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Ah, the hog. A majestic beast whose snub-nosed appearance and tendency to wallow in its own feces often distracts from the many wonderful things it offers our society—namely bacon, sausage, and ham. Unfortunately, as the curly-tailed star of Chris Noonan’s 1995 film, Babe, is quick to discover, the majority of the hog’s contributions to the world of man end at the breakfast table. It could be that some animals, like humans, derive a certain sense of fulfillment from being productive members of their communities—but chances are it’s the fear of smelling his own sweet flesh sizzling in the frying pan that motivates Babe to take up the unlikely profession of sheep-pig on the Hoggett farm. Based on a children’s book (by Dick King-Smith), Babe earned its sleeper-hit status and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture with a combination of surprisingly well-drawn characters, endearing story line, and seamless special effects. So stop being so cynical and remember all that Wilbur taught you when Babe screens at noon at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $5.50. (301) 495-6700. (Matthew Borlik)