Charlotte's Web - A quaint tale of friendship
February 16, 2007
Charlotte's Web (U)
Voiced by: Julia Roberts, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates and Robert Redford.
Based on the book by E B White, Charlotte’s Web is a charming adaptation of a well-loved tale and is sweet and funny with some adorable and impressive animation.
It tells the tale of runt-of-the-litter Wilbur the pig, voiced by Dominic Scott Kay, who faces the chop until farmer’s daughter Fern (Dakota Fanning) steps in to save his life.
She develops a unique relationship with the young pig whose fearlessness and naïve curiosity lead him to form a bond with his fellow barn animals, including a spider named Charlotte (voiced by Julia Roberts), who helps to ensure that Wilbur never ends up on the dinner table.
Bright colours and a cosy country setting ensure that Charlotte’s Web has a timeless appeal that works for both children and adults.
The story, so great for younger kids, is a heartwarming tale that will also touch the soppier adults among the audience.
It teaches some fundamental moral lessons about being kind to our fellow creatures, stressing the importance of all life no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
And on a deeper level, it reminds kids not to judge or exclude others, which is a strong message in an age when bullying and discrimination seems rife.
A person may not be the strongest, the tallest, the brightest or the most handsome, but they will have unique qualities that make them special in their own way.
While Fanning may struggle to shake off accusations of precociousness, she demonstrates here that she’s an accomplished and convincing young actress, putting in a sweet performance that makes her lovable rather than irritating or nauseating.
With an impressive voice cast including Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Bates, Robert Redford and Thomas Haden Church, there is more than enough humour here to keep adults entertained and to ensure that Charlotte’s Web is the perfect half term treat for the littl’uns.