Charlotte's Web (2006)

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Charlotte's Web (2006) Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Enchanting take on a beloved children's classic.
  • G
  • 2006
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 39 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 44 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Readers will learn a lot through this story's messages and may be inspired to read more children's classics like the original book by E.B. White or Stuart Little. They'll also learn from Charlotte what a "Magnum Opus" is. 

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

Charlotte gives birth (no mention of how she ended up having babies).


Some name-calling ("stupid," "hideous"); "bloody."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTheFunkyMama August 2, 2011

Conservative parent review for younger children!

I am always searching for wholesome movies for my children (age 3 1/2 and 5 1/2). My kids do not watch any TV, no commercials or ads, and only see DVDs that I s... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 and 6-year-old Written byM W March 18, 2018

Emphasis on relationships between the animals - not as sad as the book

I am pretty particular about the types of films and shows that our kids watch. Although I am not ready to read the book to my kids (too emotionally wrenching fo... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

It's okay...

I thought it wasn't anything too special, but it was fairly good. I think that if I were a bit younger, I'd enjoy this more. I prefer the old, animate... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydajour rue January 25, 2021

i wanna watch a movie

they do't know about this app

What's the story?

In this adaptation of E.B. White's 1952 Newbery Award-winning book, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, barnyard animals are reluctant to befriend Wilbur, who's fated to be served up as the humans' Christmas dinner. But Wilbur (voiced by 10-year-old Dominic Scott Kay) is so sweet, curious, and affable that they're soon won over. And Charlotte A. Cavatica (Julia Roberts), the spider who spins her webs in the barn doorway, decides to find a way to save Wilbur's life.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the importance of words and their role in Charlotte's Web. How are words important for communicating, even between species? How do they help shape our impressions of others?

  • How do the animals come to see one another as friends, even though at first they're put off by their differences?

  • If you've read the book, how does the movie compare to what you imagined in your head?

  • How do the characters in Charlotte's Web demonstrate compassion and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animal tales

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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