Animal Farm Review

Image for Animal Farm

Having revolted aginst their ineffectual master, the animals of Manor Farm plan a new social order, but cracks quickly appear.


Adapting George Orwell's allegorical fable (or, as he had, it "fairy story") about the rise and fall of the Soviet revolution as Britain's first full-length animated feature may have seemed like a good idea at the time but, like the majority of Orwell screen adaptations, something - most obviously the peerless prose - has got lost in the mix.

While Orwell used anthropomorphism to coruscating effect, famous Brit-animation duo Halas and Batchelor opt for an approach that borders on the vapidly cute, and matters aren't helped by a tacked-on ending that brutally, and inexplicably, undercuts Orwell's satirical intentions. Gordon Heath's cheerful over-narration also gets in the way.

An animation milestone, but one that shows significant signs of weathering.