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Siskel: 'Babe' Is The Best

The one great family film of the season is the sequel Babe: Pig in the City, says CBS This Morning Contributor Gene Siskel, who has chosen that inventive, creative, clever, and great-looking movie as his No. 1 favorite film of 1998 - a year, he adds, that was packed with excellent films.

"The choice is not a stunt," says Siskel. "This new Babe picture qualifies for greatness because it expands our notion of what a film can be. [It] expresses the joy of a filmmaker, director George Miller, the creator of the Mad Max movies, in using the many tools of his trade."

Any one minute of the film clearly illustrates the work that had to be involved to create it, says Siskel, as Babe goes to the big city to try to raise money to save his family farm.

But the city is fraught with danger, as Babe the talking pig finds himself lending a hand (or hoof) to a group of animal outcasts.

Some critics have guessed this aspect of the Babe sequel may frighten youngsters. But Siskel says, "My guess is that little ones may react more like my 3-year-old son, who exclaimed during the movie, 'Daddy, that dog is talking.'"

Scene from 'A Bug's Life' (Disney)
Siskel also points out that if children can handle the death of Bambi's mother in the Disney classic, they can handle anything in Babe: Pig in the City. And that also holds true for A Bug's Life, which, according to Siskel, isn't simply a replay of Antz.

Says the film critic, "That's because we go one step up the food chain to a grasshopper population that's really angry at its ant colony, which hasn't come up with its usual supply of food. The voice of the lead hopper in the film is supplied by Kevin Spacey. A Bug's Life is built more for kids than Antzand may not be as entertaining for adults."

Siskel recommends both Babe: Pig in the City and A Bug's Life for children ages 8 and older.