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Gary Winick (THIRTEEN GOING ON 30) had a lot to live up to in remaking a beloved children's movie, itself based on the classic novel by E. B. White, but this 2006 live-action version more than fulfills its promise. With droll '50s-inspired art direction, low-key and earnest performances, and the cutest ensemble cast of farm animals since BABE, Winick maintains the deeply moral (though not moralistic) themes of the original novel and also injects some mild humor and scenes of peril and adventure.
Child actor Dakota Fanning gives an impressively mature performance as the loyal and spunky farm girl Fern who rescues the pig Wilbur--the runt of his litter--from her father's axe. But as Wilbur grows up and faces his likely fate of becoming Christmas dinner, another friend steps in to save the day--the spider Charlotte (voiced by Julia Roberts), who spins fancy, slogan-filled webs above Wilbur's pen to convince his guardians that he is indeed a special pig and worth saving. The resulting hubbub saves his hide and reveals the importance of friendship and loyalty. Additionally, in scene after poignant scene, Wilbur learns about the nature of miracles, the seasons of life and death, and the inherent worth of even the runtiest of us.
Danny Elfman - Score composer
John Cleese - British actor, MONTY PYTHON, A FISH CALLED WANDA
Kathy Bates - Oscar winning actress, MISERY
Jennifer Garner - American actress, ALIAS
Paul Neesan - Exec. Producer, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, (2006)
Susannah Grant - Screenwriter
Gary Basaraba - Actor/"Last Temptation"
Gary Winick - Director/Producer
Andre 3000 - Hip hop artist/actor, BE COOL/FOUR BROTHERS
André Benjamin - Hip hop artist/actor, BE COOL/FOUR BROTHERS
Cedric the Entertainer
E. B. White - Writer/Essayist
Bernard Williams - Exec. Producer, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, (2006)
Siobhan Fallon - American actress, MEN IN BLACK
Siobhan Fallon Hogan - American actress, MEN IN BLACK
Jordan Kerner - Producer
Oprah Winfrey - Talk show host/actress
Julia Pistor - Producer
Steve Buscemi - American Actor/Director/Screenwriter
Jane Sibbett - Actress/"Resurrected"
Karen Rosenfelt - Exec. Producer, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, (2006)
Reba McEntire - Country singer/actor, REBA series
Tony Winley - Co-Producer, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, (2006)
Thomas Haden Church - American actor, WINGS, SIDEWAYS
Julia Roberts - Oscar-winning American actress, ERIN BROCKOVICH
Robert Redford - Actor/director/producer
Charles Robert Jr. Redford - Actor/director/producer
Edgar Bronfman - Executive Producer, CHARLOTTE'S WEB, (2006)
Dakota Fanning - Actress, I AM SAM/CORALINE
Karey Kirkpatrick - Writer
Seamus McGarvey - Director of Photography
Theatrical Release: December 15, 2006
"[TB]he movie is a delight: never coarse, rarely preachy and less concerned with proving its own cleverness than with paying tribute to the wisdom of White's book." - 12/15/2006 New York Times, p.E8
"What hooks you from the start is Dakota Fanning's unfussy passion as Fern..." -- Grade: A- - 12/22/2006 Entertainment Weekly, p.60
3 stars out of 5 -- "[Fanning is] genuinely adorable without slipping into sickly-sweet territory....CHARLOTTE'S WEB remains surprisingly inviting." - 03/01/2007 Total Film, p.33