Babe was a massive surprise hit in 1995. A children’s film starring a talking pig seemed to be the last thing anybody expected from visionary filmmaker George Miller (Mad Max). Writer-producer Miller adapted the 1983 book with director and co-writer Chris Noonan, and created a universally praised, moving film about a farm pig (a combination of animatronics and computer graphics) who longs to be a sheepdog. With a memorable lead performance by James Cromwell as Babe’s farmer-owner, Babe received glowing reviews and seven OSCAR® nominations, winning for Best Visual Effects.
A major part of Babe’s exquisite, perfectly pitched storybook tone is the charming, resonant symphonic score by Australian composer Nigel Westlake. Westlake interpolated a tapestry of classical works, most notably the maestoso section of Saint-Saëns’ third (Organ) symphony, to perfectly capture the human emotions of the film’s animal characters, while ironically treating the humans with an animal-like comedy and whimsy. (The Saint-Saëns melody had been adapted into the British reggae pop hit “If I Had Words” by Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley; a sped-up version is used in Babe’s end credits.)
Babe was released as a music-and-dialogue album at the time of the film. This CD Club edition features the expanded score as music only, packaged with a new essay by Tim Greiving featuring insights from Miller, Noonan, Cromwell and Westlake.
Music Composed and Produced by Nigel Westlake
Performed by the Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra
For more information: VareseSarabande.com
Jeremy [Six Strings]