“No animal shall kill another animal. All animals are equal.”
A group of farm animals rebel against their cruel owner and take over the farm themselves. But soon two head pigs (Napoleon and Snowball) are vying for leadership, and the animals find themselves back in dire straits.
Most definitely NOT for little ones, this animated version of George Orwell’s classic anti-Communist allegory has been criticized as merely a serviceable adaptation of the novel (minus its downbeat ending), and viewed as most suitable for teens required to read the book in school. While there’s some truth to this (the translation is quite literal, and will likely be of most interest to those who’ve read the novel), this assessment isn’t quite fair, given that the high-quality animation throughout is consistently impressive, and the animators effectively utilize the medium to tell a tale it would undoubtedly be challenging to relate in any other format. (I haven’t seen the 1999 live version, so I can’t comment on this, but I’ve heard it’s even more disappointing.) Ultimately, as other critics have pointed out, the use of animation to tell this “fairy tale” (the novel’s subtitle) is actually appropriate — as long as viewers are prepared for a truly dark and disturbing narrative journey.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Creative animation
- An appropriately dark adaptation of Orwell’s classic dystopian novel
Yes, simply for its historical relevance as the first British feature animated (entertainment) film. Listed as a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)