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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 54.0° F  Fair
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Babe: Pig in the City

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"That'll do, Pig."

Thus spoke Farmer Hoggett at the, uh, tail end of Babe, one of the most endearing children's movies of recent years. Alas, that didn't do. Having brought home the bacon ($250 million of it), Babe has now been followed by Babe: Pig in the City, a sequel that sends the little swine off to the urban jungle in order to raise enough cash to save the Hoggett farm from bankruptcy. Mrs. Hoggett is along for the ride, but she and Babe quickly lose each other amid the city's relentless hustle and bustle. "It's a look at the modern metropolis at the end of the 20th century," director and co-writer George Miller told Premiere magazine. Can the filmmakers have possibly made a bigger mistake? Its make-believe look at the 1930s was half of the original's charm. A marvel of computerized lip-synching, Pig in the City has the look, but not the feel, of an illustrated storybook, without which it plays like a glorified Kitty Chow commercial. By the way, this time the movie clearly indicates that Babe is a boy, despite the lack of physical evidence dangling from his backside--all the more reason for everybody to have stayed down on the farm, where such oddities are part of the natural order of things.

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