Starring: Gordon Heath, Maurice Denham
Director: Joy Batchelor, John Halas
Running Time: 69 mins
Animal Farm is a British film, based on the book by George Orwell, about a farm where the animals stage a revolution against the oppressive farmer Mr. Jones, and establish an ideal society where all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
I really enjoyed this film. As well as serving its purpose in being true and loyal to the original book, the animation gave it somewhat of a lighter and more entertaining tone, while its representation of the story maintained the original’s frankly horrific darkness.
The main thing when you’re watching a film like this is not to get too caught up in whether it follows the original, because that can distract you from anything that the film is trying to do different, and perhaps better.
What I enjoyed most about this film was the way in which it told the story. It’s a fascinating tale that mirrors almost identically the history of Soviet politics post-Bolshevik Revolution, and the film really does make that idea obvious, making you constantly think about the fact that what happened at Animal Farm basically happened in real life, making it very dark, but all the more intriguing to watch.
Another positive of the film is the fact that it is an animation. Having what is an extremely dark storyline, the animation makes it that little more entertaining, because it doesn’t seem as realistic as the book details, and that gives a lighter tone which makes the film a whole lot easier to watch. Although different from the book, this is a great quality on the part of the movie.
In terms of its loyalty to George Orwell’s story, it is almost word-for-word identical. There are alterations to make it a little less dark and overly politicised, but on the whole, everything is just like reading the original book, as interesting and as exciting, so because of that, I’ll give this a 7.8.