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Running Time:
1 hour, 53 minutes

Rating: G General Audiences.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
With themes like the joys of friendship, the marvels of nature, and the circle of life, this delightful version of the E.B. White classic is a timeless gem.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Feature-length commentary by director Gary Winick; commentary by producer Jordan Kerner and visual effects supervisor John Andrew Berton, Jr.; deleted Scenes with optional commentary by Gary Winick; featurettes including "Making Some Movie," "Flacka's Pig Tails," "How Do They Do That?," "What Makes a Classic?," "Animatronics Is Not Just a Fancy Word for Puppets," and "Where Are They Now?"; music videos "Ordinary Miracle" by Sarah McLachlan and "Make a Wish" by Bob Carlisle and Lucy Kane; "A Day At The Fair"; farm photo album; and a gag reel.

Charlotte's Web
This is the first live action version of E.B. White’s classic 1952 story, although an animated version was done in 1979. The timeless tale, combining live actors with computer generated animals is about a rural farm family that includes Fern (Dakota Fanning) and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arable (Kevin Anderson and Essie Davis). In the film’s opening scene, Fern saves the runt of the pig litter from being slaughtered by her father who insists that the piggie will inevitably die anyway. But Fern promises that if he lets him live she'll take care of him. She names him Wilbur (voiced by Dominic Scott Kay) and leaves him in the barn where he'll be comfortable living with the other animals.

At first Wilbur receives a chilly reception from the other animals: Ike the horse (Robert Redford); Samuel the sheep (John Cleese); and the geese, Gussy (Oprah Winfrey) and Golly (Cedric the Entertainer). All the barnyard animals, even the selfish, wisecracking rat Templeton (Steve Buscemi), rebuff Wilbur's attempts at friendship, except for one - the wise and steadfast spider Charlotte (Julia Roberts). The naïve Wilbur does not understand the politics of the barn but luckily when Charlotte learns that there are plans to serve Wilbur as Christmas dinner, she vows to show the world that her loyal and cheerful friend deserves to live by spinning words into her web. But Wilbur ultimately discovers, his reprieve comes with a bittersweet price.

It's impossible to see "Charlotte's Web" without comparing it to "Babe," which was clearly inspired by E.B. White's book. Director Gary Winick ("Tadpole"), aided by a haunting musical score by Danny Elfman ("Spider-Man"), has ably mixed whimsy, slapstick, and gentle pathos in this charming version of E.B. White's classic fable. These are the elements that made the movie "Babe" so irresistible in 1995. And there's a similar timeless quality to this film evoking White's simpler, homespun virtues without glossing over the questions of mortality, sacrifice and life-changing friendship which he introduced in his classic fable. This film is almost as sweet as the perrenially popular book, and any audience but the most cynical will find it charming and enjoyable.

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