I'm going to assume you mean the cartoon-like version rather than the real-animal version which is not particularly well known.
I always think the book is better than the movie, and Animal Farmi s no exception. One reason is that I form pictures in my mind as I read, and I imagine what each of the characters must look like and where they live as they live out their stories. That's especially true in a novel in which the primary characters are animals. Seeing it come to life in a cartoonish movie was rather difficult, though I did enjoy several characterizations.
That being said, the movie follows the novel fairly closely. Rather than the animals talking, as in the book, a narrator generally tells the story in the movie. Old Major dies while giving a speech in the movie, while much time passes between his speech and his death in the novel. The windmill doesn't blow up and get built again as often in the movie, and any scenes with humans do not quite match with the text. But generally, the movie is accurate.
Two major things set the movie apart from the novel, though. The first is the obviousness of Squealer's duplicity as he persuades the animals that any changes are for their own good. His facial expressions and body language, if you will, are clearly deceitful and conniving. Those things are much more subtle in the text.
Second, the ending of the movie is a major departure from the novel. In both, the animals look through the window and see a "blending" of animals and humans--as if they had become one in the same. The movie depicts this quite well, and then it steps too far. Once the animals see this distortion of animals and humans, they stampede the farmhouse and we are to presume they retake their rightful place as owners of the land. That is a significant departure from the novel--and from history, frankly. We want them to assume power, but they don't.
The movie is fun to watch for 30 minutes; however, it is not a completely accurate depiction of Orwell's novel.
Animal Farm: Book vs. Movie
Have you ever wondered if the book or the movie is better? In Animal Farm the author George Orwell uses animals to symbolize the Russian revolution. Animal farms characterize the things said and done by people in the actual Russian Revolution. Napoleon, who represents the king, is the dictator and he is hungry for power. Snowball, resembles a man who was kicked out of his country, was chased out by Napoleon and his dog squad. KPA, the secrets police, is made up of the dogs napoleon took from Pincher and brainwashed by napoleon.
One difference in the movie is that Old Major gets shot, but in the novel he dies of natural causes. What happens is that old major calls a meeting and tell the other animals that they need to overthrow the humans to get a better life. He tells of a song that he and his other friends sung when they were kids called “ Beasts of England” and leads the animals in the song. Jones comes out when he hears the noise of the animals singing and tries to get them to be quiet by shooting into the air, but he slips in the mud and when his shotgun hit’s the ground it fires off and kills old major.
Another difference in the movie than in the book is that in the novel the windmill gets destroyed twice and in the movie only once. The first time in the book is when there is a big storm and it knocks the windmill over. The second time is at the second battle and the people come in with dynamite and blow the windmill up. The only time in the movie when the windmill was taken down is when Jones and his wife are leaving and they decide to blow it up.
Also, in the movie Napoleon hangs the chickens instead of making the dogs attack them. In the book napoleon suspects the chickens of being traitors and orders the dogs to attack the chickens and Boxer. However, in the movie he has the chickens hung for all to see.
The last difference from the book than the movie is that in the book the pigs rule over the other animals...