IMDb > Animal Farm (1954)
Animal Farm
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Animal Farm (1954) More at IMDbPro »

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Animal Farm -- Britain's first 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

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   8,956 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
George Orwell (based on memorable fable)
Lothar Wolff (story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Animal Farm on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 February 1956 (Sweden) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
He's got the world in an UPROAR! See more »
Plot:
A successful farmyard revolution by the resident animals vs. the farmer goes horribly wrong as the victors create a new tyranny among themselves. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. See more »
NewsDesk:
(97 articles)
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User Reviews:
A fine transfer of Orwell to the screen See more (62 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Gordon Heath ... Narration Spoken by (voice)
Maurice Denham ... All Animals (voice)

Directed by
Joy Batchelor 
John Halas 
 
Writing credits
George Orwell (based on memorable fable)

Lothar Wolff (story development) &
Borden Mace (story development) &
Philip Stapp (story development) &
John Halas (story development) &
Joy Batchelor (story development)

Laurence Heath  uncredited

Produced by
Joy Batchelor .... producer
John Halas .... producer
 
Original Music by
Matyas Seiber 
 
Sound Department
William S. Bland .... recording (as W. Bland)
Jack King .... sound and effects
George Newberry .... recording (as G. Newberry)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sid Griffiths .... camera (as S. G. Griffiths)
John Gurr .... camera (as J. Gurr)
William Traylor .... camera (as W. Traylor)
Roy Turk .... camera (as R. Turk)
 
Animation Department
Ralph Ayres .... animation (as R. Ayres)
Bernard Carey .... backgrounds
Arthur Humberstone .... animation (as A. Humberstone)
Geoffrey Martin .... layout
Frank Moysey .... animation (as F. Moysey)
Edric Radage .... animation (as E. Radage)
John Reed .... animation director (as John F. Reed)
Digby Turpin .... backgrounds
Harold Whitaker .... animation (as H. Whittaker)
Matvyn Wright .... backgrounds
Alma Coles .... ink and paint artist (uncredited)
Nicholas Spargo .... animator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Matyas Seiber .... conductor
 
Other crew
Louis De Rochemont .... presenter (as Louis de Rochemont)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
72 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Canada:G (Quebec) | Czech Republic:U | Finland:K-8 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1956) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1985) (1999) (2003) | UK:U (re-rating) (1954) (1998) | USA:Unrated | West Germany:6 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The CIA obtained the film rights to "Animal Farm" from Orwell's widow, Sonia, after his death and covertly funded the production as anti-Communist propaganda. Some sources assert that the ending of the story was altered by the CIA (in the book, the pigs and humans join forces) to press home their message, but it is equally possible that the more upbeat ending of the movie was an artistic decision, to give the film more audience appeal.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Old Jones grabs the dynamite out of the box, he has three sticks in each hand, but when he puts his hands together a seventh stick appears from nowhere. Then, when he lights the fuse, there are twelve sticks in the pile.See more »
Quotes:
[The laws of Animal Farm are being read]
Snowball: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]
Squealer: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.
Snowball:[continuing the reading of the laws] No animal shall kill another animal. All animals are equal.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Lost: Exposé (#3.14)" (2007)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
35 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
A fine transfer of Orwell to the screen, 13 February 1999
Author: Varlaam from Toronto, Canada

I don't understand why critics in recent years have never warmed to "Animal Farm". They believe it's "disappointingly flat" (Leslie Halliwell) or "an illustrated study aid" (Time Out). I remember when I first saw this film a quarter of a century ago. I found the betrayal of Boxer, the horse, horrifying. The description, "an intellectual film, not an emotional one" (Time Out), cannot be reconciled with my own recollections. Are British critics simply holding a British film of a British novel up to standards they would not apply to a non-British production? The film already contains evidence of a Disney influence, from adorable ducklings to a musical score with echoes of Prokofieff's "Peter and the Wolf", and an expiating ending that's not in the book. Any more of that sort of thing and critics would have accused the film of losing all of the book's bite.

George Orwell wrote a fable about revolution betrayed, and laced it liberally with references to the Russian Revolution. Much of this dimension is still visible in the film. A wise pig, Old Major, proclaims the revolution before dying. Old Major is sort of a Marx figure, although, to me, he seems to be drawn to look like Churchill. Proclamation made, nothing happens. However Farmer Jones is drunk and the animals don't get their feed. The Tsar's mismanagement produced his revolution as well. Russian parallels continue. Counter-revolutionary farmers (capitalist states) attack Animal Farm but fail. One pig, Snowball (Trotsky), tries to spread revolution to other farms (world revolution), but is murdered by his associate, Napoleon (Stalin), who prefers to consolidate his power at home. The film also has Five Year Plans, industrialization programmes, forcible collectivization, showtrials with quick executions afterwards, and historical revisionism.

But I saw this film perhaps three times long before I understood anything much about the political parallels. I liked it as much then if not more so. Knowledge of that side does tend to turn the film into an intellectual experience, but viewers who have no prior exposure to the historical facts receive the raw emotional jolt which more politically astute critics maintain the film lacks.

Regardless of whether you know a lot about Russia and her Revolution, or nothing at all, Britain's first animated feature is a film with a strong story which adults and mature kids should find absorbing, maybe even "devastating", as The New York Times once claimed back in the days when Stalin was still lying warm in his grave, if not in anyone's heart.

As for a rating on "Animal Farm", the sheep say, "Four stars good, two stars b-a-a-a-d!"

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Animal Farm (1954)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
This is the version to watch instead of the later TNT remake dogsandcats5
this is undoubtedly the worst film I've ever seen in my life lucky_devil
which animal represent what? orangelifer
Napoleon or Snowball jus360
This movie's funny! liamsimagination
Is this the movie Ive been looking for all these years... betacon02
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