Babe: Pig in the City (1998)

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Released 19-Jul-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy DVD-ROM Extras
Production Notes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Menu Animation
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 91:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By George Miller
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Magda Szubanski
James Cromwell
Mickey Rooney
Case Brackley-Trans-No Lip
RPI $36.95 Music Nigel Westlake


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Portuguese
Greek
French
Arabic
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Babe: Pig In The City is the follow-up to the wonderful Babe. The sequel is very different to the original. It is a much darker, more gothic and almost Alice-In-Wonderlandish movie.

    Babe, ever enthusiastic on the Hoggett's farm, causes a nasty accident to befall Farmer Hoggett (James Cromwell), leaving him bed bound and restricted to a bit part in this movie. The farm is in imminent danger of being foreclosed, so Esme Hoggett (Magda Szubanski, stockier and with a Scottish accent instead of a faux American accent) takes Babe to the Big City to try and raise some funds to save the farm.

    What follows are some very unusual adventures when Babe and Mrs Hoggett become separated.

    This movie does not have the simple charm of the first one. Whilst still being enjoyable, I found that I was more readily critical of the more obvious special effects in this movie compared with the first. In this movie, it was often easy to tell what was special effect, what was puppetry and what was animal live action. In the original, this was very hard to do.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Warner Advanced Media Operations were responsible for the compression of this disc.

    This is an excellent transfer which falls just shy of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear throughout. Shadow detail was excellent and there was no low level noise.

    The colours, once again, were rich and vibrant.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of minor amounts of aliasing - more than in the first Babe - which was slightly distracting at times. The worst scene for this was the view of the big city at night through the attic window which shimmered quite considerably. Film artefacts were very rare.

    Subtitles must be selected from the main menu, and the choices are dependent on which Region the DVD player is set to.

Audio

    The audio tracks available on this DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand. There was a very slight amount of distortion in the dialogue in the left channel between 28:59 and 29:03.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The score by Nigel Westlake is frequently present, and has a very similar feel to the original movie - whimsically classical in nature. Once again, it suits the overall mood of the movie excellently.

    The surround channels were utilized effectively by this soundtrack, with music and ambience placed in the rear channels. Whilst not being spectacular in its use of the surrounds, nonetheless the soundtrack enveloped you subtly in the movie, even more so than the original Babe.

    The .1 channel received a small amount of signal which was well-integrated into the overall soundtrack.

Extras

    There is a nice, but limited, set of extras on this disc.

Menu

    The menu design is very colourful, and features both animation and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Switching between menus triggers some very effective transitional animation, and scene selections feature moving images of the scenes. After a while, changing selections tends to drag on a little bit because of the animation. The menu is not 16x9 enhanced.

Production Notes

    These are detailed, interesting and easy to read.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are also detailed and easy to read.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

DVD-ROM Features

    I was unable to check out these features, so I cannot comment on what specifically is present.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    There is nothing compelling to prefer one version over the other.

Summary

    Babe: Pig In The City is a vastly different movie to Babe, being much darker than the original. I was not as impressed with this movie as with the original, but this one is at least worth a rental.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are fairly limited but are very well-presented.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Thursday, July 22, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

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