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by Eleanor Ringel

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There was Porky. And Miss Piggy. And,of course, the Three Little Pigs. Now add to the roster of Great Pigs on the Silver Screen, Babe the gallant pig, star of a delightfully screwy new family film. Brought home to the Hoggett farm to be fattened up for Christmas dinner, Babe (voice by Christine Cavanaugh) is adopted by a Border Collie named Fly (Miriam Margolyes of "The Age of Innocence") and her bustling brood of pups. Soon, Babe wants to do what his foster family does f-b f+i-f-b f-i herd sheep. The real-animals carry the bulk of the story, but they get some high-tech help from some elaborate computer graphics and some amazingly life like stand-ins created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The Henson connection is, perhaps, the secret of "Babe's" success. Writer/director Chris Noonan and his co-writer/producer George Miller (yes, the "Mad Max" George Miller) have injected their comic fable with a healthy dose of Muppet madness. As zany movies go, this one goes whole hog.

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