(NOTE: Inspired by the Oscars, I've decided that, once a week, I'm going to try to share a movie that has made a significant impact on me. If nothing else, this will expose you to some of my idiosyncrasies.)
This is a tale about an unprejudiced heart, and how it changed our valley forever. There was a time not so long ago when pigs were afforded no respect, except by other pigs; they lived their whole lives in a cruel and sunless world. In those days pigs believed that the sooner they grew large and fat, the sooner they'd be taken into Pig Paradise, a place so wonderful that no pig had ever thought to come back.
- Opening line in the film, Babe (1995)All kinds of species live on the Hoggett farm. Each animal has a job to do, tries to do it well and knows his or her place in the world. They aim to keep their owners happy, but understandably, the pressure to avoid becoming Christmas dinner can make an animal do some pretty outlandish things. Babe's approach to barnyard life is different from all the others, and as we humans know, life can be more challenging, but all the sweeter, for the pig who marches to the tune of a different drummer.
First, just let me say that I cry -- big time -- every time I see Babe. (Like I do at many movies, really.) This movie pulls all my strings. I'm a sucker for 1) the good guys, 2) the underdog, 3) seeing someone stick their neck out and try to do something new, and 4) a winner. Babe is it! He's innocent, sweet, naive and open; he wants to be a sheep dog; and manages to win the Grand National sheep herding contest by befriending the sheep.
Also, I think I'm a lot like farmer Arthur Hoggett (played by James Cromwell). I'm rather low-key; I don't always have a lot to say. I play by the rules. But like Arthur Hoggett, I have no problem taking advantage of any loop hole.
I first had this move on VHS. It was the first movie I ever bought as a DVD. (It's not distributed in the US on DVD, and I found it on the Internet.)
Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the movie:
Ferdinand (the duck): I suppose the life of an anorexic duck doesn't amount to much in the broad scheme of things.
Fly (the dog): All right, how did you do it?
Babe: I asked them and they did it. I just asked them nicely.
Fly: We don't ask sheep, dear; we tell them what to do.
Babe: But I did, Mom. They were really friendly.
Babe: Move along there, ya... big butt heads!
(This line always makes me giggle.)
Narrator: And though every single human in the stands or in the commentary boxes was at a complete loss for words, the man who in his life had uttered fewer words than any of them knew exactly what to say.
Farmer Hoggett: That'll do, pig. That'll do.
(And at this part of the movie, I'm a basket case. Where's the Kleenex?)
Other great quotes from Babe can be found here.