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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "real-life" Version
This is an excellent version of the story of Animal farm with the animal roles played by animals. The only problem is the changes from the book as it is narrated in flashback by the sheepdog Jessie. This leads to serveral changes in narrative which could mislead those wishing to study the book as a commentary on Stalinism or as a vital example of distopian literature.
Published on 2 Jun 2009 by Ali HH

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Technically clever, but not for me
George Orwell's 1945 novella, Animal Farm, quickly became a classic. An allegorical attack on Stalinism, it is also a widely applicable satire on dictatorship in general, and the gullibility of people. It is clearly an important work.

This film version, however, leaves me unsatisfied. Turning an edgy fable that focuses on animal characters into a film is...
Published on 3 April 2011 by C. Hawkes


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Technically clever, but not for me, 3 April 2011
By 
C. Hawkes "Livefats" (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
George Orwell's 1945 novella, Animal Farm, quickly became a classic. An allegorical attack on Stalinism, it is also a widely applicable satire on dictatorship in general, and the gullibility of people. It is clearly an important work.

This film version, however, leaves me unsatisfied. Turning an edgy fable that focuses on animal characters into a film is challenging, and the technical wizardry here is clear: real animals are seamlessly linked with amnitronics, courtesy of the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Unfortunately, the visuals give a sense of reality that then makes suspension of disbelief difficult: the Boxer in the text, for example, can more easily be believed in as we know it is an allegory than the sight of a carthorse listening to Snowball. It is not the same (in my opinion) as watching, say, The Sheep Pig, where we know it's just a story: here, the political message is lost.

I also felt that the decision to have Jessie, a border collie, as narrator was a bit of a cop-out. It is always difficult to compensate for the lack of authorial viewpoint when transferring a novel o a visual medium, but this entailed substantial changes to the text without adding much of worth. And the ending! The powerful end of the novel, with the pigs and men indistinguishable, was lost completely, and instead Snowballs Empire literally collapses. This seems a clumsy attempt to extend Orwell's metaphor to the breakup of the Soviet Block, but misses the point of his savage diatribe that communists and capitalists are both alike in the way they treat ordinary people as commodities to be exploited

This also means that as a study aid for students the film is not helpful. This is not, of course, the purpose of a film; but I am sure that is how it has been used by many!

Bottom line: for me, political satires such as this are not transferrable to film. The three stars are for Jim Henson Creature Shop's work, which needs acknowledgement. Read the novella instead: it's not long, and is a much better experience!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ...Terrible., 14 Oct 2011
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I am doing GCSE English, and I have been studying Animal Farm by George Orwell. I read the book, and I understood the links to the Russian revolution and the true meaning beneath the fictional story. And then we watched this film after reading the amazingly written book, and I thought that it did it no credit. The film is terribly cheesy and cliche, and i think that it makes a deep, mature storyline into a cringe-worthy children's film.

Firstly, in the book, Orwell is the narrator. However in this film they use a dog, who isn't even a very big part in the story, to narrate. I think that this just makes the film seem even more ridiculous. Also, the effects are terrible,and they gave the film a happy ending?!! Animal Farm the book has a very upsetting ending as you realise that the animals are doomed to always be ruled over by the pigs as they have no understanding of what's going on, but instead, in the film, they make it so that the animals can tell what will happen to them if they stay on the farm. This changes all the characters in Orwell's story.

I was also very disappointed that they changed the 'beasts of england' song to 'beasts of the world' and changed all of the lyrics.

Overall, I was not pleased with the film at all, and I don't think that it reflects on the Russian revolution or on Orwell's book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "real-life" Version, 2 Jun 2009
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is an excellent version of the story of Animal farm with the animal roles played by animals. The only problem is the changes from the book as it is narrated in flashback by the sheepdog Jessie. This leads to serveral changes in narrative which could mislead those wishing to study the book as a commentary on Stalinism or as a vital example of distopian literature.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars completely ruins,distorts, and changes orwell's masterpiece, 16 Oct 2011
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I am a GCSE student who studied animal farm as part of english lit, with a very good teacher who depicted and took apart George Orwell's brilliant book animal farm, which is a fable that portray's Orwell's view of communism and the russian revolution. it was thoroughly interesting and the way the book was structured was brilliant. HOWEVER this film is badly shot, badly edited, has awful acting, and does the book no justice! the film doesnt follow the plot, and you dont get a feel for the coercing and communism on the farm, and the ending (most thoughtful part of the book) is completely changed. i warn you, do not buy/watch this film, it will ruin your interest and view of the book!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great version of the book - not too sure about ..., 13 July 2014
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is a gift for someone who "borrowed" my copy and raved about it. A great version of the book - not too sure about the Americanised ending a bit twee for me -but otherwise so worth watching! My hard to impress year 11 group gave it the thumbs up so can't be bad!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Animal farm, 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Since reading this book at school it is a topic that was riveted in my thought an I am pleased it is now on dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 23 May 2014
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Great movie and really put things into context for my GCSE english lit exam the product came fast and overall was brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars easy to watch, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Easy to watch and brings the ideas and themes of Animal Farm to life. My son watched it to compliment his GCSE English Literature. Worth buying.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of money, 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Not the impact of book a poor animated version not enjoyed by any of the family -complete waste of money
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living near Animal Farm!, 28 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Well living in (Lower) Willingdon, I had to have the book and film, its many years since I have seen it. Not sure if I believe it is about Stalin,I feel it is about greed and the need for power, and how both change people (or the animals in the fllm)
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Animal Farm [DVD] [1999]
Animal Farm [DVD] [1999] by John Stephenson (DVD - 2007)
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