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- Scenes as told through original storyboards
- Audio commentary by film historian Brian Sibley
- Down on Animal Farm, a 30-minute BBC making-of featurette presented by Tony Robinson
- Liner notes by author and art historian Karl Cohen
Top Customer Reviews
With that said, enjoy the film for what it is. It's a really deep and thought-provoking film about how the exploited often becomes the exploiter. In this case, a group of animals overthrow and evil farmer and create a new society called "Animalism" which stresses cooperation among non-humans. The Pigs wind up as the rurlers of this Brave New World and a pig maned Napoleon slowly and subtly beomes their dicator. Even those who are unaware that the story is based on Stalinist Russia will be moved by what happens to Boxer the horse (this scene is pretty faithful to Orwell's original) and be repelled by the corruption of Napoleon the Pig (aka Joseph Stalin).
Made by a British company in 1955, this was probably the first adult-oriented cartoon feature. CERTAINLY not for the kiddies, as they may find it overtly grim and depressing. Nor is it a "date flick" or film you would invite your buddies over for beer and pizza (unless you want some intellectual discussion afterwards). It's a real thinking person's film and I would recommend it for high school and college history classes as a means of sparking discussion on how revolutionary movements often become reactionary.. It's amazing in modern times how this story closely mirrors what happens in a lot of so-called third-world countries today.
IN A NUTSHELL:
I have just enjoyed "Animal Farm", the animated feature, for the first time and I was truly impressed. Its stark animated realism, augmented by its dispassionate style of narration, gave the film a sense of inevitability which added to its weight as a 20th century parable, created from the famous work by George Orwell.
WHERE THE FILM GOES: "ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS!"
As most people point out, it is a slightly simplified and more upbeat [in the finale] rendering of Orwell's original literary work, but it is still rather hard-hitting and prophetic. Nevertheless, the personifications of farm animals turned into historic figures like Napoleon the Pig are startling depictions, and mirrored much of what happened in the 20th century, concluding with the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.
LESSON: ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY?!
Neatly depicted are the "Commandmants" which, as the ruling pigs evolve and change hands, begin to be broken by simply revising them to suit the needs of the MORE EQUAL ANIMALS. Ultimately, the reasons for the original revolution -- a desperate need to end the horrible conditions that were brought about by the exploitation of the many by the few -- repeated in the stunning finale. The results are rather predictable, but maybe they weren't when Orwell wrote the book. In any event, it seems to be a parable which needs to be brought frequently to our attention as humans, not just to the animals that are more or less equal to their neighbors in the barnyard.
ABOUT THE DVD:
I have the DVD pictured and described on this site.Read more ›
Manor Farm is run by the often drunk Farmer Jones. The neglected farm animals revolt, thanks to the inspiring words of an old hog, who dies and becomes a sudden martyr. The remaining animals adopt some simple rules, and get along swimmingly.
Eventually, the animal utopia begins to crumble. The remaining pigs, led by the tyrannical Napoleon, begin taking advantage of the others' hard work. They dispatch enemies as needed, but still have enough power to rally the troops to fight off a violent invasion by Jones and his drinking buddies. As the pigs begin trading with a shady businessman from the outside world, the animals finally come to their senses and do what they should have done long ago.
Finally, an animated film for adults that actually challenges the viewer to think. No Disney-like cute factor, no songs by aging white British rockers, this is a fascinating film. Orwell's book was written as a lambast against communism, fascism, and dictatorships in general, yet many of the pigs' selfish actions could be applied to modern government today.
As a country, we get upset at every mention of pork barrel (ironic) spending, yet we send our representatives back year after year because it is always some other state or district's politician who is causing the trouble. "Animal Farm" illustrates in simple, yet not dumbed down terms, the way power corrupts, especially by those whose motives seem so sincere to begin with.
If anything, this film should empower you. This should not lead you to violent revolt against your congressperson, but it should force you to ask questions about where that income and sales tax goes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It differs slightly from the book but overall it is a quick movie the whole family can enjoy. After viewing it makes for great kindling for conversations.Published 1 month ago by noiram1138
This took some liberties with the plot, still this can show children the general idea of the story.
First the revolution - the motives for it and the initial results. Read more
Interesting story about how power and influence can change people.Published 1 month ago by Andrew Bluiett
Was like the American people, congress. the federal reserve, the bureaucracy, and Obama!!!!Published 2 months ago by Paul Artz
I am a high school teacher and bought two versions, but returned this as I felt it was too young for my students.Published 2 months ago by phyllis morgan
The story and movie are classics. However, the version of it on Amazon Prime Video doesn't have the best audio and video quality.Published 2 months ago by weirdboy
this is a moving story with historical themes. it is a childhood favorite and I can watch it over and over againPublished 2 months ago by andrea savage