"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book vs. Movie Review: Babe

Hello, everyone!

This year is 2019 in our calender, but it is also the year of the pig in the Chinese and Japanese years. Because of this I am going to review a book and a movie about a pig! One of the sweetest pigs of all time, I might add.

I hope that you enjoy!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning.

Babe the Gallant Pig - by Dick King-Smith:
Also known as: The Sheep-Pig.
'For some time now they had shown an instinctive interest in anything that moved, driving it away or bringing it back, turning it to the left or right, in fact herding it.'
A farmer wins a pig by guessing his weight. Babe, the pig, bonds with a collie who is a sheepdog, and the two become like mother and son. Soon Babe begins to learn how to herd ducks and chickens, and wants to do the same with sheep, but the farmer's wife is still thinking about how tasty pigs are. If he can't get the sheep to move in the usual dog techniques, what is he going to do?
Genre: Middle grade fiction.
Characters: 7, it's a short book so there isn't a lot of development, but all the characters are really sweet.
My favorites:
Babe: This little pig! He is so sweet and kind and adorable!
Farmer Hogget: He is a kindred spirit to me. 'I'm daft, he thought, grinning to himself.'
Words: 7, the b-word of a female dog is used five times, but never in an insulting way, just talking about Fly. It was cool that each chapter heading was a quote in that chapter.
'On the opposite side of the valley the trees and houses and haystacks stood out clearly against the background in that three-dimensional way that means rain later.'
Quotes: 6, not extremely quotable on a day to day basis, but there are some sweet lines.
"You've got to be a brave boy."
Awards: 1984 Guardian Children's Fiction Award.
Content: 9, there is death and descriptions of blood, but it is very short and not too gory.
Originality: 9, this is such a cute idea of having a pig try to be a sheep dog! I know that I would never have thought of it.
Good For: kids, animal lovers.
Age Range: This is a perfect book for little kids! It is very short (I read it in one sitting), but sweet and I know that I would have loved it when I was little. Even reading it now I appreciated the sweet message.
Overall Score: 7.5!
Bonus thoughts:
'"I suppose you'd say," she remarked now, "that those dogs just weren't polite enough?'"
This is such a sweet book that reminds us that when we get into a habit we can just do it and not think about how we are treating others. It shows us through the innocence of Babe, how to be polite and kind to everyone. I love it!


Babe (1995):
Based on: Babe, the Gallant Pig - by Dick King-Smith.
"This is a tale of an unprejudiced heart that changed the whole valley."
A pig is won by a farmer and goes to live on a sheep farm. He makes friends with all of the animals there and the farmer, Mr. Hoggett, finds himself growing fond of him. After watching the sheep dogs do their work he decides that he wants to try, but their rough method doesn't work. He thinks the best of each animal but one dog, Rex, thinks that he is trying to take his place. Mr. Hoggett comes up with a crazy idea. Can Babe be a great pig, or will he end up as dinner?
Genre: Comedy, Family.
Length: approx. 91 minutes.
Costumes: 7, just regular clothing.
Script: 10, no bad words! "He should accept what he is and be grateful for it. That goes for all of us."
Directed by: Chris Noonan.
Written by: George Miller, Chris Noonan, & Dick King-Smith.
Christine Cavanaugh as the voice of Babe.
James Cromwell as Arthur Hoggett.
Magda Szubanski as Esme Cordelia Hoggett.
Miriam Margolyes as the voice of Fly.
Hugo Weaving as the voice of Rex.
Danny Mann as the voice of Ferdinand.
Miriam Flynn as the voice of Maa.
Roscoe Lee Browne as the Narrator.
Russi Taylor as the voice of Duchess.
Brittany Byrnes as The Hoggetts' granddaughter.
Wade Hayward as The Hoggetts' grandson.
Paul Goddard as the Hoggetts' son-in-law.
Zoe Burton as the Hoggetts' daughter.
Cinematography: 10!!! Warning, rant ahead. This is a movie where we have animals that talk with each other, and therefore their mouths have to move. We also have them doing strange things. In today's world what would the animals be? CGI. Did they do that for this movie? No! There is mixture of real animals and animatronics. You heard that, robots! Watching this you would never guess! As I say later, it won Best Visual Effects! So, so, so, awesome. I love it!!!
Cinematography by: Andrew Lesnie.
Music: 9, the score is so good and the one song in here is so sweet! I feel like singing it as I write, "If I had words to make a day for you..."
Music by: Nigel Westlake.
Notes: Because the book is very short, they had to add in more parts and they did such a great job! I really like Rex and his whole story, and Ferdinand is a hoot! That duck gets into so much trouble. In my opinion they took an already sweet story, and made it even sweeter and deeper in meaning! Bravo! I also love the development they did on Mr. Hoggett. When I was younger I thought that he was grumpy, but watching it now I see that he is just introverted and a kindred spirit! Another cool thing was dividing it into "chapters" and having the three funny mice announce each one!
Quotes: 8, "That'll do pig, that'll do."
Oscars won: 1: Best Visual Effects, but it was nominated for 7, including Best Picture!
Content: 9, there is death, and we see a little bit of blood and animal fights, but there are not a lot and they are short. We also mention dogs as breeding animals, and same with chickens and roosters.
Originality: 9, same as the book! As I said above, I love the additions.
Good For: Everyone!
Age Range: All ages! It is rated G, so any kid can watch this, but all adults would learn some things about being kind.
Overall Score: 9!
Bonus thoughts:
"The pig promised himself that he would never think badly of another creature again."
Where do I start? When I was little I thought that this film was a little boring, but boy, was I wrong! Babe gets into so many adventures, and he is the sweetest pig ever! The way that he shows kindness to everyone, even those who have hurt him, is inspiring. You just want to be like him! The time that he is just singing because he is so happy melts my heart. This movie is amazing, and you should all watch it when you have the chance.

The movie wins!

Well, there it is! I hope you all enjoyed my reviews of this sweet story. Have you read or seen this? What do you think of it?

Thanks for reading!



  1. Aww I loved this movie when I was little but it's been awhile since I've seen it. Ferdinand is hysterical. And I love Rex and Fly. And that SONG yes. Man I need to see this again.

    I started the book once, but it must not have grabbed me cuz it went back to the library unfinished...alas.

    Great post, MC!!

    1. Same! Before I rewatched it to review, it had been forever since I had seen it last! The characters make it so funny with their little quirks. <3 A rewatch is in order for you!

      One of the good things about being on a tight schedule, it makes you read things! The book was sweet, but lacking Ferdinand and Rex to make it truly great. :)

      Thanks, Megan!!

  2. I couldn't stand this movie when I was younger. So weird.

    But ...I have to see it again. And there's a book!? And they used robots!?!?!

    MB> keturahskorner.blogspot.com
    PB> thegirlwhodoesntexist.com

    1. Keturah, my younger sister doesn't like it either! I always thought it was okay but didn't understand why my older sister loved it so much. Now, I've grown to like it even more but my little sister still hates it. Yes, robots!!!


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