Babe

Movie review by
M. Faust, Common Sense Media
Babe Movie Poster Image
Heartwarming farm story is touching and a bit scary.
  • G
  • 1995
  • 91 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 16 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Kids will learn how life on a farm works, and what usually happens to animals bred on a farm – they become our food. The way dogs herd sheep is also taught.

Positive Messages

Many wonderful messages. One major theme is perseverance. Kids will learn that just because you don’t look like you can do something doesn’t mean you can't do it anyway. The idea that family is who raises you -- not just who gives birth to you -- is a powerful lesson for those who are or know adopted children. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both the farmer, who's a just and kind man, despite his stern exterior, and Babe, who works incredibly hard at becoming a diligent "sheepdog," are positive role models for children. Babe is also never discriminatory against any animals, which is a valuable lesson in battling prejudice.

Violence & Scariness

A pack of wild dogs attack sheep and kill one named Ma; she's shown with a bloody wound before she dies. Audiences know a duck is being slaughtered, but the actual killing isn't visible. Many references to slaughtering and how animals wind up as food on dinner tables. The farmer almost shoots Babe, mistakenly believing him to be responsible for the sheep's death. Some scenes may scare very young children, like when a piglet and puppies are taken away from their mothers or when Babe walks around in the dark slaughterhouse. Two dogs fight, and one bites a man's hand. A dog also tries to bite Babe.

Sexy Stuff
Language

Several insults are hurled, like "butt-head," "block-head," "shut up," "moron," and "stupid."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Babe is a live-action farm tale that's widely considered one of the best family films ever made. The story of this spunky little big -- who seems to have no future but to eat and be eaten -- will inspire viewers of all ages. The harsh reality that farm animals are meant to feed humans may not sit well with some younger viewers (Christmas is equated to a bloodbath, because of all the animals slaughtered to end up on a dinner table), and some other parts of the movie could frighten kids. A scene in which wild dogs attack the sheep and kill one is particularly intense and disturbing. But at its core, this is a beautiful tale of perseverance, friendship, and making your dreams come true.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5 year old Written bycsumner April 13, 2009

Great film but think carefully about what you'll serve kids to eat afterwards

This is a great film, very sweet and heartwarming, but the realities of farm life may be strong for young viewers. My 5yo was aware that some farm animals ar... Continue reading
Parent of an infant and 4 year old Written bysagira April 9, 2008

Wonderful movie perfect for young children

Babe is a story about a nice pig with manners that breaks down barriers of prejudice. He's a lovable, honest character, but strong as well. A good role m... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJemmy March 11, 2009

Charming!

This was such an adorable movie! Babe is so cute, although I must say, the word butt heads was used, and there was a little highlight of violence. I give it a f... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 23, 2014

Brilliant, but be careful

I was still four when I first saw this movie. It was brilliant to me then, and it's still brilliant to me now. Babe is absolutely adorable, and the whole m... Continue reading

What's the story?

BABE, an endearing little pig who is raised by sheepdogs, befriends the animals on Hoggett's farm and ultimately becomes a herder himself, triumphing against some pretty steep odds. "This is a tale," a narrator says, "of an unprejudiced heart," perfectly setting the tone for what may be the best-loved family movie of the 1990s.

Is it any good?

This movie is filled from beginning to end with marvelous images. There are the animals who can talk (to each other, not to humans) in subtle mouth movements and well-cast voices; the never-never land of Hoggett's farm, a realistic setting with just a touch of magic; and endless surprising details, like the trio of singing mice who introduce scenes but are otherwise relinquished to small corners of the screen, the more to delight sharp-eyed viewers on the lookout for them.

But Babe is not merely a treat for the eyes. The story of this spunky little pig, who seems to have no future but to eat and be eaten, will inspire every viewer. It's a tale about making a place for yourself in the world. While Babe occasionally seems unnecessarily harsh in letting the real world seep into its fairy tale story, children seem to take it in stride; even young kids tend to be only briefly saddened by moments like a dog's puppies being given away. The biggest worry a parent can have about showing Babe to kids is that they'll insist on asking for a pet pig (or perhaps decide to become a vegetarian).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what life on a farm like the one in Babe might really be like. Which animals live on farms? Do you think they interact with each other the way the animals do here? What other movies have talking farm animals?

  • How would this movie be different if it were animated? Why do you think animation changes the way we experience a movie?

  • Have you read the book upon which this movie is based? How does it compare to the movie?

  • How does Babe demonstrate perseverance? Why is this an important character strength?

Movie details

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love animals

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate