Gordy is a 1995 American family comedy-drama film directed by Mark Lewis, about a livestock piglet named Gordy who searches for his missing family (who are taken away to a slaughterhouse in Omaha). Gordy experiences the lives of others who are part of the film's side plots, including traveling country music singers Luke McAllister and his daughter Jinnie Sue; and lonely boy Hanky Royce whose mother Jessica is engaged to a sinister businessman, Gilbert Sipes. Gordy changes lives for the people he encounters due to their ability to understand him. The film was released to theaters on May 12, 1995 and distributed by Miramax Family Films .
The film features the song "Pig Power" by Tag Team. A music video was produced for the song, featuring clips from the film.
A piglet named Gordy lives a happy life on Meadow Brook Farm somewhere near Hope, Arkansas. However, after the farm's farmer goes bankrupt, he is forced to sell everything, starting with Gordy's family. Two men arrive in a truck to take Gordy's father, but Gordy is alerted of this by the farm's rooster. Gordy tries to stop his father from leaving by following the truck taking his father, but his father tells him to go home and look after the family. When Gordy returns he finds that his mother and siblings were taken in another truck while he pursued his father. Determined to locate his family and return to the farm, Gordy sets out alone to find them. He eventually ends up in the care of a young country singer named Jinnie Sue MacAllister, who lives in a camper van with her father, Luke, who is also a country singer, and their "manager", Cousin Jake. Jinnie, not knowing Gordy's name, decides to call him "Pinky".
They travel to a dinner party, where Luke performs for the governor of Arkansas. Also there is a rich businessman, Henry R. Royce, his daughter Jessica, her rather dull but scheming fiancé, Gilbert Sipes, and her lonely young son, Hanky. Hanky wanders off on his own and meets Gordy and Jinnie Sue. Hanky falls into a swimming pool, but cannot swim. Just as Jinnie Sue rushes off to get help, Gordy dives into the pool with an inflatable pool toy, and saves Hanky. Due to his bravery, Gordy is given to Hanky as a pet, and Gordy also becomes suddenly famous.
Royce and Sipes have alternate decisions on who the new mascot of the Royce Company should be: Gordy or Jessica. In the end, Gordy wins, due to a switched camera lens used on Jessica's promotion. Sipes is determined to remove Gordy and then take control of the company. Sipes sends his two guards, Dietz and Krugman, to kidnap Gordy, but Gordy and Hanky escape by boarding a school bus, which Dietz and Krugman pursue. On the way, the two men are distracted briefly by a cross-dressing thief, and discover that Gordy and Hanky have escaped onto a feeding truck. Gordy and Hanky unexpectedly meet up with the MacAllisters, who learn from the radio that Hanky has apparently run away. Another bulletin follows, revealing Henry Royce has died of a heart attack. The MacAllisters return Hanky and Gordy to the Royce building in St. Louis, Missouri where an attorney reveals Henry has left his company to Hanky and Gordy.
Cousin Jake, upon learning Gordy's family is missing, organizes a giant country-wide search to locate them and also a country music concert in Branson, Missouri in Gordy's name. A host of country singers perform, as well as a surprise speech from President Bill Clinton (just an impersonator), who unveils a new stamp of Gordy. Sipes sends his men to kidnap Gordy, tie him in a sack, and toss him in a river, but the pig is saved by Cousin Jake. Jake returns Gordy to Hanky and Jinnie Sue. Everyone learns from someone who calls into the telethon that Gordy's family is going to be slaughtered at an unidentified slaughterhouse in Nebraska. Sipes tries to hide the fact that the very same slaughterhouse is owned by the Royce family. However, a battle ensues between Sipes and Luke, with Jessica and Luke knocking him out with the suitcase of Brinks, the family attorney. Gordy, Hanky, Jinnie Sue, Jessica, Luke, Cousin Jake, and Brinks race to stop the slaughterhouse from killing Gordy's family, but a train slows them down. Hanky successfully rings the lovestruck supervisor, and the slaughterhouse is shut down just in time. To Gordy's happiness, his family has survived, and he is reunited with his father, who was also about to be killed at the slaughterhouse. The pigs are moved back to the farm, which Luke and Jessica decide to buy with most of the Royce Company profits; the two marry and Hanky, Jinnie Sue, and Cousin Jake move in too. Gordy and his family are finally reunited.
- Doug Stone as Luke MacAllister: A country singer, and the father of Jinnie Sue.
- Kristy Young as Jinnie Sue MacAllister: The daughter of Luke, also a country singer.
- Tom Lester as Cousin Jake: Luke's cousin and the manager of his group.
- Deborah Hobart as Jessica Royce: The daughter of Henry Royce and mother of Hanky, engaged to Sipes.
- Michael Roescher as Hanky Royce: The lonely but friendly son of Jessica, and the grandson of Henry Royce. He becomes a good friend to Gordy.
- James Donadio as Gilbert Sipes: The fiancé of Jessica. He is a rather selfish and scheming man who is looking to take over the Royce company.
- Ted Manson as Henry Royce: The elderly executive of the Royce Company, father of Jessica, and grandfather of Hanky. He dies part-way through the film at age 73 due to a heart attack.
- Tom Key as Brinks: The comical friendly attorney of the Royce family and Sipes. He usually follows the advice of his conscience.
- Jon Kohler and Afemo Omilami as Dietz and Krugman: Sipes's incompetent henchmen.
- Justin Garms as Gordy: A spunky young piglet who sets out from his home to look for his missing family.
- Hamilton Camp as Gordy's Father: An adult pig who was taken up North to be slaughtered. Camp also voices Richard the Rooster, an adult rooster who warns Gordy that his family has been taken away.
- Jocelyn Blue as Gordy's Mother: The mother of Gordy and his five siblings. She and Gordy's siblings are also taken for slaughter.
- Frank Welker as the Narrator and Animals' vocal effects
- Tress MacNeille as Wendy, Richard's mate
- Earl Boen as Minnesota Red
- Frank Soronow as Dorothy the Cow
- Billy Bodine as Piglet
- Blake McIver Ewing as Piglet
- Julianna Harris as Piglet
- Sabrina Weiner as Piglet
- Heather Bahler as Piglet
- Jim Meskimen as the voice of Bill Clinton
Along with generally negative reviews, Gordy was eclipsed by Babe, which was another family film featuring a young talking pig. Review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes rated the film with a 26% based on 19 reviews. Both films were released the same year. Although Gordy was released first, it wasn't very successful, while Babe was a critical and commercial success, won several awards (including an Academy Award for Visual Effects) and spawned a sequel titled Babe: Pig in the City.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and wrote, "This is not the kind of film that rewards deep analysis. I rate it at two stars, but I'd recommend it for kids. I can't recommend it for people like me, but there are many other kinds of people in the world, some of them children who believe that pigs can talk, and for them, Gordy is likely to be very entertaining. You know who you are."
Peter Stack of the Chronicle Staff claimed that "Gordy's strongest suit is the piglet's determination to reunite with his family, and that part of the convoluted plot develops into a folksy comic effort as Jinnie Sue, her dad, Hanky and Gordy race to save the family of pigs from becoming sausages. One would think the pork industry would be livid about this film as it portrays pig slaughter as an outrageous evil. The highlight comes when Gordy jumps into a backyard swimming pool—piglets really are cutest when they put their little trotters together and dive—and saves Hanky from drowning. Generally speaking, time would be better spent with Charlotte's Web than this forgettable hogwash.
Chris Hicks of the Deseret News reviewed the film saying that "This may have sounded like a cute idea on paper, but as kids pictures go this is the worst to come along in memory. Charmless, humorless and dull as drying paint, Gordy is the kind of movie parents should save for video punishment. But if they take their kids to a theater, they'll be punishing themselves."
Dave Kehr of the New York Daily News described Gordy as "a particularly dull and inept family film".
Caryn James of The New York Times opined that "It is possible that some children will be tickled at the very idea of a talking pig, even one as bland as Gordy. They will probably be children who have never seen any movie, ever. Gordy is the film that asks, How you gonna keep them down on the farm after they've seen Simba?"
Rita Kempley of the Washington Post called Gordy a "peculiar, seemingly pro-vegan tale". She later went on to say that "It's fairly obvious that Gordy's performance was inspired by Arnold Ziffel's precedent-setting work on the old TV series "Green Acres." But then so was the movie, which was penned by series alumni Jay Sommers and Dick Chevillat. Their screenplay is as bland as an afternoon in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, though the director, Australian animal-mockumentary-maker Mark Lewis, adds a touch of menace by using extreme close-ups, bizarre angles and other stylish camera work. One thing's for sure, Gordy will put little pea-pickers off their pork."
Walter V. Addiego of The Examiner Staff stated that "The film tosses a few mild, satirical darts at public relations and advertising, but otherwise it's strictly hokum from the heartland. The director, I'm sorry to say, is Mark Lewis, the Australian responsible for the strange and funny documentary "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History," which enlivened the S.F. Film Festival in 1988. Gordy will not enhance his resume. It's surprisingly amateurish, due in no small part to clumsy scripting by Leslie Stevens."
Tracy Moore of Common Sense Media gave the film two out of five stars, saying that "This fast-moving adventure about a talking pig's mission to find his family has a few fun elements -- some lively country music, a brush with fortune and fame, a bit of suspense, and lots of comically dodged mishaps. Kids will no doubt be entertained by the talking animals, cute pigs, and loads of adventure. Parents, however, should note the parent and child separation and the death of a grandparent as key concerns, as well as the scariness factor of the impending violence of the slaughterhouse, which is teased throughout the movie. If the audience is old enough to handle that potentially squeamish subject, Gordy is otherwise a passable 90 minutes of animal-talking antics." TV Guide gave the film 1½ stars out of four.
However, Louis Black of The Austin Chronicle wrote a favorable review of the film concluding that "A lot happens, it moves quickly, and the film is filled with minor characters who nicely round things out; my young companion watched the film from beginning to end, loving it. This is not a date movie."