Stars: James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski, voices of: Christine Cavanaugh, Miriam Margolyes, Danny Mann, Roscoe Lee Browne. Written by Chris Noonan & George Miller. Directed by Chris Noonan. Rated G.

Sheep, ducks, dogs, cows, horse, and an adorable pig are all given voice in the new Universal film "Babe" based on Dick King-Smith's beloved children's book "The Sheep-Pig". The animals in this live-action film speak to each other in English; nevertheless, they can't be understood by their English-speaking masters, the Hoggetts (James Cromwell, Magda Szubanski).

Babe (Christine Cavanaugh), the pig, is won in a raffle by Farmer Hoggett and adopted by the kindly matriarchal sheepdog Fly (Miriam Margolyes). Babe makes friends with a unusual duck named Ferdinand (Danny Mann) who crows each morning before the roosters can to secure a position on the Hoggett's farm. It seems that Ferdinand and Babe are both in the unfortunate position of not possessing a skill. Such being the case, they learn that their only purpose in life is to eat and grow so that one day they can become food on the table.

In order to stave off the inevitable, Babe takes sheepdog lessons from Fly. Farmer Hoggett, realizing Babe's worth and novelty, allows Babe to work in that capacity. Babe becomes so good at it that Farmer Hoggett enters his amiable in the annual sheepdog competition. Unfortunately for Babe, the sheep at the competition are not the one's he's dealt with before and he has trouble bending them to his will.

"Babe" is just about the cutest darn animal movie to hit the pike in years. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the antics of this clever pig and his farm-mates.

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