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 <email@example.com>
Producer Louis De Rochemont--best known for his "March of Time" newsreel series--approached the team of John Halas and Joy Batchelor with a view to producing the first ever-animated feature aimed specifically at adults. The directors leaped at the chance. See more »
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 »
Narration Spoken by:
To the animals, it now seemed that their world, which may or may not some day become a happy place to live in, was worse than ever for ordinary creatures, and another moment had come when they must do something about it...
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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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