The great octopus Netflix has its tentacles on pretty every story that has been told. It’s a retelling kind of retail; now they have the rights to George Orwell’s Animal Farm. The challenge in remaking such a work, more than the special effects it takes to bring an allegory to life, is whether the retelling becomes political commentary. This has happened before.
“Because there are two versions of Animal Farm. The first is the allegorical story written by Orwell in 1945, charting the story of Napoleon’s porcine revolt against Mr Jones, the embodiment of decadent and exploitative capitalism. The second Animal Farm is the animated film of 1954, which, by rights, should list the CIA in its roll of credits.”
Orwell was against anything extreme, not just communism, even capitalist excesses haunted him.
“The moral and intellectual clarity of Orwell’s day, and the relative incoherency of ours, makes an authentic reboot of Animal Farm hard to imagine. At best, we will have an unnecessary historical drama; at worst, a corruption of Orwell’s original message, with Donald Trump cack-handedly photo-shopped in. I hope Andy Serkis sticks to the original text, but fear that reshaping the Russian Revolution’s fable to fit today’s political context will prove too tempting.”
Read more about The problem with the new Animal Farm: Four legs good, two films bad? by Guy Davies.