Babe: Pig in the City

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Babe: Pig in the City
Babe pig in the city.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Miller
Written byGeorge Miller
Judy Morris
Mark Lamprell
Based on Characters
by Dick King-Smith
Produced by Doug Mitchell
George Miller
Bill Miller
Narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Edited by Jay Friedkin
Margaret Sixel
Music by Nigel Westlake
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • 25 November 1998 (1998-11-25)
Running time
96 minutes [1]
United States
Budget$90 million [2]
Box office$69.1 million

Babe: Pig in the City is a 1998 comedy-drama adventure film. It is the sequel/epilogue to the 1995 film Babe and the second & final chapter of the Babe film series. It is co-written, produced and directed by George Miller, who co-wrote and produced the original film. [3] Most of the actors from the first film reappeared as their respective roles, including James Cromwell, Miriam Margolyes, Hugo Weaving, Danny Mann, Roscoe Lee Browne and Magda Szubanski with newcomers featuring Glenne Headly, Steven Wright, James Cosmo, Myles Jeffrey, and Mickey Rooney. However, most of them have only brief appearances, as the story focuses on the journey of Babe (now voiced by Elizabeth Daily in place of Christine Cavanaugh).


The film was nominated for Best Original Song at the 1998 Academy Awards. The film was neither critically nor commercially as successful as its predecessor, grossing only $69.5 million on a $90 million budget [4] and receiving mixed reviews.


A few weeks after the events of the first film, Babe inadvertently causes an accident while attempting to help Farmer Hoggett repair the pump for the farm's well. Arthur sustains severe injuries and his wife Esme is tasked with tending the farm alone. Shortly afterward, bank representatives arrive to inform the Hoggetts they will be evicted at the end of the month unless they can pay their mortgage off. Then Esme finds a flyer for a faraway fair hosting a sheepdog herding contest which promises enough prize money to save the farm and they set off to go there together.

At the city of Metropolis' airport, an overzealous sniffer beagle named Snoop falsely signals that Pig and Esme are carrying illegal substances. Airport security officers interrogate Esme, causing her to miss their connecting flight. Failing to secure accommodation that allows animals in an unfamiliar city, Esme is approached by an airport janitor who refers them to a suitable hotel. When Esme arrives there, she is turned away but is intercepted at the back entrance by the landlady, who loves animals and provides them with a refuge, much to the chagrin of her neighbours.

While Esme leaves to make a long-distance call home, Babe chases a Panamanian white-faced capuchin named Tug who steals Esme's suitcase. Following him into a hotel room, Babe meets a trio of chimpanzees—Bob, his wife Zootie and his little brother Easy—and Thelonius, a civilized Bornean orangutan who is a servant for the landlady's elderly uncle, Fugly. His plan is to make Babe part of the clown act he performs with his apes at the children's ward of the local hospital. Babe initially refuses, but accepts when the apes insinuate that he will be paid—funds he could use to save the farm. When Esme returns, Fugly leads her to think Babe escaped into the city. During her search for Babe, Esme is arrested after an incident involving police officers and other bystanders caused by a gang of hooligan bikers attempting to mug her. Meanwhile, at the hospital, Fugly performs his act, which goes awry when Babe accidentally causes Fugly to set the stage curtains ablaze.

The next morning, Fugly is taken to the hospital in a food coma, accompanied by his niece. Left to fend for themselves, the hotel's animal occupants soon become hungry and the chimps decide to steal food from a store, using Babe to distract a pair of guard dogs. When the dogs chase Babe around the neighborhood, he falls into a canal. He returns to save one of the dogs from drowning, who gratefully pledges to be Babe's bodyguard; Babe then invites all the stray cats and dogs to the hotel. Babe and the guard dog share the pilfered jellybeans the chimps stole with all the animals as Zootie later goes into labor and gives birth to twins. Babe then joins the animals together in singing "If I Had Words", which is overheard by his duck friend, Ferdinand, who left the farm to save it as well.

The celebration is interrupted when several unfriendly animal control officers, falsely alerted to the violation by the Flooms' neighbor, Hortense, who dislikes animals. Most of the animals are removed except for Babe, Tug, Ferdinand and a disabled Jack Russell terrier named Flealick. The next day, Esme is released from custody after explaining her predicament to the judge. That night, Babe, Tug, Ferdinand, and Flealick infiltrate the animal control facility and rescue their wrongfully imprisoned friends. Esme later returns to the hotel to find it in disarray and the landlady mourning her uncle and the animals' capture. After confronting Hortense since she is the one responsible, they set out to find them.

The duo track the animals to a charity dinner in the hospital's ballroom and retrieve them all. The landlady then sells the hotel, which becomes a loud nightclub, and gives the proceeds to Esme to save the farm. The landlady and the animals come to stay at the farm, where Esme resumes her duties and Arthur recovers, and after finally fixing the farm's water pump, proudly smiles at Babe and says, "That'll do, Pig. That'll do."


The fish are voiced by Al Mancini and Larry Moss.

Additional character voices were provided by Lisa Bailey, Balyne Barbosa, Victor Brandt, Jeannie Elias, Pippa Grandison, J. D. Hall, Mark Hammond, Barbara Harris, Wendy Kamenoff, Scott Leavenworthy, Julie Oppenheimer, Deborah Packer, Roger Rose, Carly Schroeder, Joseph Sicari, Aaron Spann, Drew Lexi Thomas, and Naomi Watts. [6]


Christine Cavanaugh, who played Babe in the first film, was approached to reprise her role, but declined when contract negotiations fell through. [7] Cavanaugh was eventually replaced by her Rugrats co-star E. G. Daily. [8] The director of the successful first movie, Chris Noonan, was also missing from Babe: Pig in the City, with directorial duties handled by George Miller (Noonan was reportedly not even invited to the premiere Australian screening). [9]

Prior to the film's theatrical release, it was originally rated PG by the MPAA. [10] The TV spots for the film's theatrical release mentioned this rating, as did a promotional poster. By the time the film was released in theaters it had been re-rated as G due to the film being re-edited and submitted again for review. [10]

Babe: Pig in the City takes place in an imaginative, fantasy-like metropolis. The aesthetic is notably reminiscent of Oz. [11] The city has numerous styles of architecture from around the world. It also has a variety of waterways, noticeable by the hotel at which Babe stays. The downtown area appears to be situated on an island not dissimilar to Manhattan Island. The Downtown Skyline features numerous landmarks such as the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the IDS Center, the MetLife Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fernsehturm Berlin, Big Ben, St. Basil's Cathedral of Moscow's Red Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Christ the Redeemer statue, among others. [1]

The DVD covers feature a similar but different city of San Francisco.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has 65% approval rating based on 65 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.24/10. [12] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade "B" on scale of A+ to F. [13] On Metacritic the film carries a score of 68, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [14]

On release the film received poor reviews by most critics, receiving the lowest marks; most believed the sequel had lost the innocence of the original. Empire's Andrew Collins said, "Where Babe brought deep-rooted joy, the sequel brings fidgety depression" and awarded the film one star. [15] Janet Maslin of The New York Times said, "It will work as a sequel only hard-core Babe fans willing to follow this four-legged hero (or heroine, as Babe obviously is in some scenes) anywhere. Had Pig in the City been made first, it by no means could have prompted a sequel of its own." [16] American film critic Gene Siskel, on the other hand, named it as his choice for the best movie of 1998 over more adult-oriented films like Saving Private Ryan , Life Is Beautiful and Shakespeare in Love . [17] Roger Ebert gave the film four out of four stars and said it was "more magical than the original Babe." [1]

In the decades since Babe: Pig in the City's release, the movie has developed a cult following. [4] Tom Waits expressed appreciation for the film during a 2010 interview with Mojo Magazine . [18] Radio personality/podcaster Jesse Thorn has also praised the film. [19]


Peter Gabriel's "That'll Do", written and composed by Randy Newman, was nominated for Best Original Song at the 71st Academy Awards.


The musical score for Babe: Pig in the City was composed by Nigel Westlake, who previously wrote the music for Babe. A soundtrack album was released on 24 November 1998 by Geffen Records featuring Westlake's score, music inspired to the well as sound clips taken from film. The soundtrack also includes source music such as "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller and "That's Amore" by Dean Martin. Additional tracks include the Academy Award-nominated theme song "That'll Do" and a song sung by Elizabeth Daily, the voice of Babe.

1."That'll Do"Peter Gabriel Featuring Paddy Maloney* And The Black Dyke Band3:53
2."Babe: A Pig In The City"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra1:22
3."The Returning Hero"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra1:16
4."Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" Edith Piaf 2:19
5."Chattanooga Choo-Choo"Glenn Miller & His Orchestra* With Tex Beneke & The Modernaires With Unknown Artist3:14
6."Scram, This Is Not A Farm!"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra2:27
7."That's Amore"Dean Martin3:07
8."Three Blind Mice"Unknown Artist0:42
9."A Pig Gets Wise"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra1:17
10."Are You Lonesome Tonight"The Mavericks3:00
11."Protected By Angels"The Chieftains Featuring The Black Dyke Mills Band3:39
12."The Big City (Two Step Nadya)"The Terem Quartet*3:12
13."Babe's Lament"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra2:38
14."A Heart That's True"E.G. Daily4:00
15."The End"Melbourne Symphony Orchestra1:26
16."That'll Do (Instrumental)"James Watson And The Black Dyke Mills Band4:00

Home media

The film was released on VHS, DVD (in both widescreen and pan and scan formats), and laserdisc on 4 May 1999. On 22 May 2001, the film was released on DVD as a 2-pack with the original Babe . On September 23, 2003, it was re-released on DVD as part of "The Complete Adventure Two-Movie Pig Pack" in its separate widescreen and pan and scan formats. On November 12, 2004, it was re-released onto DVD as part of a Family Double Feature, which includes Babe with the widescreen and the pan and scan versions of the film. On May 7, 2013, it was released on Blu-ray for the 15th Anniversary Edition of the film's release and re-released on Blu-ray by Fabulous Films Limited in UK on June 17, 2017.[ citation needed ]

Video game

In 2006, a universally-panned video game based on the film was released on PlayStation 2. [20]

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