Charlotte's Web (2006) Movie Poster Image

Charlotte's Web (2006)

(i)

 

Enchanting take on a beloved children's classic.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: April 1, 2007
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

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
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

What's the story?

In this adaptation of E.B. White's 1952 Newbery Award-winning book, 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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can discuss the importance of words and their role in the film. 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 14, 2006
DVD release date:April 3, 2007
Cast:Dakota Fanning, Dominic Scott Kay, Julia Roberts
Director:Gary Winick
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Horses and farm animals
Character strengths:Communication, Compassion, Integrity
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of Charlotte's Web (2006) was written by

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What parents and kids say

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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. :(
Kid, 11 years old October 2, 2009

a great movie/book

i think charlott's web is a heartworming movie it also is great for the whole family.the book is great too.
What other families should know
Great messages

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