Compare and contrast the book and movie versions of Animal Farm.

The 1999 movie version of Animal Farm softens the darker elements of the novel, particularly by changing the ending.

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There have been two major film versions of George Orwell's Animal Farm: the 1954 animated version and the live-action film released in 1999. Both differ substantially from the book in different ways. In particular, both have very different endings from the pessimistic conclusion of Orwell's book and from each other.

The 1954 animated film shows Old Major dying as he sings "Beasts of England" with the animals, whereas in the book, some time elapses before his death. The film also has a larger role for the farmer, Mr. Jones, who is killed when he attempts to blow up the windmill with dynamite. Most significantly, this film version ends with a counter-revolution led by Benjamin the donkey, in which Napoleon is killed. The book ends with Napoleon still alive and in control of the farm.

The 1999 film changes the roles of the neighboring farmers, Frederick and Pilkington, who are almost interchangeable in the book. Pilkington becomes a more villainous and manipulative figure, while Frederick has some sympathy for the animals. There is also an extramarital affair between Jones and Pilkington's wife, which Orwell does not mention. The humans in general have a larger role in the film, which ends with a new human family taking over the farm and treating the animals kindly. This happy ending, like the triumph of Benjamin at the end of the 1954 version, is in direct contrast to the bleak conclusion of the book.

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This answer will compare and contrast the book with the 1999 live-action film since the other response already covered the animated version.

The 1999 Animal Farm movie was controversial during its original broadcast due to the changes it made from Orwell's text, particularly the ending. The movie's screenplay makes a number of alterations, including but not limited to setting the story over a course of days rather than years, making Jessie the sheep-dog the protagonist, eliminating the religious satire of Moses the raven, and having several of the animals escape into the woods during Napoleon's regime. Most of these changes served to lighten and streamline the book, possibly with a child viewership in mind. While much of the antitotalitarian message is the same, it is considerably simpler than Orwell intended for this reason.

The ending provides the greatest contrast with the book. The end of the novel is ironic. Napoleon creates alliances with the human farmers he once claimed to despise and while playing cards with them, appears indistinguishable from the men in the room, suggesting that his regime is just as bad as the one he claimed to be rescuing the other animals from at the start of the book. The movie softens its finale: Napoleon's regime comes to an end and a new human family moves into the farm. These humans are kinder, implying the animals will have a better future working under them. Obviously, this is a more child-friendly conclusion than the novel, and this more optimistic turn of events changes the tone of the story entirely.

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I'm going to assume you mean the cartoon-like version rather than the real-animal version which is not particularly well known.

I always think the book is better than the movie, and Animal Farmi s no exception.  One reason is that I form pictures in my mind as I read, and I imagine what each of the characters must look like and where they live as they live out their stories.  That's especially true in a novel in which the primary characters are animals. Seeing it come to life in a cartoonish movie was rather difficult, though I did enjoy several characterizations.

That being said, the movie follows the novel fairly closely.  Rather than the animals talking, as in the book, a narrator generally tells the story in the movie.  Old Major dies while giving a speech in the movie, while much time passes between his speech and his death in the novel.  The windmill doesn't blow up and get built again as often in the movie, and any scenes with humans do not quite match with the text. But generally, the movie is accurate.

Two major things set the movie apart from the novel, though.  The first is the obviousness of Squealer's duplicity as he persuades the animals that any changes are for their own good.  His facial expressions and body language, if you will, are clearly deceitful and conniving.  Those things are much more subtle in the text.

Second, the ending of the movie is a major departure from the novel.  In both, the animals look through the window and see a "blending" of animals and humans--as if they had become one in the same.  The movie depicts this quite well,  and then it steps too far.  Once the animals see this distortion of animals and humans, they stampede the farmhouse and we are to presume they retake their rightful place as owners of the land.  That is a significant departure from the novel--and from history, frankly.  We want them to assume power, but they don't.

The movie is fun to watch for 30 minutes; however, it is not a completely accurate depiction of Orwell's novel.

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