Wilbur the pig 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 spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen.
Nanny McPhee arrives to help a harried young mother who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war, though she uses her magic to teach the woman's children and their two spoiled cousins five new lessons.
Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium.
Based on the beloved children's novel by E.B. White, a young girl named Fern rescues a runty piglet, raises it as her own and names him Wilbur. However, after Wilbur grows into a pig, she is compelled to sell him to her Uncle Homer Zuckerman down the street. At Zuckerman's barn, Wilbur meets a host of animals and later learns from them that come winter, he will be slaughtered for food. Fearing for his life, Charlotte, a gentle and wise spider whom befriended the lonely Wilbur, vows to save his life. Written by
This was the first film based on a book by E.B. White since Stuart Little 2 (2002), which used plot elements directly from the original Stuart Little book. Later entries in the Stuart Little film franchise used wholly original stories. See more »
When the two crows are discussing the scarecrow at the junkyard, one comments it has to be the same guy because he's wearing the same hat. The cutaway to the scarecrow shows no hat present. See more »
You're a pig! Pig equals slop. The rat is happy!
My name's Wilbur! Do you have a name or is it just 'The Rat'?
Did you say 'just the rat'? For your information, pig: The rat rules! We were here long before your kind and we'll be here long after. So, you just keep that in mind next time you feel like reducing me to just 'the rat'.
You called yourself 'The Rat'.
I can call me that. You can't.
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The Nickelodeon logo segues into an animated series of farmyard illustrations. More illustrations of the storyline appear over the end credits. See more »
I had initial hesitation in deciding whether to watch this movie - not because it features a talking pig ala Babe, but probably because, if rumour has you believe, that viewers will swear off pork. They look so cute that you would not imagine them being on your dinner table, ever after. I've read the book when I was a kid, but heck, I can't remember much of the details beyond the friendship between spider and pig.
Wilbur the piglet's destiny is set from birth - being the odd one out without access to its mother's teat, he's earmarked for immediate transformation to pork, but the intervention of a young girl Fern (Dakota Fanning) helped prevent it, albeit for a little while. Put in a barn with the other animals, Wilbur is in desperate need of friendship to wilt away his loneliness, but given the indifferent attitudes amongst the resident animals, he gets a none too friendly introduction to farm life. That is until he meets Charlotte, a spider who will try help to extend the lifespan of Wilbur, saving the spring pig from becoming Christmas ham.
It's a story about friendship, and the miracles gained from trust, help, and the fulfilling of promises. And this movie gets a huge boost through its A-list voice talents, with the likes of, check this out - Julia Roberts as Charlotte, Steve Buscemi as Templeton the selfish rat, John Cleese as Sam Sheep, leader of the pack of sheep followers (played to hilarity), Katy Bates, Cedric the Entertainer, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, Thomas Haden Church, Andre Benjamin and Sam Shepard. They seemed to have a rip-roaring time, and I thought Julia Roberts' Charlotte came across as extremely calm and collected, while probably the character with the best lines was Templeton the rat.
Fanning already got experience playing opposite her animal counterparts, like in Dreamer earlier this year, though this time in the barnyard the animals are enhanced by technology and graphics. Her role however is limited in screen time, and although there are hints on puppy love, it's very much unexplored in depth as the focus is squarely on our animal friends. The score is an unrecognizable Danny Elfman contribution without the dark overtones, and the songs played during the animated stills of the end credits, do sound radio friendly enough to warrant airplay.
Charlotte's Web is a feel good, heartwarming family movie which is suitable for this holiday season. It is uncomplicated, and has a simple message, but is engaging enough for both children and adults. A warning though, the movie is poignant yet hopeful, so to sentimental folks, a tissue or two will help.
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