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Charlotte's Web (Widescreen Edition) (2006)

Dakota Fanning , Julia Roberts , Gary Winick  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese
  • Directors: Gary Winick
  • Writers: E.B. White, Earl Hamner Jr., Karey Kirkpatrick, Susannah Grant
  • Producers: Bernard Williams, Edgar M. Bronfman, Jordan Kerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (424 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NA6CPE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Charlotte's Web (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Making Some Movie
  • Flacka’s Pig Tails    
  • How Do They Do That?                    
  • What Makes a Classic?                  
  • Animatronics (That’s Just a Fancy Word for Puppets)
  • Where Are They Now?                      
  • Music Video: "Ordinary Miracle" by Sarah McLachlan
  • Music Video: "Make a Wish" by Bob Carlisle and Lucy Kane
  • A Day At The Fair
  • Farm Photo Album
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • DVD-ROM:              
  • Charlotte's Web Storybook Creator          
  • Charlotte's Web Original Theatrical Web Site Archive                    
  • Charlotte's Web Sega Game Level Demo

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The classic story of loyalty, trust, and sacrifice comes to life in this live-action adaptation. Fern (Dakota Fanning) is one of only two living beings who sees that Wilbur is a special animal as she raises him, the runt of the litter, into a terrific and radiant pig. As Wilbur moves into a new barn, he begins a second profound friendship with the most unlikely of creatures – a spider named Charlotte – and their bond inspires the animals around them to come together as a family. When the word gets out that Wilbur's days are numbered, it seems that only a miracle will save his life. A determined Charlotte – who sees miracles in the ordinary – spins words into her web in an effort to convince the farmer that Wilbur is "some pig" and worth saving.

Amazon.com

E.B. White's classic tale gets a Babe-like makeover in Charlotte's Web, a delightful and well-made film that is sure to become a family classic. Directed by Gary Winick (13 Going on 30), the new version eschews the musical numbers of the 1973 cartoon and mixes CGI with live-action animals. Dakota Fanning brings the right amount of chutzpah to Fern, the young farm girl who rescues a runt, Wilbur, from death and visits him every day at her Uncle Homer's farm. But it's Wilbur's friendship with Charlotte the spider (voiced by Julia Roberts) that ultimately saves him from the "smoke house" (a kid-friendly alternative term to the slaughterhouse), for Charlotte's talent for weaving praiseworthy words about Wilbur into her web turns the Zuckerman farm into a tourist attraction. The more tragic elements of the book are handled sensitively by Winick, working from a script by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), and Roberts' soothing, maternal voice (who knew it would work so well?) makes it all go down easy. It turns out to be just one of many perfect celebrity voice-casting choices, for the farm animals, voiced by an all-star cast including Oprah Winfrey (the goose), Robert Redford (the horse), Steve Buscemi (Templeton the rat), and John Cleese (the sheep), lend plenty of sharp humor. But it's two corn-hungry crows, voiced by Thomas Haden Church (Sideways) and OutKast's Andre "3000" Benjamin who steal the show. (Ages 4 and older) -- Ellen A. Kim

Beyond Charlotte’s Web

Other Children's Book Adaptations on DVD

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The Original 1973 Charlotte’s Web Cartoon

Stills from Charlotte’s Web (click for larger image)











Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Endearing! January 17, 2007
I've seen several movie versions of CHARLOTTE'S WEB. The story of the friendship between a runt pig and a spider in the barn has been around entertaining children for dozens of years. But I have never seen a production that came even close to the new movie in theaters everywhere.

The recent release of CHARLOTTE'S WEB is simply amazing. I can't wait for the DVD to come out, and I'll really be disappointed if there isn't some in-depth special features regarding the making the of the film, particularly the computer animation aspects. Watching the animals talking and interacting onscreen was nothing short of magical.

There is an incredible shift from the human point of view in the film to the animal one that is almost seamless unless you're looking for it. I was, and it was still so effortless that the transition doesn't jar viewers at all. The handoff is smooth and remains highly believable.

My 9-year-old went with my wife and I, and even though he'd seen the story a number of times on DVD, he fell in love with it all over again. I loved hearing him laugh, and I couldn't help but remember the first time I'd heard CHARLOTTE'S WEB read to me by a schoolteacher.

The story is timeless and will always be around. But it's been waiting all this time for movie-making magic to truly unlock a way for audiences to watch it presented so much in the flesh.

No only is the video aspect so good, but the voice talent gathered for the film is outstanding. Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric The Entertainer, Reba McEntire, and many other recognizeable voices (including Sam Shepard as the narrator) all contributed to this amazing experience.

If you want to have a great time and be a child again, go see CHARLOTTE'S WEB. If you want to bring delight to a child, take one with you. You'll be glad you did.
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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 1973 animated version is much better March 23, 2009
Format:DVD
As with Walden's first adaptation--The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe--this is an okay movie that could have been vastly better. It is a superior adaptation to Wardrobe, in that it follows the source material more faithfully both in story and characterization, but it still fails most in those key areas, and in important ways that the animated version didn't.

The most off-putting and probably most egregious error on director Winick's part is to make Fern such an impertinent, downright snotty little girl. In the book Fern is determined, but not rude. Neither is her father the milquetoast that he's made to be in the film. Ditto Templeton the rat, who is turned from an irascible malcontent into an outright bully. Such characterizations are completely unnecessary and in fact detract from the story. (Which again was the core failure with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Seems to be a Walden thing.)

This ties into a problem with the casting in general. Julia Roberts was simply the wrong voice for Charlotte. The '73 version had the good grace and foresight to cast Debbie Reynolds as Charlotte. Reynolds' soothing, melodic voice was perfect for a creature meant to be soothing and enchanting. There is life and wonder and hope in it. Roberts' voice is simply too flat and nasally, and becomes actually grating. The casting on the rest of the animals was fine (though the body humor got old after the second "joke"; I long for the days when body "humor" wasn't considered simply part of kids' movie genre), but of the humans only Beau Bridges stands out. I like the actors who played the various parts, but they too come off as lifeless. The whole affair is simply flat, which is ironic considering the wondrousness of the tale attempting to be told.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Pig Indeed: Moving Story of Charlotte and Wilbur December 30, 2006
First I must confess that I have never read the original book `Charlotte's Web' by E. B. White or seen the 1973 animated film version (with Debbie Reynolds' voice). So please read my review of this new live-action version as such, though probably this kind of confession is really unnecessary.

Wilbur is a `spring pig' who is destined never to see the winter. Charlotte, a spider living in Wilbur's pen, hatches a plan with Wilbur to change his fate. The story is deceptively simple, but there are messages behind it, which is not hard even for the kids to find as the story unfolds. Even for the adults the film's last 20 minutes is quite moving.

Dakota Fanning plays a girl Fern, who saves the life of Wilbur in the earlier part of the film. One thing I like about the film's script (by Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick) is that there is another coming-of-age story about this girl, who is about to grow up and leave her childhood behind. At first Fern and Wilbur look like inseparable friends. Fern tries to bring the pig to the school, hiding him in the desk. However, by the end of the film you will be seeing another Fern, more grown-up, less childlike. No one can remain a child forever, and Fern, or perhaps Dakota Fanning herself, embodies this poignant fact.

Charlotte's voice is provided by Julia Roberts. It may be slightly weird to imagine a spider speaking with Julia's voice, but it works with her voice expressing the motherly wisdom and concerns convincingly. Impressive cast is gathered for the voices of the animals in the barnyard, and Steve Buscemi as Templeton the Rat and John Cleese as Samuel the Sheep are standout.
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