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Animal Farm

( 14 )

Overview

The British animation firm of John Halas and Joy Batchelor perform yeoman service in adapting George Orwell's allegorical novel Animal Farm to the screen. As any high-school English student can tell you,the original 1945 novel was Orwell's spin on the rise and fall of the Communist myth. A group of intelligent animals overthrow their corrupt human owner and set up their own self-sustained farm, predicated on an idealistic credo: "All Animals are Created Equal," "No Animal Shall Ever Drink Liquor," "Four Legs ...
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Overview

The British animation firm of John Halas and Joy Batchelor perform yeoman service in adapting George Orwell's allegorical novel Animal Farm to the screen. As any high-school English student can tell you,the original 1945 novel was Orwell's spin on the rise and fall of the Communist myth. A group of intelligent animals overthrow their corrupt human owner and set up their own self-sustained farm, predicated on an idealistic credo: "All Animals are Created Equal," "No Animal Shall Ever Drink Liquor," "Four Legs Good: Two Legs Bad" etc. But when Snowball the Pig (read: Trotsky) is overthrown by the despotic Napoleon (read: Stalin), all idealism goes out the window, and soon the pigs are ruling dictatorially over the other animals. Before long, Animal Farm operates on but one principle: "All Animals Are Created Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others." Orwell's ironic ending, in which it becomes impossible to tell the difference between the Pigs and the Humans, is blunted in favor of a grafted-on happy ending, perhaps to mollify the kiddie trade. Maurice Denham supplies all the character's voices, while Gordon Heath serves as narrator.
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Special Features

New digital restoration; audio commentary by film historian Brian Sibley; Down on Animal Farm featurette presented by Tony Robinson; scenes as told through original storyboards; liner notes by author and art historian Karl Cohen (Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/2/2004
  • UPC: 037429197424
  • Original Release: 1955
  • Rating:

  • Source: Homevision
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:12:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,819

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Maurice Denham Voice Only
Gordon Heath Voice Only
Technical Credits
Joy Batchelor Director, Producer, Screenwriter
John Halas Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Halas Batchelor Screenwriter
Louis de Rochemont Producer
Jack King Sound/Sound Designer
Borden Mace Screenwriter
Mátyás Seiber Score Composer
Philip Stapp Screenwriter
Lothar Wolff Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Manor Farm [3:44]
2. Old Major's Legacy [8:19]
3. Revolution [7:13]
4. A New Society [4:12]
5. Animal Farm [4:32]
6. Resolutions [5:14]
7. Power Struggle [4:49]
8. Class Distinction [3:03]
9. Revisionism [9:04]
10. Battle for the Farm [6:55]
11. Bolshevik Pigs [3:44]
12. Betrayal of Boxer [3:43]
13. More Equal [4:26]
14. Uprising/End Credits [3:11]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapters
   Play Movie
   Extras
      Audio Commentary
         This Commentary Is Provided by Broadcast and Film Historian Brian Sibley: Off
         This Commentary Is Provided by Broadcast and Film Historian Brian Sibley: On
      The Making of: Down on Animal Farm
      Scenes As Told Through Original Storyboards
         Manor Farm
         Revolution
         A New Society
         Animal Farm
         Luxury for All
         Revisionism
         Battle & Betrayal
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Animal Farm Book Review

    I truly loved this book. It was a good example of history, and shows how powers can become corrupt. Animal Farm was first formed when the animals of Manor Farm drove Mr. Jones's away from their territory. This relates so much to the Bolshevik's revolution in Russia. In the beginning of the book, an old pig named Old Major, gave the idea for the rebellion against humans. He had dreamt of the day that animals would soon rule over humans. That animals would live happily without the help of humans. That humans were cruel to them, and that a government known as Animalism should be formed.

    After the revolution, the farm was initially dominated by a the group of pigs. The main characters being Snowball and Napoleon. The pigs then convince the other animals to obey what Old Major dreamed about. Soon after, the pigs bent the rules of the 7th Commandments to suit their individual needs, this caused them to start behaving like humans. For instance, pigs started to use human beds ostensibly for better treatment of "leaders of the farm" when it was in fact for their own selfish gains.

    Soon Napoleon kicks Snowball out of the farm. Soon Napoleon started to slaughter chickens and cows in support of Snowball. All was carried out. Eventually, Animal Farm did form alliances with the two neighboring farms of humans. Although, this was against the 7th commandments they had created. This book has non stop suspense and excitement. Later in the book, more disloyal and deceitful deeds of Snowball were showed.

    This book is an interesting representation describing why "dictatorship by the masses" is not a good method. It shows when there is someone in power; they will use that power to suit themselves. Everyone, whether it be animal or human, look after their own self-interest. As long as a leader is present, there will not be any form of equality between fellowmen.

    Animal Farm is a brilliant description of what happens when the revolution goes astray. Metaphor is hard to do gracefully, but Orwell manages it wonderfully: while true admiration of Animal Farm requires an understanding of the history of the Russian, Bolshevik's revolution, those without it will still get the point. I did not have a full understanding on the history of the Russian revolution, but I understood the moral of the story. In addition, children with no understanding of the political message at all, can even appreciate Animal Farm as a story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    highly recommend

    Animal Farm, published in 1945 by George Orwell, is a story within a story. On the surface the plot involves a revolution on a farm. The animals take the farm over from the humans and try to create Utopia. Utopia is a place where everyone is equal and resources are equally distributed. There is no class structure. However, Utopia is not achieved in this story because the leader becomes a dictator. He only rewards himself and the people in power.
    The main character, a pig named Napoleon, represents Joseph Stalin, the Russian dictator. Orwell, having just experienced World War II, hated Socialism and Communism. He saw how in Communism, people were not treated equal, but those in power obtained it by force, maintains it by force and rewards the government workers, while depriving the people. In the story, Orwell illustrates how a society with a Communist leader is far from perfect. The animals under the leadership of pigs, stage a revolution to overthrow those in charge and take the means of production away from the owners. Is this based on Marxism. On the farm,the animals were promised more food and less work. Napoleon and his pigs took the majority of food and they didn't work. The pigs maintained their power through attack dogs and propaganda. In Russia, if the people disagreed with Stalin, they were murdered or "disappeared".
    This novel is well thought out. It is clear that the author was passionate about his views on Marxism. He had just witnessed the horrors of the Nazi's and Stalin. Orwell's dtory was easy to read and follow because it was a story within a story. He took a complex topic and deceived readers by the simplicity of the story, while he was actually teaching a lesson. This book is a great journey for tennagers, adults, and people in politics and historians.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

    Animal Farm

    The story begins with a drunk Mr. Jones(the farmer of Manor Farm) he did a bad job of taking care of the animals. The animals always listen to a wise old pig name Old Major, that encourages the animals to take care of the farm because they wanted to kick the farmer out because he wasn't doing a good job. Then they started to attack the farmer and they chased him out. Later Old Major died, and the pigs being the smartest animals, two pigs wanted to be leader, Napoleon and Snowball. There was a conflict between them because Napoleon wants to sit around and be in charge of everything and Snowball want to teach the animals how to build a windmill. The animals thought it was a good idea to build a windmill because it would make their jobs easier, but then a wind storm came and tore the farm. The roof tiles broke up and when the wind storm stops the windmill was ruins. They build a new windmill that is used for generating electricity but for milling corn. Napoleon use nine ferocious and enormous dog to be the leader. Later on Mr.Jones came back with other farmer and tried to attack the animals but the animals were stronger. The animals chased them out of the farm. Napoleon found out that Snowball was working for Mr.Jones since the beginning, he was spy. Years passed new animals were born and the old animals died. Napoleon was still alive, Mr.Jones died and Old Major and Snowball had been forgotten. Later the pigs are starting to look a lot like the horrible owners that they started with at the beginning of the whole mess.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    NICE!

    George Orwell's Animal Farm may seem fairytale- like and simple when you first read it because it tells the story of animals taking over and kicking out the farmer, but if you take a second look, it's also an allegorical tale. Similar to Pilgrims Progress, in which the author creates a world that symbolizes the journey to salvation, Orwell portrays his thoughts on Soviet Communism. In the beginning, the rebellion is successful. The farm animals are joyful and eager to work for a better life. Seven commandments are settled on and placed on the side of the shed, and all animals follow them. i. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. ii. Whatever goes upon four legs or has wings is a friend. iii. No animal shall wear clothes. iv. No animal shall sleep in a bed. v. No animal shall drink alcohol. vi. No animal shall kill any other animal. vii. All animals are equal. As time passes, every animal, except for the pigs, is working hard, perhaps too hard. The pigs insist that they are in charge of organizing and directing - that that is what they're suited for. However, after Snowball is run out by power-hungry Napoleon, the rules begin to shift and change. Food shortages, much labor, longer work hours, rumors of treachery and lies, even murder, suddenly Animal Farm is not so simple. Throughout the remaining chapters, Orwell also describes how the pigs shifted and changed from "comrades" to evil leaders, who walked on two legs, drank alcohol, were escorted by "police dogs", and carried whips. Over time, the rules turned to a much more liberal stand. i. Four legs good, two legs better. ii. No animal shall wear clothes. iii. No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets. iv. No animal shall drink alcohol to excess. v. No animal shall kill any other animal. vi. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. Because the novel is allegorical, its last sentence is a warning: " The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which". It was a scary thought to read how accepting the animals were of the changes, and longer work hours; the speed at which the farm when from a utopia to hell-on-earth was frightening. It was a hair-raising novel in which a fantasy-spin was thrown upon a real-life situation. It is hard to imagine truly living like the animals did in "Animal Farm."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Great review- you should read it!!!

    A farm that is run by animals without the help of any humans is what the novel Animal Farm is about. It takes place on a farm in England the farm is originally named "Manor Farm". The farm is owned and run by a man named Mr. Jones. The animals on the farm were not taken care of properly, they were overworked and underfed. Mr. Jones often would come home drunk and forget to feed the animals. An old pig named "Old Major" spoke of a "rebellion". He said that when the "rebellion" would happen Mr. Jones would be run out of the farm. And the animals would no longer be under the control of humans. A few nights later Old Major died, the animals still thought about when and how the "rebellion" would happen. But when it was time for the "rebellion" to take place the animals didn't even have to think about what to do or when to do it. Before Old Major past he taught the animals a song called The Beasts of England. The song spoke about a time in the future where man would be overthrown. And animals wouldn't be underfed but the animals would have to work hard and long for their freedom. The song tells the story of the "rebellion" an n what will have to be sacrificed for them to earn their freedom. After Old Majors death that song was still sung throughout the farm by the animals. After the "rebellion" the animals decided that someone had to be in charge, so two pigs named Snowball and Napoleon were chosen to lead the animals. The two pigs decide they should have laws, those laws were written in white paint on the farm wall for everyone to see. Some of smarter animals learned the alphabet and how to read. Others learned a few letters but not the entire alphabet. The laws were read aloud for the animals that could not read and so they could be memorized. The difficulties of having more than one person being in charge came into the picture though. And although both of the two leaders were good leaders it was hard to work together because they both think that things should be done their way. This happens with man, when more than one person is in charge. They also learn the effects of the societal tendency toward class stratification. Weather it involves animals are humans the situation is unavoidable. Although in real life a farm can't really be run by animals the novel has a good point. The animals rebelled and then had their own leaders. But the animals soon realized how hard it was to run a farm by them and still try to be treated equal. Thought in the beginning being treated equal was a commandment as the story goes on it along with the other commandments are forgotten. Man started out where everyone was equal but now everyone is not treated equal.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    The Animal Farm

    The Animal Farm is a highly political novel that expresses feelings of socialism. It is carefully crafted to show the view points of the animals that are living on a farm under the rule of their lazy farmer. Even though it is from an animal's perspective, it relates to the thoughts and problems us as humans face. The intelligent animals on the farm develop the mindset that they need to rid of their human owner, and do so. They create an idealistic credo: "All Animals are created equal." They also develop their own set of laws to live by. They create this laws by not allowing what they thing causes the human race so many issues. The animals are also able to teach themselves to read and write, and assist the other animals to learn also. They do everything in their capabilities to create a stable society, and not ruin their way of life as they see the humans do. After a while the order that they were determined to set in place at the beginning of the novel, falls through. There is an unbalance in who is in power, and the animals begin to rule dictatorially over each other. Their rules and morals that they dedicated themselves to see to fly out the window. They eventually lose their short lived sense of independence. They understand how and why the humans are the way they are. There is an ironic ending which really opens your eyes and makes you think if whether us humans are truly any different then these small farm animals.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Animal Farm Review

    Animal Farm was creatively written by George Orwell to teach people all around the world the causes and effects of communism. The books setting takes place on a farm in England, where the animals have a different outlook and life and try to change their dreams of this perfect life and make them into everyday realities. Cleverly, Orwell uses each animal as a disguise of everyday real life men who had authority at that time. The animals were combined with people who wished to attain a world full of communism and those who were blind to the realistic outcome. Napoleon, Snowball and Old major were three of the main characters in this book, which were used to resemble Stalin, Marx and Trotsky. Napoleon, who was the character for Joseph Stalin, shows a perfect example of the deceitful acts that Stalin had done and wanted only to be in authority over anyone and everyone. Snowball corresponded to Leon Trotsky, who challenges Stalin's authority and the ideas of communism. Karl Mark also known as Old major is the one who first came up with the idea of communism but did not live long enough to explain clearly all of the pieces that were needed to fulfill his idea. This book has such an amazing underlying theme that really pushes someone to fully think through a situation before jumping whole-heartedly into something. Another thing that Orwell shows in his book is that if you work hard for something you will always gain an outcome. Whether the outcome is positive or negative will depend on what one is working towards. With that being said, this book is used as somewhat of a warning that we should completely think situations through so we do not finish with a horrible outcome due to lack of thought or understanding. Animal Farm bluntly demonstrates the outcome of communism, reminding us of how important it is to step back from a circumstance and look at all the possible outcomes and whether or not to continue or re-evaluate what one is about to do. The way the animals constantly change their rules and guidelines is another example of the dangers of communism or an idea of the sort. The necessity for this in the book, more extensively shows that making such a large decision for so many people is not a wise decision, considering we are an ever-changing people. People will always want something new, but taking risky chances is unnecessary. George Orwell's wonderful masterpiece not only corresponds to communism but also gives great life lessons that can be used daily.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Animal Farm

    The novel Animal Farm is a great example of how you can make history appeal to different kinds of people by simply converting certain situations and characters into a more fairytale like story. The book takes a historical and very significant event, the American Revolution, and changes it so that the original people of the revolution are barnyard animals. The whole idea of what happens with the animals and the events that occur are that from the American Revolution. The author George Orwell did a good job in this conversion process and the book is said to be considered to be the most famous work of political allegory ever written. The story takes place in an unstated time period on Manor Farm in England. The book starts off when Mr. Jones (the farm owner) has gone to bed and all the animals congregate together to hear a speech about a dream that Old Major, a Majestic and wise pig, had. Old Major explains to the animals that he had done a lot of thinking about the hard times that the animals suffered and were currently suffering and he does not like this. He tells the barn animals of Manor farm to work for the eventual overthrow of the human race. He explains to them that if they were going to succeed in this plan that all of the animals need to stick together and look out for each other. Another thing the animals have to do is not to adopt any human traits. After this speech Old Major passes away three days later but the words that he expressed that night in the barn are still floating around in the animals heads and the animals start to prepare for the fight that they are going to have to put up because they were fed up with the humans. The animals start to go into rebellion. When the humans go to the animals and start hitting them with whips, the animals don't take that abuse and attack them back. Confused, the humans were driven off the farm for that period of time in the story. Since the humans are gone the animals come up with 7 commandments:
    1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
    2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
    3. No animal shall wear clothes.
    4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
    5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
    6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
    7. All animals are equal."
    This is just the beginning of what occurs in the story. The novel is much like the American Revolution just with a little twist and George Orwell did a fantastic job in the conversion.

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    Posted November 17, 2009

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    Posted June 4, 2010

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    Posted October 25, 2010

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    Posted August 11, 2009

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    Posted December 13, 2011

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    Posted February 1, 2010

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