Cautions: brief language, slang and some name calling, mild ethical confusion, and some animal violence
Babe is the lighthearted tale of a young pig brought to an idyllic farm to be raised as the future Christmas dinner. As the fateful day approaches, Babe’s naïveté and friendly disposition get him into trouble as he is manipulated into breaking farm rules, but they also give him an advantage in making alliances with other animals, eventually leading to the discovery of his unexpected talent at sheep herding, and causing the quiet, usually practical Farmer Hogget reconsider his options for the upcoming sheepdog trials.
1995 | Chris Noonan | 89 min
Brief Language, Slang and Some Name Calling
for G-d’s sakes
Mild Ethical Confusion
The question of whether or not Babe is going to be butchered is a major theme in the movie. In his case at least, butchering is portrayed as a very undesirable fate. A mean-spirited animal discourages Babe by telling him that he has no purpose, except to become meat for the humans. A roast duck is served, and another duck laments its death, crying out “Christmas means carnage!” However, while the other animals recognize butchering as a typical fate for many animals, they appear to take it more in stride, and the human characters are never shown to be reconsidering eating meats, except in Babe’s special case. How this theme affects viewers will depend entirely on their ethical position going in.
A comment is made about a time “when pigs were afforded no respect, except by other pigs.” This can either be taken as an animals-are-people-too statement, or simply as a contrast between righteous humans, who have regard for the lives of their animals, and wicked ones, who are cruel to animals.1
A young Babe, exposed to prejudice, is briefly said to have made a decision not to think badly of any creature ever again. This could either mean that he is going to think well of everyone, regardless of whether they are good or evil (which would be an unbiblical decision), or that he is not going to assume the worst about others (which would be a good decision).
It is against “the rules” for Babe to leave a certain area, but he does so when he senses something wrong, and ends up doing good because of it.
Some Animal Violence
Dogs fight each other, attack other animals, and chase Babe. A dog bites a human on the hand. These scenes may be intense for young children or sensitive viewers.
A sheep dies, and then is seen dead on the bed of a truck with its eyes open.
A veterinarian sedates a dog with a needle.
Many of the main characters are animals with human-like emotions (able to communicate with each other, though not with humans).
Luck is mentioned a couple of times, and the word “destiny” is used.
A couple kisses goodbye. A duck says that he “tried it with the hens, and it didn’t work.”
A woman faints, and her skirt exposes her mid-thigh in a non-sensual way.
A human male character is initially passive, and a canine male character is initially aggressive and dominating, to the point of abuse. Each of these problems are resolved by the ending.
At one point a positively-portrayed dog yells at and threatens livestock to get them to do something important.
A man is heard mentioning beer.
1 See Proverbs 12:10