Making the Grades
After his big win at the sheep herding contest in his first movie, Babe is confident he can help with more duties around the farm, and grow more profits for Universal Studios. However, his new confidence sets off a chain of events that leaves Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) incapacitated. Mrs. Hoggett (Magda Szubanski), faced with foreclosure of the farm, decides to earn some quick cash by taking Babe to an exhibition where he can show off his skills.
But Mrs. Hoggett isn't what you'd call a seasoned traveler. Missing her airline connection, she finds herself lost in the big city, and after a long search, discovers only one hotel that's willing to take her and the pig. A beautiful work of set design and art direction, the hotel adds to the strange ambiance that we enjoyed in the first Babe movie. Owned by a woman who obviously feels that animals deserve at least two-star accommodation, the hotel is full of critters that live in their own society.
But the plight of these creatures puts a dark cloud over the sunny concept of the original Babe, making this film the most frightening G rated movie I can recall. The animals in the hotel represent disturbingly real criminals we see in society -- and movies. An orangutang is played to be a drug lord, while a pit-bull has an Italian mafia accent. But when a neighbor complains about the flea-bitten establishment, animal control people come in and capture the gang in a long and heart wrenching scene that will probably upset many young viewers.
While Babe is trying to find his place in the animal kingdom, Mrs. Hoggett has been sidetracked into thinking her pig has run away to the beach, and searches for him amidst a throng of women in G-string bikinis. (Maybe that's what they meant by rated G )
Working together, putting aside differences, and having respect for animals are the film's positive themes, but parents beware that this pig's name may be Mud by the time you're through.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Babe: Pig In The City.
When the neighbor across the street complained about the hotel, she is seen as the “bad person” in the movie. What does the writer of the movie do to place this character in such a negative light. (Notice her hair, music that plays when we see her, her tone of voice.) In a real life situation, would animals be happy living in that circumstance and would the neighbor have a right to complain? What happens to her in the end? Is this an additional way of making us dislike her?
Babe is rated G, meaning it is suitable for all audiences. Do you think it is?