Charlotte's Web (2006)

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

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 33 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 38 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

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).

Language

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

Consumerism
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

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 7 and 10 year old Written bymathmom April 9, 2008

Amazing special effects with a heart

I saw this movie with my kids 6 and 9, both of you got choked up, but loved it. As someone who loved the animated version with Paul Lynde as Templeton, I thoug... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
Kid, 10 years old July 29, 2010
Such a cute movie, haven't seen it in a while though. :(

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

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love animal tales

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