[VIDEO REVIEWS]When an Animal Talks, Everybody Listens"Dr. Doolittle 2," which recently opened in Korea, combined the wisecracks of Eddie Murphy and the wise talk of animals as a recipe for success. Usually there is something funny and sweet about talking animals, which is why they make popular character choices for family films such as "Stuart Little" and "Babe." Perhaps the most high-brow example is "Animal Farm," a live action animation film that casts animals in a philosophical satire about the Soviet Union and the failure of Communism.
STUART LITTLE (1999)
Directed by Rob Minkoff. Starring Michael J. Fox, Geena Davis, Hugh Laurie, Jonathan Lipnicki, Julia Sweeney, Bruno Kirby and Jennifer Tilly.
In the author E.B. White's world, it would make sense for a human couple to adopt a mouse named Stuart (Fox) as a playmate for their son George (Lipnicki). The orphanage director Mrs. Keeper (Sweeney) urges the Littles (Davis and Laurie) to "stay within their own species," but the dapper Stuart wins them over.
Stuart tries to fit in with his new family, but George is peeved about having a mouse for a brother. Stuart also has to reckon with Snowbell, the family's Persian cat, who is in up in paws over the arrival of the new rodent. "I can't believe this," he sighs in one scene. "I'm arguing with lunch."
Snowbell even enlists the help of a couple of no-good mice (Kirby and Tilly) to pose as Stuart's birth parents and take him away from the Littles. But Stuart soon learns the meaning of family, love and friendship.
Directed by Chris Noonan. Starring James Cromwell, Christine Cavanaugh and Danny Mann
The surprise hit of 1995, "Babe" was nominated for six Academy Awards, and won one for Best Visual Effects. In this marvelous tale, an old farmer, Hoggett (Cromwell), adopts a piglet Babe (Cavanaugh), convinced that he and the pig share "a common destiny." Babe is lonely at first, but the resident collie, who just delivered her own litter, befriends Babe and raises him as her own puppy. Babe also finds a friend in Ferdinand the duck (Mann), who thinks he's a rooster. Identity crises abound as Babe soon dreams about becoming a sheep dog.
Featuring real animals, animatronic doubles and computer technology.
ANIMAL FARM (1999)
Directed by John Stephenson. Starring Pete Postlethwaite, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Stewart and Peter Ustinov.
Based on George Orwell's novel, this movie is the story of a tragic rebellion. The animals of Manor Farm declare themselves "free and equal" and revolt against their human master, Benjamin Jones (Postlethwaite).
Led by the pigs, Snowball (Grammer) and Napoleon (Stewart), the animals try to create a utopian society. But political squabbling comes into play when a venerable pig named Old Major (Ustinov) dies. Napoleon gets a taste for power, ousts Snowball and establishes a totalitarian regime.
by Joe Yong-hee