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<i>Charlotte's Web</i> Review

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Courtesy: Galatta
Monday, January 08, 2007
Charlotte's Web is a live-action adaptaion of E.B. White's children's book. This book, written by E.B. White in 1952 is one of the most popular children's books of all time. The movie has beautifully showcased the classic story of loyalty, trust, and sacrifice. Charlotte's Web gets the true and correct treatment in this lovely adaptation penned by Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick, and directed by Gary Winick

Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning) is a young girl who lives with her father (Kevin Anderson), mother (Essie Davis), and brother (Louis Corbett) on a farm. When a new litter of pigs is born, her dad realizes that the mother will not be able to feed the runt, so he prepares to kill one of the piglets. She prevents her father from killing the piglet and names it Wilbur (voiced by Dominic Scott Kay). She bottle-feeds Wilbur and vows to look after the helpless infant. As she cannot take her to school, she finds an adoptive home for Wilbur in the barn of her uncle Zuckerman (Gary Basaraba), who lives across the road. She makes a daily visit to Wilbur.

The little pig feels very lonely and slowly makes new friends: a horse (Robert Redford), two geese (Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer), two cows (Kathy Bates, Reba McEntire), a group of sheep (led by John Cleese), and a rat named Templeton (Steve Buscemi). Initially the animals at the barn hesitate to accept Wilbur as their new friend, but as time passes by they realize that he is quite a charming and enthusiastic creature. However, they are reluctant to play with him. Wilbur loves rolling around in the mud and jumping up and down. He feels very delighted on meeting Charlotte (Julia Roberts), a grey spider who resides in a web in the corner of the barn door. Charlotte lives by sucking the blood of flies and other insects. She admires Wilbur's playful nature and they soon become thick friends.

The other animals detest Charlotte. Wilbur likes her a lot as she keeps the insects away from the barn. Wilbur is very scared when he comes to know that he will be slaughtered one day and will never see the snows of winter. Charlotte consoles him saying that he won't be killed for Christmas dinner.

She starts devising a plan to save her young friend. She weaves words into her web describing the little fellow: "Some Pig," "Radiant" and "Humble." The whole community notices the miraculous appearance of words in the web on Zuckerman's barn door. When Zuckerman decides to take Wilbur to the local fair, Charlotte and Templeton accompany him.

What happens at the fair? Watch the movie to find it out! And enjoy the film that beautifully conveys the meaning of friendship.

Director Gary Winick has maintained the right balance of comedy and emotion in the movie. Visual FX supervisor John Andrew Berton Jr. seamlessly blends together the various old-school and new-school technologies, with the latter providing one of Charlotte's gorgeously rendered web-spinning sequences.

Directed by : Gary Winick
Written by : Susannah Grant, Karey Kirkpatrick
Genre : Drama, family
Cast : Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Andre Benjamin, Thomas Haden Church, Robert Redford, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates

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