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Shortly after the events of the previous film, Farmer Hoggett is injured and unable to work. Facing foreclosure, Esme Hoggett resolves to show Babe at a faraway fair for an appearance fee. On the way to the fair, Mrs. Hoggett and Babe are unexpectedly detained and forced to stay in an unfamiliar and hostile city. They find the only hotel in town that secretly accepts pets but soon become separated from each other.
Babe is taken by the Landlady's uncle Fugly Floom, a clown who performs with a troop of chimpanzees and Thelonius, his loyal orangutan. He tells Esme that Babe has escaped and she leaves to search for him but is arrested after she causes an uproar with a motorcycle gang. Babe chooses to perform for the local children's hospital with the apes, hoping to earn money to save the farm but, after Floom's braces are caught on a cannon and sets off a fire, the show ends in disaster. Floom is later taken to the hospital because he is ill. The concerned Landlady stays by his side and leaves all the animals alone in the hotel unprotected. This quickly arouses the suspicion of a meddlesome neighbor across the street.
As Thelonius broods over his ailing master, the three chimpanzees leave to find food. Babe follows them and mentions his sheep herding skills. The leader of the chimpanzees uses Babe as a decoy to distract two malicious dogs guarding an alleyway while continue their search. Frightened, Babe runs away, but the spike keeping the dogs chained up breaks free and the dogs give chase throughout the city. Babe loses one in a junkyard but chooses to rescue the bull terrier from drowning. This earns him the respect of all the animals and the loyalty of the once-dangerous bull terrier.
Babe allows the strays into the hotel and one of the chimpanzees, Zootie, goes into labor and gives birth to twins. Babe sings to the newborns and the other animals join in. Ferdinand the duck, who has been trying to find Babe after he left the farm, is finally able to reach him. The neighbor realizes that the hotel is filled with animals and calls the officials to dispose of them. The animals are taken away. Babe and Ferdinand escape, as well as a wheelchair-using dog called Flealick.
Meanwhile, Esme Hoggett tells her story before a judge and is set free. She returns to the hotel and finds it empty except for the Landlady mourning her uncle's death and loss of the animals. As Esme's only dress is ruined, the Landlady lends her the only clothes that fit her — her uncle's clown costume — and they confront the meddlesome neighbor, Hortense. Esme asks savagely: "Where are the animals?".
Both women and Babe and his friends make their way to the institute, where a banquet is in progress. Babe frees the animals. Esme and the landlady burst into the banquet shooting fire extinguishers to keep the guards away. After being held by the waiters and chefs by her braces, Esme runs to the balcony then ties the elastic braces from the costume to a streamer from the chandelier and bounces from it trying to save Babe from a chef. As she is swinging, she bumps one of the waiters off a ladder while he is trying to keep a tower of champagne glasses from falling over. A chef seizes her by her 'trick stockings' and hurls her around the ballroom. Babe having escaped from the chef, sees what's happening and races into them knocking them down. They pull Esme's trick stockings and shoes off all together. As Esme is regaining her balance, she hears a strange noise and looks down and sees that beneath the costume, an inflatable flesh-colored, suit is rapidly expanding like a balloon. She screams as the trousers rip, falling off altogether. The braces are attatched somehow to the hoop of the trousers which is attatched to the inflatable suit. The waiter gets up and sees this and looks into his hand and sees that as he was falling he accidentally pulled off a tab on the suit marked "DO NOT PULL". Esme then begins to bounce around the room using the balloon as a space hopper. Three other chefs and waiters start to swing around on steamers. Esme evades them and eventually retrieves Babe, but the combined weight of her, Thelonius who is clinging to her braces, Babe, the three apes and the chefs and waiters brings the chandelier down, causing all the balloons to fall that were being held up by a banner. Esme bounces into a pile of baloons and struggles to get up due to the inflated suit. Zootie realizes one of her babies is missing and desperately searches for it. Babe sees it clinging to a live wire from the chandelier cord and about to fall. He alerts Thelonius just in time to catch it. The chimpanzees are grateful to Thelonius, but he repeats the bull terrier's earlier words--"Thank the pig"--as a show of his newly earned respect for Babe. Esme then rolls over to Babe and says, "Pig, You get here now!" fiercely.
The Landlady moves near the Hoggetts' farm, which was saved by the money from the hotel which was changed to a nightclub. Hortense is horrified. The animals join them as well—the chimpanzees live freely in the trees, Thelonius shows his loyalty to Mrs. Hoggett by helping her with chores, the bull terrier tries to raise his puppies (whom he fathered with a pink poodle from the hotel who left the farm with another dog ) to be tough, and Flealick chases trucks that pass by clinging to them. Farmer Hoggett recovers and is successful in repairing the well. As the film comes to a close, he turns to Babe and says, "That'll do Pig. That'll do."
Magda Szubanski as Esme Cordelia Hoggett
Mary Stein as the Landlady
James Cromwell as Arthur Hoggett
Mickey Rooney as Fugly Floom
Paul Livingston as the Hot Headed Chef
Julie Godfrey as Hortense
E.G. Daily as Babe
Danny Mann as Ferdinand and Tug
Roscoe Lee Browne as the Narrator
Glenne Headly as Zootie
Steven Wright as Bob
James Cosmo as Thelonius
Stanley Ralph Ross as The Bull Terrier/The Doberman
Russi Taylor as The Pink Poodle, and a Choir Cat
Myles Jeffrey as Easy
Adam Goldberg as Flealick the Jack Russell Terrier
Eddie Barth as Nigel and Alan
Bill Capizzi as Snoop
Miriam Margolyes as Fly
Hugo Weaving as Rex
Jim Cummings as a Pelican
Katie Leigh as a Hungry Kitten
Charles Bartlett as a Cow
Michael Edward-Stevens as a Horse
Nathan Kress as Easy, and a Tough Pup
Al Mancini as a Fish
Larry Moss as a Fish
Christine Cavanaugh, who played Babe in the first film, was offered to reprise her role, but declined due to the low salary. Her Rugrats co-star, Elizabeth Daily, took the role instead.
Prior to the film's theatrical release, it was originally rated PG by the MPAA. The TV spots for the film's theatrical release mentioned this rating. When the film was released in theaters, it was re-rated G by the MPAA, so the TV spots for the film's theatrical release currently mentioned this rating instead of its original rating. The reason why the final cut was rated G by the MPAA was because most of the dog violence was cut, leaving a shot that shows the bull terrier pushing down Babe into the river. Some people thought it was rated PG by the MPAA as they saw the poster mentioning the film's original rating. The home video release still has a G rating from the MPAA. This was Universal's last theatrically released feature-length film to be rated G by the MPAA until 2006's Curious George. It was also Universal's last theatrically released live-action film to be rated G by the MPAA until 2007's Mr. Bean's Holiday. However, when the film aired on Superstation WGN on November 18, 2007 and AMC on December 9, 2007, the shot that shows Ferdinand almost getting shot by humans was removed.
The film takes place in an imaginative fantasy-like Metropolis. It notably resembles Oz, but in modern day form. The city has various styles of architecture from around the world. It also has a variety of waterways, noticeable by the hotel at which Babe stays. The downtown area appears to be situated on an island not dissimilar to Manhattan Island. The Downtown Skyline features various skyscrapers such as the World Trade Center, Sears Tower, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, IDS Center, MetLife Building, Sydney Opera House, the Hollywood sign, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Fernsehturm Berlin, Big Ben, Red Square, the Statue of Liberty,the Eiffel Tower and many other landmarks.
The DVD covers feature a similar but different skyline, keeping the World Trade Center, Golden Gate Bridge, Big Ben, Sydney Opera House, and Red Square. Several skyscrapers added include 40 Wall Street (Two of them), Empire State Building, 500 5th Avenue, the Flatiron Building, World Financial Center, and several Los Angeles Skyscrapers including the U.S. Bank Tower. The river near the hotel is similar at the canal of Venice, Italy or Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The film received mixed to generally positive reviews. Audience response was polarized, with viewers either finding it great, or disliking it strongly. The movie has a 60% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, and a 56% "Rotten" rating from "Top Critics." Most of the negative reviews came from people who enjoyed the first Babe, as well as those who were expecting a more family-oriented film, like the first installment. Like its predecessor, the film was banned in Malaysia. However, the film has developed a cult following, and film critic Gene Siskel named it as his choice for the best movie of 1998 and claimed it to be better than its original. Roger Ebert also praised the movie, saying it was "more magical than the original 'Babe'." The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1998. Tom Waits is apparently a fan of the film, as he expressed in a recent feature in Mojo Magazine.
VHS, DVD and Laserdisc - May 4, 1999
VHS, DVD and Babe Double Feature DVD Pack - May 18, 2001
VHS, DVD and Family Double Feature - October 4, 2003
VHS, DVD and Babe the Sheep Pig Double Feature - November 24, 2004
The film was a box office failure. It grossed only $69 million worldwide from a $90 million budget, compared to the first movie's $254 million globally.
The score is again by Nigel Westlake, it also includes sound clips taken from the film. There is also a big band classic "Chattanooga Choo Choo" by Glenn Miller, and "That's Amore" by Dean Martin. More tracks including "That'll Do", the Academy Award-nominated theme song, and a song at the end sung by Babe's voice actress.
That'll Do - performed by Peter Gabriel - 3:51
Babe: A Pig in the City - 1:22
The Returning Hero - 1:16
Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien - performed by Edith Piaf - 2:19
Chattanooga Choo Choo - performed by Glenn Miller, Tex Beneke, and the Modernaires - 3:14
Scram, This Is Not a Farm - 2:27
That's Amore - performed by Dean Martin - 3:07
Three Blind Mice - 0:41
A Pig Gets Wise - 1:17
Are You Lonesome Tonight? - performed by The Mavericks - 2:59
Protected by Angels - performed by the Chieftains and Black Dyke Mills Band - 3:39
The Big City (Two Step Nadya)- performed by the Terem Quartet - 3:12
Babe's Lament - 2:38
A Heart That's True - performed by Elizabeth Daily and Pat Metheny - 3:58
The End - 1:26
That'll Do (Instrumental) - performed by the Black Dyke Mills Band - 3:57