Gordy

Gordy is the story of a piglet who becomes a financial tycoon and a hero. When Gordy, a young piglet, is separated from his family at Meadowbrook Farm, he sets out on a quest to find them. In his quest, he is befriended by the grandson of a rich industrialist. He helps the boy save the family business from the greedy clutches of the conniving Gilbert Sipes, while saving his own family from the sausage factory.

When we first meet Gordy, he is at Meadowbrook Farm contentedly eating buttercups. His friend, the rooster, crows to alert him that two men are now loading his dad, a very large pig, onto a truck. Baby Gordy chases the truck down the road to no avail. When he returns to the farm, he goes into the chicken coup and finds out from the other animals that his mom and five brothers and sisters were taken away by another truck. Gordy sets off down the road to find his family. For the scenes where we see the baby pig walking down the road or moving from A to B, a trainer was calling the pig with a clicker and a bottle of formula. To get the piglet to follow the truck down the road, the trainer was on the truck calling the animal. All the chickens and the rooster were trained birds responding to clicker and buzzer commands. The larger pigs were also trained animals responding to verbal and visual commands of the trainers.

As night falls, Gordy finds shelter in a church where he falls asleep in a basket of clothes set aside for the needy. A man comes and collects the basket and drives off as Gordy sleeps. The truck pulls into a truck stop where there is a country western club in full swing. Jennie Sue Macallister, a young girl, and her dad, Luke Macallister, are country western singers playing the club. Jennie discovers Gordy in the basket, adopts him and takes him to her trailer. There she dresses Gordy in pajamas and tucks him in bed with her to hide him from her dad. Earlier she had been feeding Mama Pig and Gordy's brothers and sisters when she saw the truck carrying them at the truck stop. Mama Pig snuggled the piglets, grateful for the turnip greens Jennie gave them. The truck pulls out while Jennie is singing, just before the truck with Gordy in it pulls into the parking lot. For these scenes the trainer placed the piglet in the basket and in bed with the child. The piglet was trained to lay down and the snoring sounds were sound effects. Prior to the start of filming, the child actors were trained with the piglets and developed a bond with the animals so that both the actors and the piglets were very comfortable with the handling throughout the film.

Cousin Jake, the MC with the band at the club, convinces Luke that Jennie needs a pet and gets him to let Jennie keep Gordy. They travel on to sing at a convention held for the governor of Arkansas. At the convention, Jennie meets Henry R. Royce, nicknamed Hanky, who is the grandson of the billionaire industrialist, Henry Royce. Hanky likes Jennie and her pet Gordy, whom she has named Pinky. Jennie can see that Hanky is unhappy about his mom's new boyfriend, Gilbert Sipes, the Public Relations executive for Royce Industries. Gilbert is intent on wooing Hanky's mom, Jessica, just to gain more power within the company. Hanky sulks off to the swimming pool and Jennie follows him carrying Gordy. Hanky loses his footing and falls into the pool and is in danger of drowning when Gordy takes action. The piglet pushes a life preserver into the pool, dives in and pushes it to Hanky, saving his life. Jennie gives Gordy to Hanky before leaving with her dad. However, Jennie's kindness and her dad's good looks are not lost on Jessica. Hanky and Gordy bond as best friends. For the scene in the swimming pool, the piglet was trained to swim and a trainer was present at all times. The piglet was trained to push the life preserver and did so on land at the trainers verbal command. Since the preserver would get too far ahead of the animal in the water, it was pulled in the pool by a piece of monofilament string making it look as though the pig was pushing it himself. For the sequence where the piglet dives into the pool, a special platform was constructed under the water and the animal jumped onto that preventing him from going under water.

The Royce family flies back to St. Louis and Gordy becomes a media giant as the ""Hero Pig."" The Governor wants to use Gordy for his election campaign and Royce Industries wants to test him as a product mascot for a new soft drink, Hero Piggy Cola. Of course, Gilbert wants to use Jessica in the ads and the firm decides to test both personalities. Gordy confides in Hanky and tells him that people who take the time to listen can understand animals, especially the pure in heart. Hanky can understand his piglet buddy and learns that Pinky is not his right name. He renames him Gordy.

On the day of the photo shoot, Sipes tries to sabotage Gordy by changing the lens in the camera. Hanky discovers this and changes it back so that all of Gordy's pictures turn out great, while Jessica's are distorted and ugly. Gordy becomes the favorite of the company, especially grandpa Royce. He also becomes a media darling. Jessica is devastated. During this sequence we see Gordy getting into make-up and sneezing a huge cloud of powder at the make-up lady. We also see him dressed in a wide assortment of costumes to promote the soft drink. For the scene where the pig sneezes, an animatronic pig was used. The camera angle is from behind the animal and the animatronic prop was able to blow the powder into a big cloud of dust. All the costumes worn by the piglet were loose fitting and comfortable to the animal. The trained piglet was dressed and set by the trainer before each shot and given verbal and visual hand commands to get it to sit and stay.

For all his fame, Gordy only wants to find his family. Because of his very fame, Gilbert Sipes wants to kidnap Gordy and destroy the piglet's career. Sipes believes this will be his only way of insuring a Sipes take-over of Royce Industries. Before Sipes can act, Gordy and Hanky take off to find Gordy's family. Sipes sends two of his henchmen after our heroes. Hanky and Gordy lose the thugs in a park and stow away on a school bus. The thugs give chase but the boy and pig are too smart for them. For this scene, Hanky must sneak Gordy onto the bus in a gym bag. The scene was shot in cuts. While we first see the actor lowering the real pig into the bag, it is a motion device planted in the bag that gives the illusion that the animal is in there and wiggling. The live animal was never closed up in the gym bag.

While this is happening, we realize that Moma Pig and the other piglets are in an auction house being sold off. We see the auction taking place and then see the family herded into a truck. We hear a whip snap and a piglet voice saying, ""he hurt me."" We never see this occur and only sound effects were used. Trainers were present using clickers and hand commands to get the pigs to move from point A to point B. One trainer was stationed at point A to release the animals and a second at point B to receive them.

In order to lose Sipe's thugs, Hanky tosses Gordy out of the bus window into a truck bed filled with grain. He then jumps into the grain himself. The truck takes them to a farm where Gordy questions other pigs about his family and learns that they were shipped north. As Hanky and Gordy walk down the road dejectedly, hoping for a miracle, they see the band's van coming toward them. Cousin Jake, Jennie and Luke are happy to see them and give them a lift. Sadly, they find out that Hanky's grandfather has had a heart attack. Grandpa Royce dies and leaves everything to Hanky, but in the care of Gordy. For the scene where Gordy and Hanky jump into the grain truck, a trainer held the piglet at the bus window and on cue tossed the pig one foot onto a three foot mound of grain which was soft and safe for the pig. Once Gordy lands in the truck, the trainer lead him to the edge of the truck with a clicking device and a bottle of formula. The trainer then carried the animal away from the truck.

Sipes now plans even more aggressively to get rid of Gordy so that Jessica can be the ward of the inheritance. But Gordy is already making changes. He advises Hanky to go more natural with the company products and use fresh foods. Gordy becomes a superstar on Wall Street and even appears on Wall Street Week. Due to Gordy's popularity, Cousin Jake wants him to not only promote Jake and Luke as country western stars, but to use a concert event to make a public announcement to find his family.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Moma Pig and the piglets see a newspaper blow by the yard and get stuck in the fence. There they see a picture of Gordy and begin to believe there may be hope for them yet. Moma's little piggy is famous.

Sipes wants to seize the opportunity to kidnap Gordy while at the concert. Hanky carries Gordy on stage where he gets a call from the President of the United States awarding Gordy his own postage stamp. Gordy then makes an appeal for his family and Luke gets a chance to sing, winning Jessica's attention. But, when Gordy goes to the dressing room to relax, Sipe's thugs grab him and cart him off. Cousin Jake sees this suspicious behavior and follows the thugs to a deserted bridge where they throw Gordy, wrapped in a sack, to his fate. Luckily for Gordy, Cousin Jake is waiting under the bridge to save him. For this scene, a sack with a motion device, that simulated something wiggling in the sack, was tossed over the bridge and caught by the actor playing Jake. The piglet was never in the sack

A good Samaritan, hearing the concert announcement, calls in the information about Gordy's family and after Luke gives Sipes a much deserved punch in the nose, they are all off to save the brood. They head to the sausage processing plant in Omaha, realizing it is a Royce owned business that Sipes was hiding from them. As fate would have it, all things conspire to save the day. Luke gets Jessica, Jennie and Hanky become sister and brother, and Gordy saves his family. They all live happily ever after on Meadowbrook Farm after closing down the sausage factory.

  • Starring: James Donadio, Tom Lester and Michael Roescher
  • Director(s): Mark Lewis
  • Producer(s): Hero Pig Productions, Robson Entertainment
  • Screenwriter(s): Jay Sommers, Dick Chevillat
  • Distributor: Miramax Films
  • Release Date: Friday, May 12, 1995
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

There are various animals seen throughout the film as background atmosphere. A hen and her chickens are present on Meadowbrook Farm in the opening sequences of the film. People are seen horseback riding in the park when Hanky and Gordy escape the thugs on the school bus and there are pigs and farm animals seen when Gordy and Hanky are on their quest. At the end of the film, there are a myriad of animals who live on the happy farm such as a rooster crowing, parrots in a cage, kittens on the lawn, rabbits, goats, chickens, cows, a squirrel and pigs in the mud. All these animals were filmed in a natural farm setting, although handlers were present at all times. In all scenes where Moma Pig and piglets are seen, trainers placed the animals on their marks and gave visual and verbal commands to get them to move from point A to point B. All the pigs appearing in the film were trained animals, as were many of the background animals.