Choice: The critics: FILM

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The Independent Culture
Babe A jolly farmyard adventure which follows a pig who thinks he's a sheepdog. Produced by Mad Max's George Miller, it has as much darkness as your average fairy tale and no more - the defining mood is fun. It may make you go "aah" at pigs every now and then, but chances are it won't stop you eating them.

Land and Freedom Ken Loach investigates the political conflicts which thrived during the Spanish Civil War and tore the Left apart. Ian Hart is effortlessly touching as the young Liverpudlian doley whose idealism lands him on the front-line, while Jim Allen's screenplay gets to the heart of the people as well as the politics.

The Santa Clause Along with Babe, this is the film of the season. Why? Because it keeps children amused while tossing the odd curveball at their parents; it has absolute faith in the logic of Santa Claus; the gags are honed to perfection, and Tim Allen (left) is the Robin Williams that you don't feel like driving a stake into.