Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
Babe is Up to Some Monkey Business
After a glorious return to the farm having won the sheepdog competition Babe's joy is short lived when he is the cause of an accident which befalls farmer Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell) leaving his wife, Esme (Magda Szubanski), to keep the farm running. But despite Esme's best endeavours a visit from the men in suits means they need money and it leads to Esme taking Babe to the city to appear in a fair. Neither Esme nor Babe know life outside of the farm and they end up missing a connecting flight when there is an incident at the airport and they end up getting lost in the city as they are stranded till there is a return flight home.
I enjoyed "Babe" when it came out in the mid 90s but I wasn't a major fan and that may be of importance as I wonder whether if I had been a huge fan I would have enjoyed the sequel "Babe: Pig in the City" more. Oh there are some things which I enjoyed about this sequel and Magda Szubanski is brilliant from start to finish and strangely watching it now her performances as Esme Hoggett reminded me of when Susan Boyle first appeared on "Britain's Got Talent". But for the most this follow up bored me and found myself clock watching before I was even 30 minutes in.
So what went wrong for me? Well it is a combination of two things as firstly there is no real storyline rather than series of mini adventures. And it seems like it has been done like this in order to try and impress with all the special effects to make the animal movements and the quirky locations entertaining which is the second thing. In fairness I don't think they could have come up with a reasonable storyline for the sequel and so going episodic with a series of adventures probably is a good thing for young audiences but it left me as a grown up wanting some thing more.
Thing is that if I removed my feelings from the equation then technically "Babe: Pig in the City" is impressive. The look, the quirkiness of the locations, the humour of mice sneaking in to a room where there is a cat choir as well as of course the techniques to make animals move in a believable fashion is exceptional. The trouble is that I wanted more and no matter how good it is technically or how well performed it is by Magda Szubanski and Mickey Rooney it struggled to maintain my interest.
What this all boils down to is that "Babe: Pig in the City" is probably still entertaining for young audiences who will enjoy the simple comedy of talking animals and an accident prone pig with a heart of gold but for me as a grown up I needed something more which it failed to deliver.
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