"Gordy" is a pleasant trifle aimed squarely at audiences in search of squeaky-clean family entertainment. Pic likely will fare better in rural and small-town venues, though this comedy about a talking pig and the humans who befriend him could score respectable numbers in urban markets as well. Video prospects are bright.
“Gordy” is a pleasant trifle aimed squarely at audiences in search of squeaky-clean family entertainment. Pic likely will fare better in rural and small-town venues, though this comedy about a talking pig and the humans who befriend him could score respectable numbers in urban markets as well. Video prospects are bright.
Title character is a spunky little piglet whose happy world is turned upside down when the farm where he lives goes bankrupt. His parents and siblings are sold and hauled away in trucks, but Gordy (winningly voiced by Justin Garms) fortuitously escapes. He sets out to find his family, beginning a journey that will take him clear across his home state of Arkansas and beyond.
Right from the start, it’s clear that Gordy, his parents and siblings and all the other barnyard animals, can talk to one another. But it’s a great deal more difficult for Gordy to communicate with human beings. As he explains, a human must “take the time to listen” if he wants to understand what an animal is saying.
Fortunately, Gordy finds a patient listener in young Hanky Royce (Michael Roescher), the grandson of an aging corporate tycoon (Ted Manson). Gordy becomes a national celebrity when he saves Hanky from drowning. He also becomes the centerpiece of a national ad campaign for Royce Industries products.
When his grandfather dies, Hanky is named sole heir to Royce Industries. But because Hanky is a minor, the will stipulates that, until the boy comes of age, Gordy will be the company’s official CEO.
Even grumpy grown-ups who are forced to sit through “Gordy” with their youngsters may enjoy a laugh or two as the plucky pig proves to be entirely capable of running a giant corporation. In doing so, however, Gordy earns the enmity of Gilbert Sipes (James Donadio), a corporate climber who had hoped to gain control of Royce Industries by marrying Hanky’s mother (Deborah Hobart). While Gilbert plots an untimely demise for the pig, Gordy and Hanky scramble to find Gordy’s folks before they are turned into sausage and pork chops.
Under the capable direction of Mark Lewis, “Gordy” proceeds at an amiable pace that is just brisk enough for little ones with short attention spans. A few elements of the corporate-intrigue subplot may go over the heads of young viewers, but most of the humor in Leslie Stevens’ script is broad enough to connect with audiences of all ages.
Country-music fans will be attracted by the presence of recording star Doug Stone in a major, top-billed role. He gives an engaging performance (and sings a couple of songs) as Luke MacAllister, a country-music performer whose young daughter, Jinnie Sue (Kristy Young), aids Gordy in his quest.
Also along for the ride is Tom Lester as Jake, the only grown-up who’s able to understand what Gordy is talking about. Obviously, Lester gained considerable knowledge about communicating with pigs during his many years as a regular on TV’s “Green Acres.”
Pic features cameos by such country-music notables as Boxcar Willie, Jim Stafford, Moe Bandy and Roy Clark in a concert sequence. This, too, may be a selling point with some audiences.
The “talking animal” trickery is handled competently enough to delight small children and amuse their parents. Other tech values are fine, indicating the producers knew how to stretch an obviously limited budget.
Hanky Royce - Michael Roescher
Jinnie Sue MacAllister - Kristy Young
Gilbert Sipes - James Donadio
Jessica Royce - Deborah Hobart
Cousin Jake - Tom Lester
Brinks - Tom Key
Henry Royce - Ted Manson
Voice of Gordy - Justin Garms