Shorn of its rusticity, simplicity, the involvement of the original story's author, and, for much of the film, Cromwell's anchoring Farmer Hoggett, Babe 2 has lost its innocence and much of its appeal. Instead of sheepdog trials, there is massive set design; a zoo-full of CGI and animatronically enhanced vignettes; a familiar, if expensively mounted, series of chases; mayhem; imperilment; and a needless clown act by Rooney. Disappointment sets in early, when Farmer Hoggett is disabled fixing the well. To save the farm, Mrs Hoggett and the pig accept a paid appearance at a distant 'Fayre', only to be drug-busted at Metropolis airport and forced to take refuge in the animal-filled Flealands hotel. Younger audiences will no doubt enjoy many of the varied, often cutesy, animal turns. But what about the pathetic orangutan, Thelonius, dressed like Max in Sunset Blvd.? The threatening atmosphere, furthermore, recalls the circus sequence in Pinocchio. There's too much emphasis on sickness and cruelty, while the underlined anthropomorphism borders on freakshow excess.