Charlotte’s Web (2006)

GARY WINICK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5. 

USA/Germany, 2006.  Paramount Pictures, Walden Media, Kerner Entertainment Company, Nickelodeon Movies, Film Victoria, KMP Film Invest, Sandman Studios.  Story by , Screenplay by , , based on the book by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by ,

E.B. White’s novel, one of the most perfect books ever written for children, is given the big-screen treatment in this passable family film looking to take up where Babe left off. Wilbur is the runt of a litter of pigs who is saved from being executed by a farmer when little Fern () decides that killing him is unfair. He eventually goes to live in her uncle’s barn with a whole heap of other animals and learns the ins and outs of life. Most importantly, he strikes up a friendship with a stern but loving spider (voiced by ) who prevents his going to the slaughter by spinning words into her web that draw human attention and eventually make him a local legend. Much of the charm of White’s original story is here, but there is very little of what made it so touching, replaced instead by an overemphasis on jokey humour between the various farm animals (voiced by a cast that includes , Robert Redford, , , , and more). It does no disservice to the book, however, even if it does not quite capture its spirit.

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