Media

Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2011

ARTICLE INDEX

"Babe" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

movie-april-2011-babe

Synopsis

Babe is the story of a pig who is orphaned from his mother at a very young age.  Won at the fair by Farmer Hoggett, who initially sees Babe more as a good meal at Christmas than as an animal with any value.  Taken in by Fly, a sheep herding border collie, Babe doesn’t really want to fit into the accepted hierarchy of the farm and questions why things are a certain way.

His inquisitive ways get him into trouble early as he tries to help out a duck that’s attempting to take the place of a rooster in providing the morning wake-up call, but his bungling of the situation gets him into more trouble with everyone.  However, his inquisitive nature eventually starts to pay off as he discovers a talent that no one knew was possible.

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 1995, Color, Rated G, 1 Hr 29 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: VC1
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: James Cromwell
  • Directed by Chris Noonan
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

Babe was a surprising success at the box office, managing to even snag a nomination for Best Picture (beating out Toy Story, The Usual Suspects, Leaving Las Vegas, Casino, and many other wonderful films that year).  While I might not hold it in that high of regard, it was a very entertaining and touching film that flew by.  A couple of scenes were a little darker than I had expected for a kids film, and it deals with a few harder subjects, but it is overall very enjoyable and touching for the whole family.

It does feel like it was originally meant to run a lot longer, as it feels like it could have easily been another 30 minutes longer, but they wanted to hit that magic 90 minute number for a kids film, and in this case it probably benefits from omission.

Technical

Babe is 16 years old now, but for the most part the transfer doesn’t show it.  Overall it has a very nice, crisp image that looks very nice, though doesn’t quite jump off the screen in realism.  A few of the outdoor scenes were a bit rougher in quality, but overall it’s much better than I had expected.  The soundtrack isn’t that aggressive, but it does a good job with dialog and ambient effects around the farm.  It’s not something you would use to show off your new sound system to anyone, but it’s also true to the film and comes across nice and clear.

Extras

A commentary track from the writer/producer and two featurettes.