51

The movie Babe, featuring a pig that wants to be a sheepdog, was filmed in New South Wales, Australia. However, my memory has failed me as to where it was supposed to be set in-universe. The farmer appears to have some sort of Englishesque accent, the animals have varying accents, and I can't recall what the judges had.

What is the in-universe setting of Babe?

Ifyoucanseethisyouredoinginsomethingwrong

  • Is there anything that makes you doubt in the inherent premise of it being set in the very country it was produced in? – Napoleon Wilson Aug 25 '16 at 15:24
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    @NapoleonWilson That's not inherent in the least. Most movies are produced elsewhere. – Carpe CM Aug 25 '16 at 15:41
  • Also remember that at Christmas-time it seems like summer-time weather - so that would seem to say something southern hemisphere – user40537 Aug 26 '16 at 21:52
  • One word comes to my mind: Canada. – Matemáticos Chibchas Aug 28 '16 at 7:22
62

No location is ever mentioned in the movie. In fact, the sequel Babe: Pig In The City has Babe travelling to a city called “Metropolis.” In that movie, you can see structures that resemble the Golden Gate Bridge, Sears Tower, World Trade Center, Sydney Opera House and Christ The Redeemer, among others. So, it’s safe to say that there was no intended country or location for the movies.

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    So... Babe takes place in the DC universe? :D – Carpe CM Aug 25 '16 at 15:42
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    ...or some a futuristic urban dystopia – Paulie_D Aug 25 '16 at 15:54
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    Or Legoland, since it probably has most or all of those structures. – Steve Jessop Aug 25 '16 at 16:08
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    This reminds me of Springfield in the Simpsons bordering Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky. It has elements of several things that cannot coexist in the real world. – user9311 Aug 26 '16 at 13:55
40

From IMDB

The location of the film is never mentioned, though scenery and architecture suggest somewhere in Great Britain.

However, except for two announcers only heard for a few seconds on the TV, everyone speaks with American accents. Moreover, cars were driven on the right side of the road, while in Great Britain [and Australia] cars are driven on the left.

Suffice it to say, it's deliberately left to the imagination as to the location.

  • 1
    "everyone speaks with American accents" Um, what? It's been a long time since I've seen the movie but I don't remember any of the people speaking with an American accent. – Kevin Aug 25 '16 at 18:29
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    +1, I had previously assumed it was in New Zealand (couldn't say why, haven't seen it in years), but they drive on the left in NZ. – DCShannon Aug 25 '16 at 18:30
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    @Kevin Sounds American to this American: youtube.com/watch?v=rjQtzV9IZ0Q – DCShannon Aug 25 '16 at 18:31
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    Well it's not an English accent to this Brit...but I suppose I could change it to "mid-Atlantic" or "indeterminate" accent...but it's a quote not my statement..even though I agree with it. – Paulie_D Aug 25 '16 at 18:36
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    @Kevin Try this instead youtube.com/watch?v=Z0pOWMHRgfI – Lightness Races with Monica Aug 26 '16 at 16:22
17

Based on some of the phrases used and minor pieces of evidence from the script, I would say the film is most likely to be set in Britain, probably northern England as in the source novel:

  • National Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials

    An event with this exact name doesn't seem to exist anywhere in the real world, but there are English National Sheepdog Trials, as well as Irish, Scottish, and Welsh National Sheepdog Trials.

  • National Sheepdog Association

    For some reason I couldn't find a website for this organisation, but searching for this phrase on Google and excluding results relating to this film seems to turn up only UK-based results.

  • I know I have to be at the National Conference. I am the Assistant General Secretary of the Northeast Region after all.

    I asked an American (the OP of this question, in fact) whether this sounds like the sort of title a person might have in the US, and got the answer no. Nor could it be Australian: the northeast region of Australia is pretty much unpopulated.

  • Coming today from the Kingsmith Showground in the heart of sheep country.

    As far as I know, there is no "sheep country" in the US (again, I consulted some Americans, who confirmed my suspicion). This term might be used in Australia (though it's not universally known there), and it's definitely a phrase one might hear in Britain.

    (Incidentally "Kingsmith" is clearly a nod to Dick King-Smith, who wrote the source novel.)

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    As a Brit I can tell you the accents are most definitely not from the North of England....not even close. The source material is certainly British but those accents...nope. :) – Paulie_D Aug 25 '16 at 21:43
  • @Paulie_D I'm also a Brit ... but it's been about 15 years since I watched this film, so I'm just going by the transcript :-) – Rand al'Thor Aug 25 '16 at 21:46
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    No deserts in the northeast of Australia. That's a very un-deserty tropical region. Our deserts are all in the middle. If an Australian used "region" in a context like that it would be more likely they were referring to a region inside a state or even a region within some other kind of division. – hippietrail Aug 26 '16 at 2:59
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    I'm not sure if Australia has a an area called "sheep country" by anyone or even if sheep farming is within any roughly contiguous area. But we would definitely use such a turn of phrase to refer to all the sheep-farming areas generally even if they are not totally contiguous. – hippietrail Aug 26 '16 at 3:05
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    @hippietrail Australia definitely does have a distinct "sheep country" region: amusingplanet.com/2013/11/… – Columbia says Reinstate Monica Aug 26 '16 at 20:59
9

The other answers are all helpful, and it seems the consensus is that it could be many countries, and is (possibly deliberately) vague.

However it is useful to know that the original tale was apparently set in the UK, according to Wikipedia (yes, I know). If anyone has read it and can confirm then that would be useful.

The Sheep-Pig, or Babe, the Gallant Pig in the U.S., is a children's novel by Dick King-Smith, first published by Gollancz in 1983 with illustrations by Mary Rayner. Set in rural England, where King-Smith spent twenty years as a farmer, it features a lone pig on a sheep farm.

The original question referenced the film, and so this is arguably not an entirely valid answer... and yet the actual question was 'What is the in-universe setting of Babe?' and it seems that this is the closest we will come to an answer.

3

I'm pretty sure that the farmer's wife is a member of the Country Women's Association, an Australian association. I'm not sure if this was a mistake or not. However, I believe the filmmakers wanted to make it deliberately vague. To me it is overtly Australian.

-1

Although the movie was supposed to be set in UK, it was in fact filmed in Robertson in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

I appeared as the man in grey who chased Rex off the field.

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