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DVD Brief: Babe: Pig in the City

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Babe: Pig in the City
Babe: Pig in the City

95 minutes
Widescreen 1.85:1, 1.33:1 full frame
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Interactive menu
Theatrical trailer
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
Extras: Production notes, theatrical trailer, cast and filmmaker bios, Web links, screen saver
Suggested Retail Price: $29.98
Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Judy Morris, Mark Lamprell
Cast: James Cromwell, Magna Szubanski, Mickey Rooney, Mary Stein, Julie Godfrey; voices of Steven Wright, E.G. Daily, Glenne Headly, James Cosmo, Roscoe Lee Browne, Danny Mann

Description: This sequel to the highly successful "Babe" (1995) got blind-sided by bad pre-release buzz and poor positioning by Universal: it's a brilliant film, almost surreal in its telling, that follows Babe and farmer Hogget's wife on a misguided journey into the "city" to make money to save the farm. Stranded in the city and on their own, the pair encounter evil humans and evil animals (including a cynical family of chimps) -- developing the "age-old" axiom that "bad things happen to good animals." Pig finds himself in an animal world very unlike his farm but very much like the human world around him: greed, anger and frustration seem to dominate. But the pig's compassion, courage and "humanness" rises to the occasion and goodness wins out. A tad dark for most kids -- and some adults, evidently -- but the cinematography and fable-like storytelling make a winning combination.

Image: Visually stunning, particularly the scenes in the "city," which is actually a dream-visage combination of various city skylines and icons, including New York, Paris, Seattle and Los Angeles. The canal setting of the "pet hotel" drips with luscious color.

Sound: Miller uses sound delicately to highlight his morality tale without detracting from visual image. A good sound mix.

All DVDs are screened on a reference Onkyo DV- S717 third-generation DVD player.

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(ISSN 1094-3676).