Babe

   A Parental Review of "Babe" for Concerned Parents:
             Review Type: Live Action,Movies, Posted by:

I had a hard time with whether or not to recommend the movie “Babe” in this review. Overall, it is a cute movie, but it has a lot of issues, and so I would not recommend it readily, and certainly not for someone under the age of, say, 12, and then only with eyes wide open.

It isn’t the language (there is only one notable language issue – when one of the animals calls another a “butt head”).

It’s the violence. This is a very violent movie; much more so than I had remembered from the first time I saw it, back when it first came out.

It starts with the farmer taking the baby pig (“Babe”) out to shoot him for Christmas dinner. He carries a loaded shotgun, and you see him walk out with it, you hear the shot, and then you see him walking back to the house with a dead animal (which turns out to be a duck, not Babe).

Then you see several animals looking through a window into the house, at the Christmas dinner scene, including a different duck, who is mourning the dead duck that they are eating.

And that’s only the beginning.

As Babe becomes more of a favourite around the farm, and starts trying to herd sheep, one of the two real sheep dogs – the male – goes crazy, and attacks his mate (the female sheep dog – “Mom” – Babe’s ‘adopted mother’) in a fight which leaves her and the farmer wounded, and causes the male dog to be chained, muzzled, and drugged into a near comatose state.

During this time, Babe is making friends with the sheep, whom the dogs consider stupid and worthy of contempt – a feeling that is returned by the sheep.

The oldest sheep – Ma (or, in sheep, “Ma-a-a-a”) – is a wise old female sheep, and is very sweet to Babe. In a horrific scene, she is attacked by a pack of wild dogs, brought down, and killed. The entire ruff around her neck is bloody. Babe, who drives the dogs off, sobs by her dead body, his own nose bloodied. That is how the farmer finds them, and he believes that Babe has killed the sheep. The next scene is of the dead sheep being driven back to the farm, on the back of a flatbed truck, her head flopping along the edge of the bed of the truck. The next scene is a very tense several moments of the farmer loading his shotgun, and taking Babe out to the shed, cocking the shotgun, and aiming it at Babe’s head… finger on the trigger, slowly squeezing. (Because, you see, the rule is that any animal that kills a sheep has to be killed, and the farmer thinks that Babe killed Ma.)

In addition to the violence, there is bullying and intimidation (dogs to the sheep, a cat to Babe), and, of course, the “butt head”, which in contrast to the violence seems tame, but is, none the less, pretty objectionable.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so surprised and disappointed if “Babe” had garnered at least a PG rating, but these sorts of scenes are not what I expect – or want – in a G rated movie.
Babe (Widescreen Special Edition)

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