The first rule bending is when Arthur Hoggett (James Cromwell) contributes to and wins a contest involving a pig when he doesn’t “keep pigs”, only sheep. He changes the make-up of his farm for his little pig.
The first rule Babe (Christine Cavanaugh) learns is “only dogs and cats inside the house”. However, that rules gets broken later when Hoggett lets him inside the house before the sheep trials contest.
Then there is the rule of only “sheep dogs” go to the field. The pig’s “job is to stay [at the farm] and eat…food”. However, Babe heads to the field when he hears something is wrong, despite what the rules are. Again, Hoggett decides to curb this rule because Babe proves to be defensive in regards to sheep.
Then we have Ferdinand (Danny Mann). He is resilient and brakes rules to try to survive. He brakes the rule of nature by “try[ing] [to mate] with the hens” and “turn[s] to crowing” like the roosters. He tries any way he can think to keep himself alive and useful.
Another rule that defies nature is Babe calling and considering Fly (Miriam Margolyes) his “mom”. He is a pig, and she is a dog. Even though Rex (Hugo Weaving) does not approve, Fly loves and encourages Babe anyway.
Then we see how resilient Babe actually is. He is faced with the expectation of his life: death and eating. However, he works through his depression at this news and strives to become the best “sheep pig” he can be and accomplishes this goal. He defies what the Cat (Russi Taylor) considers his “purpose”.
By entering Babe into the “sheep trials”, Hoggett bends the rules; however, no one can prove that he has broken any rules. He simply appears to be a laughing stock of the show. That is, until he wins the whole thing.
Then the sheep also defy their rules and give the sheep dogs and sheep pig their “password”. They provide a way for Babe to communicate with the sheep, even though they probably should not.
Sometimes, braking rules leads to reform and resilience leads to reconsideration. These animals and people choose their battles based on what they think is worth their time in this story.
Many, many more themes are presented in this film.
And most movies can be psychoanalyzed, even though I do not choose that path.
I always welcome a feminist look and even considered one myself with this film.
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