way Bobby really saw them in his childish way. It is a movie the likes of which I don't see very often. It makes no attempts to please it's audience by adding stupid things to the plot in an effort to make it more exciting. Christian Bale is amazing and unbelievably convincing. The fact that he does not overplay Bobby's disability as many actors would, adds to the brilliance of this piece.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is the kind of movie you don't see alot of. Movies that touch our hearts in such a way that we love it. If you love animals and have a heart for them as I do, this is a film for you. A boy who is slower than us, is abused by hs father after the mother dies, and runs away. He meets a man who loves animals, and buries the bodies of raodkill on the sides of the road. They love each ocher, i'll leave the rest for you to see
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Allegorical Masterpiece May 24, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
After accidentally stumbling upon this movie on the Sundance channel, I instantly fell in love with its mysterious and allegorical nature. Subsequently, I proceeded to purchase the book (by Walker Hamilton), which, in my opinion, is much better than the movie. When one ponders the meaning of "allegory", we automatically think of George Orwell's famous novel "Animal Farm". However, unlike Orwell's book, "All the Little Animals" contains more subtle insights into the forces of Good and Evil in life. This is probably the reason why the film and the book have slipped by virtually unnoticed in the world of great English literature. In fact, it was quite hard finding a copy of the book which I had to order it off of ..."Out of Print" section. All in all, this story has a powerful and haunting message, which can be credited to Walker Hamilton's brilliantly simple but amazingly complex writing style.
I believe Walker Hamilton's allegorical message is especially geared towards those of an intellectual nature-- separate from the corrupted minds of the masses. It calls out to all the Mr. Sommers in the world, all who are ostracized from society for refusing to uphold social conformities, beckoning them to watch over and care for "all the little animals" (which are the innocent souls such as Bobby Platt). We must be on guard then, ready to resist the wicked acts of those who harm innocent life (The Fat)-- always remembering all the little animals....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this movie in the used section at Blockbuster because of the description on the DVD packaging. Good deal for $3.99. But what a treasure the movie really is! For me the movie is about the study and contrasts of human relationships and people's relationships with nature and animals. It's a very moving film.

As mentioned by other reviewers, this movie really is an allegorical tale. To me it works on many levels. Christian Bale is a naiive, pained soul who runs away from a hurtful environment. He runs into John Hurt's character in the woods. John Hurt reinforces Bale's love of animals and Hurt also finds Bale's character freeing enough to share his own history.
Together they share a small cottage in the woods where they both find comfort and solace being nature's caretakers.

The dénouement of the film happens when Bales and Hurt's characters come face to face with the very thing they know is true: of all the animals, the cruelest is man. Bales comes to the realization at a critical point in the movie that he has to be the protector not only of the small animals and creatures that he loves but also the protector of fellow harmless human beings, and most importantly, he finds his place in the world and needs to defend it.

Christian Bale is phenomenal. I can see why he has a cult-like fanatical following. I am now a convert.

I've never liked a too formulaic movie and this movie is very different: a pained young man develops a relationship with an old loner in the woods and they bury dead animals together? Wow! But it is exactly that unusual situation that makes the film work. Getting in touch with mother nature reveals much about human nature. It's a very sincere film about healing, trust, happiness, courage, compassion, and contentment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Offbeat Story You Might Have Missed
Great job done by all the featured actors in a very interesting and unusual story. Animal lovers, in particular, should enjoy this one.
Published 2 months ago by Honest Abe
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Just a brilliant little story from England. There is some gripping innocense to the characters and I recommend this to anyone who likes British cinema as well as an excitement and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by A. Sigurdsson
5.0 out of 5 stars intense and emotional!!!
I've always loved Christian Bale. He is such a talented and gifted actor. He can do anything. And this movie is no exception. WOW...he is so good in it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Karine
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
Bought this film for a class assignment a few years ago. VERY well acted, especially on Mr. Bale's part. I would highly recommend to others to see, class assignment or not.
Published 10 months ago by Dark_Lux
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Thought-provoking and original. An ex-banker escapes into the woods, takes-up residence in an abandoned cottage, and exercises his love of animals by providing them with the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by SilkySpaniels
4.0 out of 5 stars A Heart-warming Film
This film is not one of the better known films of either Christian Bale or John Hurt, however it is a gem well worth viewing. Read more
Published 12 months ago by A. Magdalena Carbine
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
Good movie. Kept me entertained throughout. I would recommend to family and friends. Had some violence but still was a pretty good movie.
Published 14 months ago by pippin
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a wonderful little adventure
If you want a chance to see Christian Bale and John Hurt do some quality acting, then this is your chance. Read more
Published 18 months ago by All the little animals
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, tense, but could have been better
All the Little Animals stars Christian Bale (Bobby) as a "simple" adult, John Hurt (Mr. Somers) as the nomadic stranger who befriends him, and Daniel Benzali ("The Fat") plays one... Read more
Published on March 14, 2012 by Bette
5.0 out of 5 stars Good calming movie
The copy of this movie was okay and played okay on my VHS. It is a nice, calming movie that's not a fast mover, fast action. Okay shipping.
Published on April 8, 2010 by L. S. Pray
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