Britain's second animated feature, which, despite the title and Disney-esque animal animation, is in fact a no-holds-barred adaptation of George Orwell's classic satire on Stalinism, with the animals taking over their farm by means of a revolutionary coup, but then discovering that although all animals are supposed to be equal, some are more equal than others... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After the first battle, the color of the puppies changes between shots - cream-ivory colored when we first see them, grey when Napoleon takes them up into the barn. See more »
[The laws of Animal Farm are being read]
No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall sleep in a bed. Four legs good, two legs bad.
[The chickens are very annoyed at this rule]
Wings count as legs.
[The chickens realize that Squealer is right]
Group of sheep:
Four legs good, two legs bad. Four legs good, two legs bad.
[continuing the reading of the laws]
No animal shall kill another animal. All animals are equal.
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George Orwell's novel 'Animal Farm' was a fable that worked as a bang-on critique of the Russian revolution and Stalinism. In it a group of mistreated farmyard animals rise up against their owner and overthrow him. They then briefly form a Utopian society that quickly deteriorates into something very similar to the old system that was in place before.
Different animals represent different people. The wise old pig Old Major represents Karl Marx and the beginning of communist teachings; Farmer Jones is Czar Nicholas II and represents the old regime; Napoleon and Snowball the pigs are respectively the ruthless Joseph Stalin and idealistic Leon Trotsky; the pack of dogs are the secret police and violent state enforcement; Boxer represents the hard working peasants; Benjamin, the wise but powerless individual; the sheep the unthinking masses. While Manor Farm itself is Russia and Animal Farm the Soviet Union.
The format of the fable works extremely well in illustrating the story of the formation of the USSR. This cartoon version of it is in the main a pretty impressive adaption. While the ending goes against the Dystopian one favoured by Orwell, it's not really surprising that it does this, although it's unfortunate. But it doesn't really damage the film very much as it's central idea remains intact. The animation itself is good enough, and even though there is a lot of narration I didn't consider this to be a problem. I thought that all things considered this was a good stab at an iconic bit of literature.
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