Reviewed by David Savage
Running time: 69 minutes
Release date: 27 October 2014
Format: DVD & Blu-ray
Animal Farm, based on George Orwell’s classic novel, is celebrating its 60th anniversary of Britain’s first animated feature and is now released in a new HD restored version available now to buy on DVD and Blu-ray. Originally made between 1951 and 1954 using over 250.000 drawing, 1000 colour backgrounds and 300,000 of work it still remains today as a classic political tale.
Manor Farm owner Mr Jones is a drinker and has problems on his farm, by his own making, and his overworked animals have had enough. They have a secret meeting in the barn and discuss plans of overthrowing Mr Jones and taking control of the farm to become free.
Lead by Snowball and Napoleon, 2 young pigs, the animals force Mr Jones off his land and win the ensuing fight between the animals and the farmers to take control of their farm and become self-sufficient.
Once in control of the farm with Snowball as their leader they establish the ground rules including that ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL.
All goes well until Napoleon decides to get rid of Snowball and the democracy on the farm and become the farm’s leader which becomes a dictatorship and pretty soon all the farm’s rules are broken.
Overall, this restored animated version of this classic novel is beautiful and the politics it portrays are still as relevant today as when first written especially that “all animals are equal – but some are more equal than others” and that the rules and goalposts are changed by those in charge to make their lives richer and more comfortable while the “lower animals” work harder, for less.
Although it has a U rating I personally would not show it to younger children, firstly that are not likely to understand the political messages within the story and secondly scenes of violence with animals being beaten and killed may upset younger viewers.
If you remember reading the book and school you will love this animated version, very well done although some of the animation is a bit stiff (it is 60 years old!).
RRP: £6.98 (DVD), £9.18 (Blu-ray)
Available to buy from Network here.