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Babe - Pig in the City [VHS]

278 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Magda Szubanski, Elizabeth Daily, Mickey Rooney, James Cromwell, Mary Stein
  • Directors: George Miller
  • Writers: George Miller, Dick King-Smith, Judy Morris, Mark Lamprell
  • Producers: Barbara Gibbs, Bill Miller, Catherine Barber
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • VHS Release Date: May 4, 1999
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078322561X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Deservedly acclaimed as one of 1998's best films, this sequel to the beloved 1995 live-action fantasy proved a commercial catastrophe and a source of dismay to parents expecting another bucolic, sweet-natured fable. Every bit as sly and visually stunning as its predecessor, Babe: Pig in the City is otherwise a jolting ride beyond the Hoggetts' farm into a no less vivid but far darker world--the allegorical city of the title, which for the diminutive "sheep pig" proves truly nightmarish. Australian filmmaker George Miller (Mad Max, The Road Warrior), who produced and cowrote the first film, this time takes the director's reins, and he ratchets up the pace and the peril as effectively as he did on his influential trilogy of apocalyptic, outback sci-fi thrillers.

From the opening scene, Babe: Pig in the City means to disrupt the reassuring calm achieved by the conclusion of the previous film. Babe's prior triumph proves short-lived, and within moments Miller has us literally peering into the depths as he sets up a horrific well accident that nearly kills the taciturn but good-hearted Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell), Babe's beloved "Boss." Journeying with the equally pink, even plumper Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski), the young pig finds himself in a city where animals are outcasts, staying in the lone hotel that allows pets. When Mrs. Hoggett is detained, Babe must contend with the suspicions and rivalries of the hotel's other four-legged guests. The film's G status doesn't fully telegraph the shock Miller induces: bad things happen to good animals, and Babe's new acquaintances are a far cry from his colleagues on the farm. In particular, he must contend with a cynical family of chimps given wonderful, dead-pan voice characterizations by Steven Wright and Glenne Headly.

Miller's use of effects to transform his animals into "actors" is even more seamlessly integrated than in Babe. The sequel's production design is crucial to the creation of a complete, absorbing world, and purely visual ideas--such as a deluge of blue balloons during the climactic ballroom battle--achieve a splendor and originality that a room full of computer-graphics desktops couldn't muster. Ultimately, though, the film does more than amaze: as Babe's compassion and courage transform those around him, we're moved in ways that purveyors of by-the-numbers family fare can only dream of. --Sam Sutherland

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I've grown weary of angry parents condemning this wonderful film because it was too frightening for their children. "Babe: Pig in the City" is a masterpiece, full of wonderful imagery and heart. While I agree that some of scenes may be frightening for the very young, I have to ask: what's wrong with that? Do not forget that every one of these "scary" scenes serves a purpose in the film's themes and in the development of its characters. Unlike most films geared at children these days, the lessons in "Babe - Pig in the City" are not easily learned. Just as in life, these lessons can be scary -- just as change is frightening for us all. Each of these pieces finds its way into the experiences that help Babe grow -- and develop respect for creatures different than he. That's a lesson with weight, and when it happens in the film, it means something. I'm 32, but I remember films that stood out to me as a kid -- and they weren't ones that were safe, easy crowd-pleasers. They were the ones that challenged me, made me think, and yes, sometimes scared me...but they were ultimately the ones that had things to say about the world. Siskel & Ebert called it correctly: "Babe - Pig in the City" was one of last year's very best films.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 2000
Format: DVD
The film is a masterpiece of the first water in every conceivable way. Visually it is astounding; these animals give some of the best performances on film, thanks to enormously talented human actors, a brilliant screenplay, a brilliant director, and, of course, the amazing animal actors themselves.
Unfortunately, certain parents and their children expected light fare on par with the original Babe movie (which is terrific but clearly inferior to its sequel). The result reminds me very much of the general reaction to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; many parents felt and feel it is just "too dark" and "upsetting" for their children. It seems to me that many of their outraged "reviews" here betray the fact that they spent too much time worrying about whether scenes were too intense for their children and not enough time actually watching the film or attempting to understand it.
Anyone who complains that the movie is too dark, violent (even "disgusting") clearly did not pay attention to the movie. No animal or person dies or is permanently damaged within the course of the film. Even the goldfish and Flealick (the little dog on wheels) survive. The message(s) of the movie, moreover, couldn't be more suitable for children: tolerance, kindness and respect for animals, redemption through perseverence, just to name a few.
I suspect that those people who hated the film are also the kind of people who are more concerned with whether their children are frightened by an intense scene in a movie and less concerned with keeping their own animals indoors and off the streets at night. My advice: rewatch the film, alone if you think your kids will somehow be mentally "damaged" by it.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cairene on January 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I'm willing to excuse the vicious reviews this film recieved on its release as a huge misconception, you see poeple (reviewers)were expecting another retread of the charming 95 movie, in other words a cash in. What a dis-service they have done everyone. You people who have not seen this film have missed a beautiful, sad and masterful allegory. To me the film was about immigrants, their struggles , the cynicism of living in a big city (notice the ape family's indifference to the drowning dog).It's about rascism and intolerance,expressed slyly in the opera loving animal hating neighbours of the hotel at which babe stays . Yet you don't have to bother with such complex themes if you don't care to as the film is visually rich, every frame is a work of art(shot mostly at low angles with the camera moving kinetically and gracefully). These oblique shots, the special effects would make the film worth checking out on their own, but they wouldn't even be worth mentioning had the film been not so moving. I will never forget the seguence where babe saves the dog that was chasing him from drowning, or saving the dieing fish by spitting it into the river. I realise I'm blabbering but I'm actually quite bitter at all those critics, they contributed a great deal to this films financial failure and thus the film was not even released overhere cinematically(I just saw it on video).To me this film is a noble immigrant's tale written like a novel by Charles Dickens, performed by the one and only Babe and directed by Goerge Miller. I don't even care "who the film is suitable for", that is irrelevant, it is purely and simply a shamefully overlooked masterpiece. Babe was wonderful film, this one is completely different and all the better for it."That'll do Pig", indeed it will.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R.C.G. on July 29, 2005
Format: DVD
A smartly written tale of a little pig who can accomplish anything he wants. A must see.

Babe- a little pig wants to be a sheep dog, but all the farm animals laugh at him. In the end he does what is necessary and gets the job done!

Babe - Pig In The City - Slightly darker, sequel with deeper themes that may not be appropriate for all children due to some scary and tense moments.

I reccomend both movies highly!
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