A dramatic new telling of George Orwell’s classic 1945 novel premieres on Turner Network Television (TNT) on Sunday, October 3, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). It will also air throughout the month. Check local listings. Filmed on location in Ireland, the production features state-of-the-art animatronic technology developed by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and a cast of hundreds of live animals. Pete Postlethwaite plays Jones, the abusive drunk of a farmer who sparks a takeover of his land and home by an army of neglected animals. The animals themselves ultimately organize against a ruthless, repressive system. Orwell wrote his visionary novel (always cited as one of the century’s seminal works of literature and politics) as an allegory describing the corruption of power in the Soviet Union.
Although we give this TV-movie three stars for its production values and the message that Communism fails, we highly recommend caution if you are considering allowing your little ones to watch it. Although this cautionary tale about corruption of leaders is well made, it is also very depressing. Kids seeing the upcoming commercials will want to view it due to the talking animals, but it is far from being a children’s production. It is a bleak account of oppression and it does little to correct the theory that leadership without God’s direction will, in time, fail. If you are already aware that the communist manifesto is impure because it denies the existence of God, you probably won’t get anything out of it either.