In a surprising turn of events, Babe – the family-friendly movie about the plucky little pig that could – almost never made it to cinemas.
25 years on from its release, actor James Cromwell has revealed that Universal originally "wanted to kill the film" for reasons we can't quite understand.
Based on Dick King Smith's novel The Sheep-Pig, Babe tells the story of an orphaned piglet that aspires to work as a sheepdog after being taken in by the Hoggett family. Life on the Hoggett farm is understandably dangerous for Babe, but his bacon is saved when he proves his worth as a herder.
It's not an entirely sweet or innocent movie (although, what kids' film ever is?), but Cromwell has shocked us nonetheless by telling The Hollywood Reporter that studio bosses were actually "appalled" by the project.
"We didn’t have an opening for our film. Universal was appalled by the film and they wanted to kill the film," he said.
"They didn't want to do anything with the film," he continued, before explaining how the studio got the press to watch Babe.
"They invited the press down to Houston for Apollo 13, a big thing, you know how they invite everybody down, stay in a wonderful hotel. And on a bus... [the guests] thought was taking them to the airport the next morning, [the executives] said, 'Listen, um, we hate to do this to you, but we have this other little film about a pig'.
"Everybody in the bus was, 'Ugh, oh my god'."
Fortunately, Babe proved to be utterly charming to the press. "Not only did all of them really like the film, but [critic] Gene Siskel just thought it was the cat's pyjamas," the actor said, revealing that Siskel's approval carried the movie.
"He loved it. And so he pushed it a lot."
Don't you just love a happy ending?
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