Animal Farm in Pop Culture
Animal Farm is one of those novels that has become so integrated into our culture that it’s everywhere. The book is appealing to everyone from history buffs to sixth graders, mostly because the story goes as deep as you want to take it.
I think that’s why it’s so easy to find references to Animal Farm throughout pop culture, whether it’s American, British, or otherwise. After just a few minutes of research, I found several references to this book in music, film and television.
- “The Animals” album by Pink Floyd was partially inspired by Animal Farm. In it, people are categorized as pigs, dogs, and sheep.
- One episode of the HBO series Oz was titled “Animal Farm,” the episode followed a similar theme to the book, with characters vying for control.
- Hey Lost fans…remember “Expose” the episode in which Nikki and Paulo die? In that episode, Dr. Arzt yells at Kate that “the pigs are walking,” an Animal Farm reference to the sell-out pigs.
- The Sex and the City episode called “Sex and the Country” references the book when Carrie goes with a boyfriend to his cottage out in the boondocks. She says she wouldn’t be surprised to hear pigs screaming “Four legs good! Two legs bad!”
- The Bob Dylan song “Ballad of a Thin Man” has a reference to Mr. Jones.
- The REM song “Disturbance at Heron House” is loosely based on Animal Farm. Michael Stipe explained the song in a 2009 issue of Rolling Stone: “The song was my take on Animal Farm, an uprising dismissed by the powers that be.”
Did I miss anything? Where have you seen Animal Farm in the world of pop culture?
While you’re thinking, here’s an old-school video of REM performing “Disturbance at Heron House” in Italy in 1991.