Based on the beloved children's novel by E.B. White, this is the story of a little pig named Wilbur who was born a runt. Mr. Arable decides to kill him for dinner food but his daughter Fern begs him to let him live. On greater maturity, Wilbut is sold to Fern's uncle, Homer L. Zuckerman, in whose barnyard he's left yearning for friendship, but is snubbed by other barn animals. Wilbur is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a gentle and wise grey spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Originally Tony Randall was hired to voice Templeton. When Randall tried to use his usual cultured, sophisticated voice for the character, the director told him that he wanted something more "nasal". Randall told him that if he wanted a nasal voice, they would have to hire Paul Lynde, who ultimately replaced Randall in the role. See more »
The pocket in Mr. Zuckerman's overalls disappears in close-up shots when he announces that Wilbur will go to the county fair, and again when Mrs. Zuckerman discusses giving Wilbur a buttermilk bath. See more »
[we hear a rooster crow and a cow moo]
This old world is filled with wonders, but to me there is no place more wonderful than a farm in springtime, when the sun is just lifting from the sky line. The air is so sweet and everywhere you look, little miracles are happening. Buds swell into blossoms, eggs hatch, young are born.
[shows duck and ducklings swimming in puddle]
Everything's off to a fresh start, and life is good and busy and brand new.
[hen and chicks pass by]
Around the ...
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This is a truly wonderful children's movie. It tells the story of some barnyard animals who interact one summer, but gently, and on a level a child can understand, also analyzes some deep truths about life itself.
The story introduces us to a variety of animals (who possess the ability to talk when humans are absent) with unique personalities. One is a frightened pig named Wilbur (voiced by Henry Gibson) who learns his days are numbered in a pig's cruel fate. Another is the scheming and selfish rat Templeton (Paul Lynde in a great comic relief role). Finally, there's Charlotte the spider (Debby Reynolds) who uses the only tool she has at her disposal to try to rescue her friend Wilbur. There are a variety of other amusing creatures in the barnyard, voiced humorously by wonderful actors who are fun to identify as the movie progresses.
Humans have an external role in the action. By that I mean they're on the outside looking in (although there are some subplots about the human characters). Many things that are done by the animals are for the humans' benefit. I love Pamela Ferdin's voice for Wilbur's owner, Fern. Human characters change, like the animals do, in parallel stories that emphasize the story's morals about life. Rex Allen's cool country voice, so familiar from Disney nature movies, is perfect for the narration.
Several of the songs are great, too. The haunting title song is as "lovely and lyrical" as the web it's describing. "Mother Earth and Father Time" beautifully describes the story's main theme. Templeton's mad feast of garbage while singing "At the Fair" is lots of fun.
This is "some terrific, radiant, humble" movie that presents the best of old school cartoon animation. A sweet story of friendship, love, loyalty, and other positive elements. It's being remade as a live action movie, and I'm not certain how that'll translate from animation; but this original version is recommended for fine family viewing.
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