Study Guide compares the book Animal Farm by George Orwell to the movie Animal Farm (1954) This animated version of Animal Farm is fairly accurate except for the ending which is not like the ending in the book. Oddly, most of the nurturing female characters in the book are omitted from the movie, including: Clover the mare, Mollie the horse, Muriel the goat, and Mrs. Jones. This movie version of Animal Farm made history as the first cartoon that showed blood.
THE MOVIE VERSION OF ANIMAL FARM
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by George Orwell
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Animal Farm (1954) An animated British film by John Halas and Joy Batchlor. Voices by Gordon Heath and Maurice Denham.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
The flag, the gun, the lyrics to Beasts of England, the philosophy of Animalism, Sugarcandy Mountain, the storm that destroys the windmill, the sale of the woodpile, the pigs’ remaining in power at the end of the novel and the characters of Mrs. Jones, Clover, Mollie, Muriel, Jessie, Bluebell, Minimus, Mr. Frederick and Mr. Pilkington.
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
The underwear flag, Russian music, Whymper counting his money, Jones blowing up the windmill, the animals’ taking the farm back from the pigs in the end, Benjamin acting as a hard worker and a hero.
WHAT’S THE SAME?
Old Major’s speech, the revolution, Snowball being chased off by dogs, Napoleon’s rise to power, the windmill, the revisions of the commandments, Boxer’s death, the execution of some animals, the vicious dogs, the transformation of the pigs, the Red Lion, the whiskey, the battles with farmers.
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: CHAPTER 1
OPENING SCENE: The voice of a narrator is heard. (ERROR: In the book there is no first person narrator) It is springtime. Manor Farm in England has fallen into disrepair. (ACCURATE) Mr. Jones, owner of Manor Farm, has neglected his property because he spends his time at the Red Lion tavern drinking. (ACCURATE) Mr. Jones arrives home drunk. (ACCURATE) As he makes his rounds to lock up the farm, he kicks a chicken coop and mumbles “Good for nothing beasts.” (ERROR: Not in the book) Jones throws a liquor bottle at his dog. (ERROR: Not in the book) Jones enters the farmhouse and goes to bed. (ACCURATE)
When the animals see the farmhouse lights go out, they head across the barnyard to a meeting called by Old Major, a respected prize boar. (ACCURATE) The animals have never met together before. (ACCURATE) Old Major says that he has been ill and wants to say things before it’s too late. (ACCURATE) The pigs, including Snowball and Napoleon, sit on the front row. (ACCURATE) Boxer the horse, Benjamin the donkey, sheep, ducks, chickens, cows, and other animals are present. (ACCURATE) The door squeaks and the cat walks in last. (ACCURATE)