Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Search thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth. delivered direct to your Inbox!


Animal Farm (1954)

Animated / Drama
1954 / 72 minutes
RATING: 7/10

This is George Orwell’s classic dystopian tale brought to the big screen. A farm setting is used to highlight a conflict between the “working class” – chickens, geese, cows, and pigs – and the wealthy, represented here by the farmer who owns everything. Orwell was anti-communist, but not blind to the problems of the arrogant elite who abused the poor, so his Farmer Jones here is a piece of work, shown whipping the animals in a drunken stupor.

When Old Major, the most revered pig on the farm, calls a meeting, all attend. He gives a rousing speech, calling for solidarity against the oppressive farmer, and equality for all animals. But Old Major doesn’t live to see the revolution he has called for – he punctuates his speech by collapsing at the end. But he has inspired action. The animals drive out Farmer Jones, and take over the farm for themselves.

However, the animals soon learn the same lessons the poor Russians peasants learned when they overthrew the Tsar: being free of one tyrant isn’t the same as being free. The pigs soon take the place of the farmer, because, after all, someone has to show some leadership. The pigs are soon eating the farmer’s food, and sleeping in his bed too, even as the rest of the animals remain in the barn. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.


The cautions are of two kinds.

Parents could see the trailer and think this could make for a good family night flick. While the simple 1950s animation does mute some of the violence, there are still creature killed both onscreen and off. At one point it is a full out war between a dozen armed humans and all the animals. Not a lot of blood is shown, but way too much for children. That’s okay though, because this really isn’t intended for an audience too young to understand the moral to the story.

The other concern is that teens, and even some adults, might miss some of the nuance here, in part because of changes to the film that aren’t in the book. This is a more hopeful version of the tale that ends with the dictator pig, Napoleon, getting overthrown, trampled to death by the other animals. In the book, it ends with the pigs still in charge, now making deals with the humans, and it is getting hard to tell the humans from the pigs and the pigs from the humans. The film’s more hopeful ending was likely made because the film was, in fact, produced by the CIA. They may have wanted it to end on a more “democratic” note, the people rising up against their communist dictator. But Orwell’s unresolved ending was likely meant to highlight the growing communist encroachment even in the West. And viewers will not get that from the film.

But both book and film do critique the abuses that can happen under the arrogant. Orwell wasn’t saying that the West was perfect and that only communism was a problem; he was highlighting that communism wasn’t a solution to the problems happening in the West, and would only make things worse.


This is not a film to watch for entertainment; it rates only middling on that scale. But it is a great presentation of one of the more important novels of our time. At a time when “equity” is thought to be the ultimate goal, it’s important to teach the next generation where that road really takes us. So, this would be a great one for 12 to 112.

You may also be interested in Animal Farm: the Graphic Novel.

Enjoyed this article?

Get the best of RP delivered to your inbox every Saturday for free.

Movie Reviews, Science - Creation/Evolution, Watch for free

Free film: Genesis Impact

Docudrama 68 minutes / 2020 RATING: 7/10 This is a very good...something. The topic matter is plain enough – human origins – but what's less clear is whether this is a documentary or drama. The beginning is standard documentary: apologist Ray Comfort, just off camera, interviewing college students about their views on evolution. But when the camera pulls back we discover these interviews are actually a smartphone's 3-D holographic projections being viewed by a teen boy sitting on the edge of his couch (presumably a decade or two into the future seeing as there's no app for that quite yet). When mom wanders by to put away groceries, he shares his doubts about whether God really did create in just six days. "What if they're right, and we're wrong?" he asks. "I mean, the scientific evidence for evolution is pretty overwhelming. What if God...used evolution?" To answer his questions, mom takes us through another scene change, shifting back 20 years to modern day when she was still in school, listening to an origins lecture at a Natural History museum. When the speaker concludes and most of the other students leave the auditorium, the young mom-to-be stays behind to question, and eventually debate, the scientist/lecturer. That's where we stay, along with a few student stragglers, listening to a well-reasoned critique of the lecturer's evolutionary presentation. While Genesis Impact hardly has a plot, it still has plenty of drama as evolution and creationist go head-to-head over the next hour. Genesis Impact shouldn't be evaluated as a drama though. The acting is fine – solid enough not to get in the way, and better than many a Christian drama – but the young lady is far too knowledgeable, and the evolutionist lecturer far too reasonable (readily conceding her every good point) to be realistic. Fortunately, the filmmakers' goal isn't realism. They wanted to present a challenging, highly educational lecture on a pivotal topic, and they wanted to deliver it in a really unique and entertaining manner. Mission accomplished! Caution While the topic matter is the sort you might want to share with an atheist friend, that this is a staged debate – an acted out debate – provides the "out" any skeptic would take to dismiss it entirely, arguing that a real evolutionist would have had better responses, or wouldn't have conceded so many points. So one caution would be that this isn't one to win over an unsympathetic or hostile audience. Conclusion What makes it valuable is that the creationist critique is a really good one. Evolutionary proofs aren't so overwhelming as it seems, with guesses built on assumptions, stacked atop beliefs. Secular science presents their conclusions as being unassailable, though sometimes the hype is as much the fault of the media as the scientists. Even when researchers couch their guesswork with phrases like "could be" and "might" and "probably" the media is likely to trumpet "Evidence of life has been found on Mars!" in 36-point front-page headlines.  Still, the same sort of unwarranted certainty can be found in Natural History displays, and in university classrooms, so evolutionary arrogance isn't simply a mainstream media invention. Who should see Genesis Impact? It's best suited for Bible-believing Christians who are interested in, or troubled by, evolutionary accounts. It'll be an encouragement and could serve as a leap-off point for further study. The depth of the material discussed also means this is best suited for college-age and up. You can watch it for free below, and visit the film's website to dig deeper: ...