Monday, February 26, 2007

A Little Pig Goes A Long Way

(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.


Ps said...

I'm like that too.I feel the same way about 1) the good guys, 2) the underdog, 3) seeing someone stick their neck out and try to do something new and 4) a winner.
Learnt about chinese zodiac year yesterday.Realised that my animal counterpart is the pig.
I havent seen this movie(but had heard about it)But after reading your post I'm going to watch it wit my kids

Sorted said...

That is so sweet. The one movie that makes me cry is "Homeward Bound." Its about the animals trying to get to their family.

I know it's sappy, but I saw it on a flight from Seattle to Orlando. I had been away for 3 weeks and missed my pets.

Hope you have a great week

Lemuel said...

I'll just bring a lot of tissues when we get together to watch Babe. Between you and me, we'll go through an entire warehouse. I love Babe, for many of the same reasons. I love the use of the Saint-Saƫns theme.

somewhere joe said...

Wonderful movie. Innovative in every way - it's point of view, it's groundbreaking animation, it's attitude. Movie magic.

The final scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's that always chokes me up.

Spider said...

Have not seen this one - but obviously need to put it on my "to see" list...

There are lots of scenes in movies that make me cry, but one that always does is in "The Way We Were" when Katie is in the hospital pregnant and she looks at Hubble and says, "please stay with me until the baby is born..." kicks me right in my abandondment fear gut and the tears just flow...

Paul said...

Ps: Find this movie and watch it with your kids, and your husband, this week. You all will enjoy it. (The sequel, Babe Goes to the City, isn’t half as good as the original.)

Sorted: It’s one thing to cry in a dark movie theater, or at home, but I suspect being in the center seat on a five hour flight would create some stares -– I must remember to be careful in seat selection when the movie’s a tear jerker. I’m putting Homeward Bound on my to-see list. Thanks.

Lemuel: What a sight! Two geezers (your word, not mine) sharing a jumbo box of tissues. Yes, the score was a big part of the movie. You’ve made me want to go buy the soundtrack, and I see it’s on iTunes. Arthur Hoggett singing and dancing to If I Had Words is another happy, touching moment for me. What men will do when the wife’s away!

somewhere joe: Movie magic indeed! Joe, I love it that I can always count on you to provide the obscure connection. At first I thought, “what does Breakfast at Tiffany's have to do with Babe?" I had forgotten where Moon River came from. (You’ll believe me when I say that B@T was before my time, won’t you? Yes I was alive, but not quiet into music yet. Or was I?) The chorus of three little mice singing this song in Babe surely even made Henry Mancini smile with glee. (Maybe if we can find a third, you and I could play this part.)

Spider: This is a must-see movie. I’m going to email you a Blockbuster coupon today. Go get it. (I wonder is it’s still only on VHS in the US?) Spider, we will NOT abandon you. But don't hold me responsible for making you cry.

tkkerouac said...

I missed the oscars last night!

Logophile said...

I LOVE Babe.
In fact, one of the songs I frequently sing to my kids at bed time is;
"If I had words to make a day for you,
I'd sing you a morning, golden and true.
I would make this day last for all time
and fill your nights deep in moonshine."

Its a fabulous movie.

woe said...

A man who can admit to crying appeals to me everytime. In this group that is a lot of appealing men it seems. ;-)

I loved Babe. I have not seen it since 1995 though.

I will be getting a copy to watch with my daughter this weekend.

Gawpo said...

Hi there, Paul! Wow. What a site. I love it here. Thank you for introducing yourself to me on mine or I may never have found you.

I agree with Ps all the way. And you, of course, since she started it!

Perhaps Ps and Uncle Gawpo can view this movie for the first time with the kids together. I will see of Amanda's Auntie can fly me to India. Now I am going to go view the rest of the quotes in your link. Wish I knew how to make those links work. NO! Not PORK links, silly!

Blue the Spa Girl said...

I loved it too.
I just sat down last week and watched it with Baby O, her first time seeing it. She loved it.
We will watch it again, as she never tires of a good movie.

Paul said...

tkkerouac: Thanks to the blog world, you can find recaps, and opinions, about the Oscars easily.

Logophile: I agree that it’s a fabulous movie. I just wish I had someone to sing to me at bedtime.

woe: Yes, see it again. Like it's the first time, every time.

Gawpo: Pork links? I like pork links, especially with French toast.

Blue: I always found it strange how children can watch the same movie over and over. That is, until I found one that I really liked.