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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Satire in Cartoon Form
The animation of this low budget 1954 British cartoon Film isn't in the same league as Disney's extravaganza's of the same period.
But what it lacks in polish it more then makes up for in substance.
~~~~
The long suffering animals of Manor Farm have finally had enough of farmer Jones's abuses, and launch a revolution.
Driving him out,and off the...
Published on 22 May 2007 by Armchair Pundit

versus
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of awful version of a very fine book
George Orwell's book is already a sort of cartoon version of the Russian Revolution, so it should come as no surprise that this cartoon movie over-simplifies Orwell's point. Serious damage is done to the story. For example, the book ends with the other animals perceiving that there is no longer any difference between the pigs and the humans, but the film ends with the...
Published on 18 Sep 2008 by lexo1941


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Political Satire in Cartoon Form, 22 May 2007
By 
Armchair Pundit "Armchair Pundit." (Durham City, England.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
The animation of this low budget 1954 British cartoon Film isn't in the same league as Disney's extravaganza's of the same period.
But what it lacks in polish it more then makes up for in substance.
~~~~
The long suffering animals of Manor Farm have finally had enough of farmer Jones's abuses, and launch a revolution.
Driving him out,and off the farm.
But for the animals this is the start of something much worse.
~~~~
George Orwell(a Democratic Socialist)and life long member of the Independent Labour party,wrote this Anti-Stalinist Allergory not as a satire against Marxism(Orwell agreed with many of Marx's policies,and respected Lenin.)but about the corruption of the Stanlinist years.
Millions of ordinary Russian's suffered and perished under his tyranny.
To Help people whom may have not read this excellent book.
Here's a list of the Main characters,and whom they represent.
Farmer Jones = Nicolas 2nd of Russia.
Napoleon = Stalin.
Snowball = Trotsky.
Napoleon's personal bodygaurd = The K.G.B.
Squealer = Pravda.
Boxer = A tragic Avatar of the Russian working class.
Benjamin = Russian Jews.
Old Major = A mixture of Lenin & Marx.
Mr Fredrick = Adolf Hitler.
Mr Pilkington = The UK & US.
~~~~
When Napoleon replaces the song,"Beasts of England" with the deliberately inane "Animal Farm", this is meant to reflect when Stanlin replaced "The Internationale" with the "Hymn of the Soviet Union".
The ending of the film is much more upbeat then the Novel as it has the Animals revolting against Napoleon's regime.
But as what's happened to the Soviet Union since 1989,I'd say the Film is now more accurate.
The royalties from the book gave Mr Orwell a comfortable living for the rest of his life.
First published UK 17/8/45,US 26/8/46.
Time Magazine has had this Novel in it's all time 100 best books since published.
A Good Film and Book.Strongly Recommended.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a dark classic, 23 Mar 2005
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
Any child with a sensitivity to animals would find the violence in this 1955 groundbreaking British animated feature very disturbing; many of the farm animals suffer terrible cruelty at the hands of both Farmer Jones and the pigs that succeed him, so parents should use care and discernment since sometimes this film is represented as a "cartoon".
The script is based on George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and retains much of its brilliance, and is narrated by Gordon Heath, with character actor Maurice Denham speaking all the animal parts.
Orwell wrote "Animal Farm" with the Stalinist Soviet Union in mind, but the tale could apply to any totalitarian regime, many which start with the socialistic "one for all-all for one" idealism and propaganda. The animation is fairly simple compared to what one is used to today, but the images are powerful, and very moving. The plight of Boxer the horse and his devoted friend Benjamin the donkey is wrenching, and beautifully drawn.
The sound effects are also excellent, as well as the score by Matyas Siber, which has some songs that imitate the Soviet military style, with one of them cleverly vocalized by animal sounds.
This film is now in public domain, and there are some DVDs issued at a rock bottom price, which don't include the extras; I have one that has a fairly good transfer, with an adequate (considering the price) color reproduction of its Technicolor hues.
Directed by Jay Batchelder and John Halas, this was Britain's first feature length animated film, and is a classic, but too dark and upsetting for young children. Total running time is 73 minutes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some films are more equal than others, 4 Jun 2006
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
'Animal Farm' was never intended to be a novel for children. This animated interpretation is true to this and is certainly not a film for young children.

Ground-breaking when it first appeared, this classic retains great strength from the presentation of the key characters - Napoleon, Snowball, Boxer and Old Major with his Churchillian delivery.

If you want to know what Orwell wanted to say then you have to read his book. The producers of this film had to make a compromise with the ending, one that they probably would not have made if making the film now, and however understandable the reasons for the change are, it does detract from the overall morality of the tale.

In its own right this is an excellent film. Buy it, absorb it and put it on a high shelf where young children can't reach it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Critics a bit unfair, 25 April 2010
By 
Clare Kitson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
I think some critics of this film are judging it too harshly. Feature film makers were as dependent in the 50s as they are now on getting massive funding. In fact more so, because new technologies make animation less labour-intensive, and lower budgets must have made it easier to raise funding for adult projects such as Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir. Animal Farm was the first animated feature to be made in the UK and it cost a fortune to employ armies of animators, tracers, painters etc. The fact that Halas & Batchelor managed to persuade their US financiers to take a risk on this film -- very dark and not very family friendly despite its new upbeat ending - strikes me as admirable. I imagine the CIA would have preferred something likely to reach a far broader audience. Of course H&B had to make compromises, but I still found the message pretty chilling. Food for thought even today.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of awful version of a very fine book, 18 Sep 2008
By 
lexo1941 (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
George Orwell's book is already a sort of cartoon version of the Russian Revolution, so it should come as no surprise that this cartoon movie over-simplifies Orwell's point. Serious damage is done to the story. For example, the book ends with the other animals perceiving that there is no longer any difference between the pigs and the humans, but the film ends with the other animals rising up in a spontaneous rebellion and destroying the pigs - which, in Orwell's logic, would start the cycle off all over again. The CIA provided funds for this movie, and it is as much of a simple-minded piece of Cold War propaganda as the original book (written by a dedicated socialist who hated totalitarianism) isn't.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Just awful., 20 Nov 2013
By 
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
This is an awful adaptation, even for it's time, of an otherwise enjoyable classic. It fails to convey the deep meaning behind Orwell's novel and misses out key details that might have made this film slightly more watchable. The rendition of "beasts of England" was deafening, it was tuneless and lacked any lyrics. The animals seemed dazed almost stoned half of the time and I wish I was whilst watching this it might have taken the pain away.

If you want to know what it feels like to be tortured this film is probably the best place to start!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Educational, 10 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
What a brilliant story. My children watched this on tape nearly 30 years ago and now my grandchild. Political but fun
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5.0 out of 5 stars I am sorry for my acrobatic English., 9 Sep 2013
By 
Gabriele De Biasi (Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
The original is always the best.
I like it, and I recommend it, just, please, someone who understands English better than me .... but I like it too
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5.0 out of 5 stars Disney version ?, 18 Aug 2013
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
Armchair Pundit talks about a "Disney Extravaganza of the same period" I can't find a Disney film of Animal Farm on Google - what does he mean ?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Animal Farm, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] (DVD)
My daughter is very pleased with the cartoon as she had this as a youngster and wanted it so
she can watch is with her baby son
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