141. Babe

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Movie: Babe

Release Date: August 4, 1995

Director: Chris Noonan

Starring: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski.

Tag Lines: “A little pig goes a long way.”

Relevance: When I saw the trailer for ‘Babe,’ I thought that it looked cute but I kind of dismissed it. I knew I would eventually see the film as I watched absolutely everything, but I was not going to run out to the theater to see a family movie about a talking pig. What an idiot I am sometimes.

‘Babe’ won worldwide critical acclaim and was a huge success at the box office. I didn’t see the film until it was released on VHS in March of 1996. By that time, it was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, so it was on the top of my must see list. I rented it that week and watched it just before the Oscar telecast. To say that I loved the movie would be a complete understatement. As soon as I was finished it, I returned the rental and went directly to the music and movie store that I worked at to buy the VHS for my movie collection.

The movie was nothing like I had seen before with fantastic visual effects. It was also a delightful, heartfelt, humorous and uplifting story that not only made me smile but also made me weep. Yes. I cried watching a kid’s movie. Before you mock me about crying over a kid’s movie, watch the film. If you don’t at least tear up at the end, you are dead inside. Although it did not win Best Picture and was not my favorite film of 1995 (there are a few more from that year that will pop up on this blog soon), it was by far my favorite film nominated for Best Picture that year. I absolutely adored it. And I made sure, like I always do, that everyone I knew saw it as well.

When I visited with friends and family, I brought the movie with me, watching it numerous times throughout the Spring and Summer of that year. Each time that I watched it I fell in love with it even more. I also loved seeing everyone else’s reactions when they watched the film. It was one of those rare films that everyone I knew agreed it was terrific. I loved when that happened.

‘Babe’ is a movie that has remained in my movie collection (now on DVD) and one that I watch periodically whenever I need to feel good about life or just be entertained. It is also a film I’ll stop and watch if I see it playing on TV regardless if it is at the beginning, middle or end. It is such a sweet movie and one that is referenced quite a bit in my household. At least once a week I will hear my husband say “That’ll do pig. That’ll do.” I never know if he is talking to me but nonetheless it always makes me smile.

Today’s Thoughts: “Baa-ram-ewe! Baa-ram-ewe! To your breed, your fleece, your clan be true! Sheep be true! Baa-ram-ewe!”

I love ‘Babe.’ Watching it first thing this morning was the perfect way to start the day. That lovable pig has given me such an optimistic feeling. Since it is 2020, I am sure that optimism will only last until noon, but I’ll take what I can get.

Beautifully directed by Chris Noonan, it is a warm, magical movie that always cheers me up. Those talking animals from Babe to Maa to Fly to those singing mice really make my heart soar with glee. The visuals hold up quite nicely after twenty-five years and its message of overcoming obstacles is the perfect one for my mindset these days.

The human cast is overshadowed of course by the animals, but they are equally impressive. James Cromwell is the perfect Arthur Hoggett. His performance is subtle, heart-warming and simply wonderful. The last close-up shot of his face is priceless and always makes me cry.

“And though every single human in the stands or in the commentary boxes was at a complete loss for words, the man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them knew exactly what to say. ‘That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.'”

Cue the Kleenex.

‘Babe’ is a wonderful film for all ages. Whether you watch it with a five year old or a fifty-five year old, you are guaranteed to enjoy it. I used to be a vegetarian years ago but due to a food allergy I started eating meat again. Watching this film today makes me want to never eat another barnyard creature again. Now to convince my husband.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Effects, Visual Effects, Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlon, John Cox (winner), Academy Award for Best Picture (nomination), Academy Award for Best Director, Chris Noonan (nomination), Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, James Cromwell (nomination), Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, George Miller, Chris Noonan (nomination), Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Roger Ford, Kerrie Brown (nomination), Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Marcus D’Arcy, Jay Friedkin (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Picture (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Achievement in Special Effects, Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlon, John Cox (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Editing, Marcus D’Arcy, Jay Friedkin (nomination), BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay – Adapted, George Miller, Chris Noonan (nomination), Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Family Film (winner), National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Film (winner), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film, Chris Noonan (winner), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, George Miller, Chris Noonan (nomination).

Ways to Watch: Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, HBO Go, DVD Availability.

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