Charlotte's Web (2006) starring Dakota Fanning, Beau Bridges, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, Dominic Scott Kay, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McEntire, André Benjamin, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford directed by Gary Winick Movie Review

Charlotte's Web (2006)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Dakota Fanning in Charlotte's Web (2006)

Another Clever Little Pig

When young Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning) runs in to the barn to discover her father carrying the runt of a litter of pigs away to be killed she stands up to him and persuades him to let her raise the little pig. And that is what she does until it becomes apparent that Wilbur, as she calls the pig, is getting too large and needs to be re-homed so she takes him to live at her Uncle's farm across the road. What Fern doesn't know is that Wilbur is destined to end up as a Christmas dinner unless something happens and fortunately for Wilbur he meets a spider called Charlotte who rallies the barns other inhabitants to help save Wilbur. And that is what they do with Fern's Uncle and her parents ending up taking Wilbur to the county fair where he is to enter a competition, all thanks to Charlotte the spider.

Okay so piglets are cute especially ones which thanks to good story telling and clever CGI work have a persona all of their own. But how about spiders? I don't think I have ever come across a spider which has been cute or lovable and yet I have to say that "Charlotte's Web" is the closest I have ever got to finding a spider kind of appealing. Anyway I am getting ahead of myself as here we have a cute family movie based on what I understand is a much loved children's book, not that I have ever read it. In truth what I got was a movie which obviously shares some of the same charm as "Babe" with its talking animals and cute pig.

The thing is that "Charlotte's Web" isn't really a movie for me but a movie for parents who have read the book and want to introduce their children to this charming story and as such it is a movie I can appreciate works for its intended audience even if it didn't do it for me. In fairness it is fun with Wilbur being adorable, Dakota Fanning being almost as adorable and some fun CGI work when it comes to the various animals, birds and insects. Plus it has a fantastic choice of actors to provide the voices none more so than Dominic Scott Kay as Wilbur who has that right cuteness which borders on the verge of being too sickly sweet.

What this all boils down to is that "Charlotte's Web" is not for me but I hope is enjoyed by its intended audience of children and parents who want something which is innocent fun but also has some meaning to watch together. But it is only a movie, as someone not in its target audience, I can appreciate for what it is and it didn't charm me enough to make me feel like I needed to watch it again.