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Animal Farm [DVD] [1999]

3.9 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kelsey Grammer, Ian Holm, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julia Ormond, Peter Postlethwaite
  • Directors: John Stephenson
  • Producers: Greg Smith
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Full Screen, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Boulevard Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Feb. 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FII0Z4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,236 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

George Orwell's classic political allegory is brought to the screen with the help of state-of-the-art puppetry and digital animation. Manor Farm sees a revolt by its livestock over their human master Farmer Jones (Pete Postlethwaite). However, a power struggle between the pigs who have led the uprising results in a swift curtailing of the animals' new-found freedom.

From Amazon.co.uk

After the technical achievement of Babe, it was almost inevitable that "talking animal" effects would be applied to the serious themes of George Orwell's Animal Farm. A bitterly satirical indictment of Stalinist Russia and the failure of Communism, Orwell's 1945 novel is a time-honoured classic, so it's only fitting that this TNT production remains largely faithful to Orwell's potent narrative. A showcase for the impressive creations of Jim Henson's Creature Shop (where director John Stephenson was a veteran supervisor), the film employs animatronic creatures and computer animation to tell the story of uprising, unity, and tragic rebellion among the farm animals.

The politics of "Animalism" are initially effective, ousting enemy humans according to rules ordained by Old Major, the barnyard pig whose death sets the stage for the corruptive influence of the pig Napoleon, who cites superior intelligence as his right to dominance. This tyrannical reign destroys the farm's stability, and the film--decidedly not for young children--preserves Orwell's dark, cynical view of absolute power corrupting absolutely. Particularly effective is a propaganda film shown to the barnyard collective, and certain scenes--while not as impressive as the Babe films--powerfully convey the force of Orwell's story through animal "performance". Animal Farm occasionally falters in its emotional impact (the fate of the horse Boxer should be heart-rending, and it isn't), but it's certainly blessed with an elite voice cast, including Peter Ustinov, Patrick Stewart, Pete Postlethwaite, Julia Ormond, Kelsey Grammer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Paul Scofield, and Ian Holm. Not the masterpiece it might've been, this is nevertheless a worthy representation of Orwell's novel. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A mostly disappointing live action adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel of communism and revolution, which has clearly been watered down to suit a younger audience. It does have its powerful moments, particularly when Boxer's doom is involved, but is mostly devoid of the book's gripping darkness, and has transformed the desolate, grim atmosphere which Orwell depicted in writing into a colourful and picturesque farmyard. The voices are mostly excellent; one of the film's saving graces is the splendid acting, both in person and voice-over, but the animatronics aren't particularly impressive. The liberties that have been taken with the book in terms of plot will also raise a few eyebrows to anyone familiar with the original book. It opts for a happy, fairytale ending, and thus loses a great deal of its potential power, while feeling the need to insert a narating herione into the story, and unwisely making it one of the dogs, the savage beasts of Orwell's novel. To make matters worse, the dramatic irony that made the book so remarkable is missing - the narating dog sees through the tyranical pigs too clearly and explains almost everything to the viewer. If none of this bothers you, then by all means buy it - you could well enjoy it - but you're still better off buying the book.
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Format: DVD
Another potentially great movie ruined because the director feels he knows better than the original author. Why they had to tinker I cannot say, but it badly misses. Why do we need the story explained by a dog? (It's almost as if they saying that the regimes thugs "aren't bad, just misunderstood") Why is the death of Boxer almost funny? (This was the single greatest act of betrayal, confirming the final corruption of Old Major's vision) What was wrong with the original and powerful end? Just shows how small changes can ruin a story - because much is true to the book. Just seems that they felt that the book was too dark and brooding - well newsflash, it was meant to be. That was surely George Orwell's point, what the point of this version is I fail to see.
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By C. Hawkes TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 April 2011
Format: 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!
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Format: 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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