Story

Babe (voice of Christine Cavanaugh) is the runt of a pig litter. He’s taken from his mother and won by Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) at a local fair. Hoggett takes Babe home to the barn, where a caring sheepdog called Fly (voice of Miriam Margoyles) adopts him and raises him as her own. Babe make friends with many of the animals in the barn, including Ferdinand the duck (voice of Danny Mann). Ferdinand is always trying to save himself from the dinner table. He often gets Babe into trouble.

Babe is very keen to learn how to herd sheep and often goes out with Fly and Rex (voice of Hugo Weaving). He discovers that talking to the sheep gets better results than biting at their heels. Babe makes such an impression that Farmer Hoggett decides to enter him into the local sheepdog trials, much to the dismay of his wife and all of the judges. Babe is smarter than the average pig, however, and he also has the help of Rex and Fly. He manages to turn the scorn and laughter of the audience and judges into amazement.

Themes

Breeding farm animals to be killed for food; the reality of farm life; predatory animal behaviour

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • Rustlers steal Hoggett’s sheep. The rustlers’ dogs are very aggressive. They bark and snap at the sheep.
  • One of the dogs attacks Babe.
  • Rex and Fly have a serious fight. Rex is quite vicious and bites Farmer Hoggett when he tries to separate them. He also attacks Babe.
  • Wild dogs attack the flock of sheep and kill old Maa, who is shown on her back with blood all over her.
  • Babe goes to attack the dogs.
  • Hoggett almost shoots Babe, thinking he killed Maa. The scene shows Babe with a rope around his neck and Hoggett pointing a rifle at him.
  • The house cat attacks Babe, badly scratching his nose.
  • Fly threatens to ‘rip the sheep to shreds’.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • Rex is a fierce dog who scares Babe.
  • Rex has to be muzzled after he bites Hoggett.
  • Sheep drown in a flood that nearly kills Rex too.
  • Babe thinks that he’s going to be eaten so he runs away and is found crying and quivering.
  • Babe refuses to eat and gets sick. 

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children aged 5-8 years. For example:

  • A pig is prodded with a stick to make it move and ‘go to pig paradise’.
  • Some pigs live in a battery pen, which is described as a ‘sunless and cruel world’.
  • Babe cries for his mother.
  • Fly’s puppies are all sold, which makes Fly very sad.
  • There is much talk of animals being slaughtered for the dinner table. 

From 8-13

In addition to the violent scenes and disturbing visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb younger children in this age group. For example, the scene where wild dogs bite the sheep and try to drag them by the legs is particularly disturbing. 

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie. 

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Babe is a delightful family movie, which very effectively combines real animals with computer-generated animation.

The main messages from this movie are that you can achieve your potential if you really try and overcome prejudices. The movie also shows us that looks can be deceptive.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include determination, courage, loyalty, friendship, tolerance and acceptance of others.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about how animals are bred for people to eat. This is why some people prefer to be vegetarian.