The film version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm is 60 years old. As a new DVD version is released, we look at how the CIA help fund England’s first animated feature film. (…)
The CIA also thought it would be cheaper to make the film in England and believed, with good reason, that they would be able to keep the English animators in the dark about who was funding the film. In addition, they didn’t trust the political leanings of some American illustrators. And the British government was supposedly happy with a film full of anti-Russian propaganda at a time when the Cold War was in full blast. (…)
The one person who surely would not have been happy about it all would have been Orwell himself, not least for the way the ending to his novel was changed.
In Orwell’s pessimistic conclusion to Animal Farm, the pigs become indistinguishable from their human masters of old. In the optimistic CIA-approved ending to the film, the (non-pig) animals ask for help from the outside. They are helped, enabling them to crush the evil Stalin ruler. Some endings are more equal than others, it seems.