Babe: Pig in the City (Miller, 1998)

I’ve always been fond of the two Babe films, and revisiting the sequel only reinforces why this particular character resonates with me. Unlike Babe’s origin story, Pig in the City establishes an intriguing clash between the darkness and limitation of urban existence and the gracious simplicity of farm life. George Miller doesn’t skirt around the brutality of pitting animals against humans (the raid on the Animal hotel, where black booted storm troopers capture Babe and his friends, is blatantly defined by Gestapo tactics). Like Mumbles, the Puffin hero of Miller’s masterpiece Happy Feet, Babe leads not just by his clarity of purpose, but by a thoughtful selflessness that transcends family movie cliches and enlightens a dark world consumed by their own ideas of normalcy. Babe’s quest evolves out of the kindness and harshness of those around him, something even the faceless, emotionless humans of Miller’s universe seem to understand.

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