ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

The adorable tale of a clever little piglet, accompanied by a menagerie of talking pals, has taught us countless invaluable life lessons over the years - acceptance, endurance and friendship merely being a handful of them. Honestly, I doubt there is a single soul out there that wasn't enthralled by the smash-hit, as even today, it has the power to charm the pants off of the most unregenerate of cynics. And the proof's in the trailer:

So, to celebrate the fact that it's been two decades today since the endearing barnyard flick touched our hearts and tickled our tear-ducts ("I want my mom" - gets me every time!), here are 13 facts about Babe that I bet you wished you knew sooner.

1. When James Cromwell took the role, he thought he was in for an easy film

The screenplay gave him only 171 lines of spoken dialogue, 61 of which were sung. Ironically he thought he was in for an easy role, but ended up with the most screen time he's ever had in a movie.

2. It took almost three years to bring the movie to life!

Pre-production lasted 8 months: actual filming 6 months and post-production 12 months.

3. In this time, 48 Yorkshire pigs were used for the role of Babe

The baby pigs grew up so fast that filming could not keep up with them.

4. A make-up artist added toupee and eyelashes to each piglet

And the snout was manipulated with computer digitalization so the pig appeared to talk.

5. James Cromwell decided to become a vegan after starring in the movie

On his life-style change, he says:

"I decided that to be able to talk about this [movie] with conviction, I needed to become a vegetarian."

He has since become a vegan.

6. A special Austrian version of the movie was released

Whereas in German-speaking countries, most movies are dubbed with the same standard German pronunciation, a special version intended for Austria used a range of specific region Austrian accents.

For example, Ferdinand the Duck speaks like a Tyrollean, Duchess the Cat has a Vorarlburg accent and the mice sing Styrian folk songs! For those viewers from that part of the world, these regional figures of speed were hilarious!

7. Hugo Weaving voiced Rex the Sheepdog

Yep, that's Agent Smith from The Matrix and Elrond from The Lord of the Rings. He's also the voice of Megaton in Transformers.

8. 56 animal trainers were employed to handle over 1,000 animals

Wow! That's a lot of little creatures to look after!

9. The woman who voiced Babe also voiced a character in The Rugrats

Yep, Christine Cavanaugh later took on the role of Chuckie Finster!

10. Hidden tributes to Dick King-Smith, who wrote the novel the film is based on

For example, at the sheep dog trials, when the news reporter appears, he says he is reporting from the "King-Smith Valley."

11. Three of Fly's puppies were sold to the head animal trainer of the movie

His name is Karl Lewis Miller.

12. Babe was nominated for Best Picture at the 68th Academy Awards

However, the movie lost out to Mel Gibson's Braveheart.

13. The movie was initially banned from Malaysia

This is because its subject was a piglet, which was expected to upset the largely Muslim population in Malaysia who regard the creatures as haram.

Fortunately, the ruling was overturned a year later, and the movie was released directly to VHS. Thank goodness, because everyone should have access to heart-warming scenes such as this and perhaps one of the most recognized movie quotes in recent decades - "that'll do pig, that'll do."

Sources: IMDB


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