Babe (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-01-2011, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )


Studio and Year: Universal - 1995
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, Hugo Weaving (voice), Christine Cavanaugh (voice), Miriam Margoyles (voice), Roscoe Lee Brown (voice)
Directed by: Chris Noonan
Music by: Nigel Westlake
Written by: George Miller & Chris Noonan
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 5, 2011

"A little pig goes a long way"

Film Synopsis:

Babe is the inspirational story of a shy Yorkshire piglet who doesn't quite know his place in the world. But when Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell) wins him at the county fair, Babe discovers that he can be anything he wants to be -even an award-winning sheepdog! With the help of a delightful assortment of barnyard friends, the heroic little pig is headed for the challenge of his life in this endearing and fun-filled tale the whole family will love.

My Take:

Babe is the big screen adaptation of the original story by Dick King-Smith. I took my kids to see it during its theatrical run and we have been fans ever since. I have lost count of the number of times I watched it when they were little. I always found it to have an endearing charm that holds up under repeat viewings. Babe is a heartwarming fable with an emphatic innocence and positive message that revolves around a sort of coming of age story. Watching it today brings back fond memories as I found myself engaged by its emotive, witty and uplifting moments. I get a kick out of the banter between the animals as well as listening to Roscoe Lee Brown's running narration which provides insightful commentary. The drama is light, the levity is spot on, and the cuteness factor runs high (talking animals!). James Cromwell's Academy Award nominated performance in the role of Farmer Hoggett never gets old. He has surprisingly little dialogue but owns every scene he is in. I love the sequence where he sings and dances for Babe in order to inspire to him to eat/get well. Inspire him he does as the finale proves that a little courage and a big heart goes a long way. Babe is timeless family entertainment that I can't recommend enough.

Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all ages.

AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Video: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

Babe comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.3 mbps.

This is a solid high definition video presentation that faithfully presents the film's elements. The 1.85:1 framed video looks beautiful as images are firmly resolute with crisp edges, defining sharpness, and two dimensional depth that enhances dimension. Colors are beautifully rendered with revealing delineation and tonal warmth. The long range shots of the earth toned rolling hills and farm country look terrific. Fleshtones appear lifelike with naturally pale tonal description among the similar complexional types in the cast. Blacks are stable and exhibit good dynamic range with discernable gradational highlights and excellent depth of field during darker scenes. Watching Babe in high definition was like a breath of fresh air compared to its standard definition counterpart on DVD.

The lossless soundtrack readily delivers the goods in this fun and sometimes active surround mix. Dialogue, including Roscoe Lee Brown's running narration, is distinctive, free of sibilance, and appropriately elevated within the front soundstage. The atmospheric sounds of the Hoggett Farm, the cheering crowd, and Nigel Westlake's evocative music come across with crystal clarity and proportionate spacing that create a believable and occasionally enveloping listening experience. Dynamics are punchy and bass response provides low frequency support where appropriate. This is a pleasing audio presentation that had moments where it shined brilliantly.

Bonus Features:

  • The making of Babe - 4 minute featurette

  • George Miller on Babe - 6 minute featurette

  • Feature commentary with writer/producer George Miller

  • pocket BLU app

  • My Scenes bookmark feature

  • BD-Live access

Final Thoughts:

Nominated for seven Academy Awards Babe is a heartwarming and uplifting fable that I enjoy for its timeless theme, well executed production and superb performance by the versatile James Cromwell. This catalog release title comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring faithful audio/video quality and previously released bonus supplements that include a making of feature, writer audio commentary, and insights from the filmmakers. Fans may want to seriously consider an upgrade as this release makes for a noteworthy improvement over DVD. If you have never seen this wonderful family film this Blu-ray offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment makes for a great introduction. Recommended.


Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-01-2011, 11:21 AM
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"Thank the pig.." oops--I think that was from Babe 2: Pig in the City. Both it and the original are miles better than that other (dreadful) talking-pig-flick, Charlotte's Web (Dakota Fanning).

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-01-2011, 04:07 PM
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Babe is an excellent flick. It grows on you and totally catches you offguard with how good it is as it moves along. Thanks for the review!

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-05-2011, 10:27 AM
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The Babe films did surprise me, I never thought anyone with talent would make a talking pig movie, how wrong I was!

I do prefer the 2nd film I think, it's a little darker (not meaning image quality).

Thanks for this great review!
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-07-2011, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LARUE View Post

The Babe films did surprise me, I never thought anyone with talent would make a talking pig movie, how wrong I was!

I do prefer the 2nd film I think, it's a little darker (not meaning image quality).

Thanks for this great review!

I was surprised as well. I normally do not like movies with live animals talking, but this was a pleasant surprise.

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-07-2011, 02:31 PM
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I never saw Babe...I think I might give it a try soon
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-09-2011, 09:35 AM
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I do believe I liked it more than my children! Seeing it in the theater, I now think of Babe every time I see James Cromwell. My grown children say , There's the farmer, where's babe the pig? ( snicker, snicker) Thanks Ralph, this was a fun film.

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-11-2011, 06:18 AM
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