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Animal Farm Review

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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.

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