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Charlotte's Web (1973)

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A gentle and wise grey spider with a flair for promotion pledges to save a young pig from slaughter for dinner food.

Directors:

Charles A. Nichols (as Charles Nichols), Iwao Takamoto

Writers:

E.B. White (book), Earl Hamner Jr. (story)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Debbie Reynolds ... Charlotte (voice)
Paul Lynde ... Templeton (voice)
Henry Gibson ... Wilbur (voice)
Rex Allen ... Narrator (voice)
Martha Scott ... Mrs. Arable (voice)
Dave Madden ... Ram (voice)
Danny Bonaduce ... Avery Arable (voice)
Don Messick ... Jeffrey (voice)
Herb Vigran ... Lurvy (voice)
Agnes Moorehead ... The Goose (voice)
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Fern Arable (voice) (as Pam Ferdin)
Joan Gerber Joan Gerber ... Edith Zuckerman / Mrs. Fussy (voice)
Bob Holt ... Homer Zuckerman (voice) (as Robert Holt)
John Stephenson ... Mr. Arable / Parking Officer (voice)
William B. White William B. White ... Henry Fussy (voice)
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Storyline

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, Wilbur 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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pig | spider | runt | children | barn | See All (292) »

Taglines:

The all-time best selling novel is now a captivating motion picture. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

E.B. White's Charlotte's Web See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,232,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)| Mono (1939 re-release)| Mono (1935 re-release)| Mono (MovieTone)| Mono | Mono (Mono)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

E.B. White deeply disliked how William Hanna and Joseph Barbera redesigned numerous scenes. He watched the finished version, then never watched it again. See more »

Goofs

When Fern's brother Avery sits down for pancakes, his plate is empty. In the next shot (when his frog pops out of his jacket for a second) his plate has a stack of pancakes complete with butter and syrup. In the shot after that his plate is empty again and he is reaching for some pancakes. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: [we hear a rooster crow and a cow moo]
[first lines]
Narrator: 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]
Narrator: Everything's off to a fresh start, and life is good and busy and brand new.
[hen and chicks pass by]
Narrator: Around the ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Before the 2000s, international VHS releases outside of the USA show a deleted scene right after Avery and Lurvy spot Jeffery trying to get in Wilbur's crate. Here, it also shows Jeffery trying and failing to catch up with the truck before it heads to the fair. His mother then proceeds to lead her disappointed gosling to the pond for a swimming lesson. It is unknown if this scene was shown during the film's original theatrical release, but for some reason, this scene was removed from subsequent VHS and DVD releases. However, the scene was known to appear on occasional TV airings. See more »

Connections

Featured in Animation Lookback: Hanna-Barbera Part 5 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother Earth and Father Time
Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Performed by Debbie Reynolds
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gentle tale of life and friendship
6 September 2006 | by MartianOctocretr5See all my reviews

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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