Gordy (1995)


USA. 1995.


Director – Mark Lewis, Screenplay – Dick Chevillat, Jay Sommers & Leslie Stevens, Story – Dick Chevillat & Jay Sommers, Producer – Sybil Robson, Photography – Richard Michalak, Music – Charles Fox, Music Supervisor – Tom Bähler, Animatronic Effects – Paul Mejias, Production Design – Philip Messina. Production Company – RAS Entertainment Ltd/Robson Entertainment


Michael Roescher (Hanky Royce), Kristy Young (Jinnie Sue McCallister), James Donadio (Gilbert Sipes), Doug Stone (Luke McCallister), Deborah Hobart (Jessica Royce), Ted Manson (Henry Royce), Justin Garms (Voice of Gordy)


On Meadow Brook farm, the young pig Gordy’s family are taken away from him. And so he decides to set out on a quest to find them. Along route, Gordy is found by young Jinnie Sue McAllister who travels with her father, a touring Country-and-Western singer. At a governor’s fundraiser, Gordy jumps into a pool to save young Hanky Royce whereupon he is declared a hero. Jinnie Sue decides to leave Gordy in Hanky’s care. Hanky discovers that he can talk to Gordy. Hanky’s grandfather, a successful businessman, wants to use Gordy to promote his products. However, the double-dealing director of public relations tries to sabotage this and have Gordy kidnapped. The grandfather then dies and leaves everything to Hanky in his will and places Gordy in charge of the company.

Gordy is a shameless ripoff of Babe (1995). Babe, which came out the same year but four months later than Gordy, concerned the travails of a poor orphan pig in the human world. The film was a magical delight and became a big hit. The makers of Gordy have clearly attempted to jump aboard the success of Babe. You could maybe think it was a case of coincidence given the time it takes to get a film made but the makers of Gordy have copied Babe on almost every point – even down to appropriating an identical cute, plaintive voice for the pig. You would think that at the very least could have had sufficient originality to use a different animal than a pig.

The main difference between Gordy and Babe is that in Gordy the central concept has been transplanted to the American heartland. This gets to be a little too much – the film comes replete with Country-and-Western music and line dancing, while performances are given in front of the American flag and people are invoked to say their prayers. There is even a Bill Clinton voice imitator.

The plot is puerile – the height of ridiculousness is when the film gets to the point of the pig inheriting and running a corporation. Gordy was also made on a much lower budget than Babe was. Babe created its pig effects using animatronics and CGI; alas, Gordy is forced to rely on using a real pig. However, the pig cast in the role is unappealing and ugly, while the scenes of it supposedly talking do not even seem in the remotest convincing. Michael Roescher gives a thoroughly insipid performance as the kid. It is hard to believe that this dire film received a cinematic release from the normally reputable arthouse releasing chain Miramax.

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