A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty, acceptance, and faith in your friends are important themes of this emotionally powerful movie. Also dedicating yourself to what you believe in and helping others at all costs. Acknowledges the realities of life on a farm (i.e. pigs are frequently eaten).
Positive Role Models
Charlotte is determined and generous; Wilbur is courageous and, yes, "humble"; and Fern is open to all her animal friends' very different sorts of beauty. Even "bad guy" Templeton has hidden depths. Characters learn and demonstrate communication, compassion, and integrity.
Violence & Scariness
Minor slapstick and sense of threat when crows chase rat; minor disturbance when rat's rotten egg explodes; allusions to Wilbur's imminent fate as Christmas dinner (use of the word "bacon" and ominous shots of the "cure house"); a central character dies (peacefully), and the others mourn their loss.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Charlotte gives birth (no mention of how she ended up having babies).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some name-calling ("stupid," "hideous"); "bloody."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Charlotte's Web is unusually respectful of its much-loved source (E.B. White's classic novel) and its young audience. While the movie does refer to the farmer's plan to kill Wilbur for Christmas dinner, the pivotal (and most potentially upsetting) moment is the death of a central character, which is followed by appropriate mourning and recovery by her barnyard friends. Some of the animal characters are initially unfriendly to a new arrival, and Templeton the rat scavenges objects and talks about being selfish and sneaky. Crows attack him, with their point-of-view shots suggesting the danger he's in. There's also some name-calling. Loyalty, acceptance, and faith in your friends are important themes of this emotionally powerful movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Here's a welcome surprise: A children's movie that's thoughtful, entertaining, and enchanting. This newest big-screen version of Charlotte's Web, based on E.B. White's 1952 Newbery Award-winning book mixes performances by real-life actors and animals with animated mouths, slipping gracefully into the world of the barnyard without ever doubting its magic. Whether you're new to the story or already adore the book, Gary Winick's movie is a special treat.
The one questionable lesson offered by Charlotte's Web is that embodied by Fern. A tomboy through and through, she worries her mother (to the point that she visits a doctor, trying to understand why her daughter spends so much time with the farm animals). When Fern at last abandons her overalls for a pretty yellow dress, Mom (Essie Davis) feels reassured. But the film needn't offer this transformation as a sign of Fern's "proper" socialization. Really, tomboys can be mature too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.