Charlotte’s Web (2006)

[Screenshot]Any film adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, of course, will find itself in comparison to the classic 1973 animated musical version. By and large this actually stands up pretty well: it’s faithful to the text of the original, and matches the classic film in most respects. As I’m used to the older version, the lack of musical numbers threw me, but I can’t rightly count that as a flaw. The integration of animal actors/CG works as far as I’m concerned; if there were flubs, I didn’t catch them, and the voice actors are competent if a bit dubiously chosen (more below). So in production, tihs is a Charlotte’s Web which can hold its own.

Now, as to those voice actors. I had only a few problems, but they were awfully irksome. Wilbur’s voice actor has a gratingly young voice: yes, he’s supposed to be a young character, but he could be given a less grating young voice. The gander’s voice bugged me too, but that’s because I’m kinda tapped out on the “sassy black man” comic patter (aren’t we all? Even “sassy donkey” and “sassy gander” are tedious). Otherwise, it’s a pretty brilliant voice cast (no complaints about the sheep, cows, Templeton, or Charlotte), and the role of Fern is well-played too. As to the other human actors, eh, they do their part. They hardly get any screen-time anyways.

The ’73 verison will always be the classic to me. But this is at least an honest and solid recreation.

See also: IMDB, Wikipedia.

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About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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