Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/3/99
Babe: Pig in the
1998 (1999) - Universal
review by Todd Doogan,
special to The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A, A-, C+
Specs and Features
95 mins, G, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, full
frame (1.33:1), single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (no layer switch),
Amaray keep case packaging, production notes, cast and crew bios,
web links, theatrical trailers, animated film-themed menu screens
with music, scene access (18 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1)
and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned
In this sequel to Babe,
days after winning the sheep-herding contest, Babe tries to pitch in
at the farm, and ends up banging up Farmer Hoggett pretty bad. So
bad, he's in a body cast and powerless to work on the farm. Mrs.
Hoggett does what she can, but she's no farmer, and soon, the farm
is in jeopardy of being foreclosed upon by the bank. Can Mrs.
Hoggett get Babe to the Big City in time for an appearance where
they'll make the mortgage money? Or will they end up in a hotel for
wayward animals, have a huge adventure and try to figure out another
way of making the money? If you guessed the latter, then go to the
head of the class.
Babe: Pig in the Cityis a very
cute film. I don't think I'll ever want to watch it again, but I
laughed a few times at the misadventures of the pig. Know this going
in: it's not the original Babe
-- this film doesn't even come close to that classic. What Babe
2 has is more action, funnier situations and more animal
characters, with pretty cute voices that will make you smile. I
particularly liked the terrier puppy, who explained that he was on
the streets because his human put him in a bag and "throwed"
him in the river. The way that line is delivered, and the voice
behind it is pretty funny. Kids will dig this, maybe not as much as
the first one, but I think they won't mind watching it.
Universal's DVD work is usually good, and Babe
2 is on even par with the rest of their line. The picture
quality is nice, and with all the digital effects, it's pretty
seamless. The Big City (a meshing of pieces of every major city in
the world) looks pretty fake, but that's no fault of the DVD. The
disc does give nice color and depth to the city, and the finale
(with all the purple balloons) looks particularly good on disc,
making me feel sorry for those with nothing but videotape. The sound
is nice as well, which is an important thing, given all the
dubbed-in animal voices. The tracks are natural and full, and well
displayed by the 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. It plays out very nicely,
with a good overall soundfield -- especially in the hotel, where
there is much chaos during action and dialogue scenes.
The extras are pretty standard. Cast and crew bios, production
notes and trailers. The disc is 16x9 (sweet) and looks good for it.
It's an RSDL dual-layer disc with no switch (the full frame and
letterbox versions occupy the different layers), which is a nice
touch, and something MGM should think about with their G rated line
(instead of giving us pan and scan only editions of beautiful
films). There's also a screensaver and web link for those of you
with DVD-ROM drives.
I can't say I agree with the late Gene Siskel, whose proclamation
was that this film was the "Best Movie Of The Year", but I
do agree with him that the duck rules this film. So I ask Universal:
when's there going to be Ferdy: The
Unlucky Ducky? I'd stand in line for that.