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Charlotte's Web

2006 movie with the voice of Julia Roberts

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"Some," "Terrific," "Radiant" Movie

  • Apr 8, 2007
Rating:
+5
Unable to come up with any major criticisms, 'Charlotte's Web' is a five-star family movie. With enough updates to the script (Thanks to screenwriters Susannah Grant and Gary Winisk) version 2006 gets more than a whole new look. The casting is impeccable. Dakota Fanning plays a fiesty Fern, and the voice overs fill every bill: Steve Buscemi as Templeton the Rat, almost makes us forget the late Paul Lynde's enduring performance. And the rest of the barnyard animals are no small (tail) shakes, either. (Oprah Winfrey and Cedric the Entertainer make great geese. Rheba McIntyre gives the proper color for Betsy, the Cow, and Robert Redford portrays, Ike, the horse, with enough steadfast cynicism. And John Cleese is proper and right as the sheep. The only element reminiscent in this rendition is Dominick Scott Kaye's perfect performance as Wilbur, even if it seems to borrow from the family classic, 'Babe'. Julia Roberts suits Charlotte aptly, and reminds us that beauty can transmit itself in voice as well as screen presence. How she manages to make us believe Charlotte is beautiful is a miracle like the ones in the movie. The human characters play their roles fittingly-- not overdone, but certainly how we would imagine them from the book.

Besides a perfect cast, the look of the movie is "stunning". Between the expert lighting and computer enhanced images, we are given a feast like Wilbur's slop trough. Clocking in just before an hour and a half shows prudence, especially for the youngest viewers, and the story spins its way just like reading the book. Add "fabulous" to the list of adjectives for this must see (and have) family film.

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More Charlotte's Web (2006 movie) reviews
review by . November 01, 2008
Charlotte's Web (2006)
This movie is a wonderful and entertaining adaptation of the children's book by E B. White, which was published all the way back in 1952. Lending their voices are celebs like Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, Kathy Bates, John Cleese, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, Cedric the Entertainer, Reba McIntyre, Andre Benjamin and Sam Shepard, plus live performances by Dakota Fanning and Beau Bridges, among others. With this kind of star power, who can resist taking a peek at this version …
review by . June 14, 2007
Most Americans are familiar with the story of Charlotte's web so I will not go over either the movie plot or its similarities with the book. I will say that the movie was executed very well. The casting was great with Julia Roberts being the perfect voice for Charlotte the spider, and Dakota Fanning lighting up the screen again. Surprisingly, the voice of Wilbur sounds very close to that of the other famous pig movie, Babe. The CGI effects were great, and are noticeably better than other animal-centric …
review by . April 11, 2007
This is an awesome family movie!! My 5 year old LOVES it and got her interested in having me read the full length book to her before bed each night (a chapter or two a night). The animals are adorable and the characters are excellent! Lots of laughs and great heartfelt meaning!
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #100
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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E.B. White's classic tale gets aBabe-like makeover inCharlotte's Web, a delightful and well-made film that is sure to become a family classic. Directed by Gary Winick (13 Going on 30), the new version eschews the musical numbers of the 1973 cartoon and mixes CGI with live-action animals. Dakota Fanning brings the right amount of chutzpah to Fern, the young farm girl who rescues a runt, Wilbur, from death and visits him every day at her Uncle Homer's farm. But it's Wilbur's friendship with Charlotte the spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) that ultimately saves him from the "smoke house" (a kid-friendly alternative term to the slaughterhouse), for Charlotte's talent for weaving praiseworthy words about Wilbur into her web turns the Zuckerman farm into a tourist attraction. The more tragic elements of the book are handled sensitively by Winick, working from a script by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), and Roberts' soothing, maternal voice (who knew it would work so well?) makes it all go down easy. It turns out to be just one of many perfect celebrity voice-casting choices, for the farm animals, voiced by an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey (the goose), Robert Redford (the horse), Steve Buscemi (Templeton the rat), and John Cleese (the sheep), lend plenty of sharp humor. But it's two corn-hungry crows, voiced by Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) and OutKast's Andre "3000" Benjamin who steal the show. (Ages 4 and older)-- ...
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