Many of the classics of children’s entertainment, like Pinocchio or The Wizard Of Oz, showed a willingness to confront their young audience with the terrors of abandonment and adult wickedness before bringing them back into the light, but with few exceptions, like the 1990 Roald Dahl adaptation The Witches, family films have treated kids a little more delicately as time has passed. So when the cute little pig Babe left the farm for the frightening urban sprawl of George Miller’s Babe: Pig In The City, the result was a commercial fiasco, as if Miller had gone out of his way to terrorize the faithful. But Babe: Pig In The City is even better than its predecessor, a comedy of awe-inspiring beauty that bears much of the thrilling kineticism of Miller’s Mad Max movies. And whenever it seems too bleak, there’s alway the good-hearted Babe, who gamely attempts to save the injured Farmer Hoggett’s farm by venturing to the city, where he winds up in the only hotel that caters to animals. As usual, Babe rallies his fellow animals through gentle cajoling, but the trials are significant, including a stage act involving a family of chimps, an orangutan in crushed green velvet, and a deranged clown played by Mickey Rooney. Oh, and the finale involves an elaborate choreography of bungee cords. Sometimes nightmares are more beautiful than dreams. The film airs tonight at 7:45 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. and Saturday at 11:45 a.m. (all Eastern) on HDNet Movies.
April 03, 2015 Cable Pick Of The Day