Review Charlotte's Web (2006)

Discussion in 'Film: 2001 - 2010' started by filmfan95, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    Charlotte's Web is a 2006 American live-action feature film based on the 1952 children's novel of the same name by E. B. White. It was directed by Gary Winick and produced by Paramount Pictures, Walden Media, The K Entertainment Company, and Nickelodeon Movies. The screenplay is by Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick, based on White's book.

    It is the second film adaptation of White's book, preceded by a 1973 cel-animated version produced by Hanna-Barbera for Paramount Pictures.

    Charlotte's Web was produced without any involvement from E. B. White's estate.[2] It was the first film based on a book by E. B. White since 2001's The Trumpet of the Swan. Paramount had distributed the film as a result of its acquisition of DreamWorks, whose animation division became its own company in late 2004.

    [​IMG]

    Major shooting was completed in May 2006. It was filmed on location in Greendale, Victoria and suburbs in Melbourne, Australia. The fair scene in the story was filmed in Heidelbergin Melbourne, Australia at Heidelberg West Football Club's football ground. The school scenes were filmed at Spotswood Primary School.

    Visual effects are by Rising Sun Pictures, Fuel International, Proof, Rhythm and Hues Studios, Digital Pictures Iloura and Tippett Studio. The visual effects supervisor for the film as a whole was John Berton, who noted that a live-action version of Charlotte's Web has become much more practical in recent years due to advances in technology.[3] Winick "was adamant" that Charlotte and Templeton (the film's two entirely computer-generated characters) should be realistic and not stylized, although they did give Charlotte almond-shaped eyes.[4] John Dietz, visual effects supervisor for Rising Sun Pictures, notes that there was a debate over whether to give her a mouth and that in the end, they decided to have her chelicerae move in what he describes as being almost like a veil as if there were a mouth behind it.[5]
     
  2. filmfan95

    filmfan95 Member: Rank 3

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    (My Review)

    I remember in late 2006, I was watching TV with my parents, and the trailer for this movie came on, and we were all like, "Wow, there's going to be a live action Charlotte's Web!"

    At this point, my younger brother and I had already been watching the 1973 version for a few years, and I had read the book more times than I could count (one time I re-read it in one night, and my mom was surprised I read that much), and while we had enjoyed that version, we really looked forward to the new one. I was nine at the time, and I wasn't at the stage in my life where I would get skeptical at remakes (though this isn't really a remake, as it's a completely new adaptation), and my parents aren't really movie critics at all, so they don't care about the quality of a movie as long as it is age-appropriate.

    This is one of the few movies I saw in the theatre as a kid, since my parents were on a budget. They took my brother and I to this movie because it was a cute story that we all enjoyed, and I can honestly say that our expectations were exceeded when watching this. It was so good.

    In Summer of 2007, the local movie theatre showed the movie as a free matinee, and my family went to see it again, along with some other families who were friends of ours from the nearby playground. those other families were very cautious about what movies they showed to their kids, but my mom assured them that the movie was completely clean with nothing offensive, and it turned out great. Everybody enjoyed it.

    I actually didn't own a copy of this movie for years for some inexplicable reason. I remember some friends of mine owned it though, and I would often watch it on visits to their houses. My parents also borrowed it from the library multiple times. It got the point where I sort of phased the 1973 movie out of my mind, and this became "The Movie" of Charlotte's Web for me. And this was with me still having the 1973 version on VHS. It just sat on the shelf and gathered dust.

    I didn't even know until recently that Charlotte's Web fans were split on which movie was the better of the two, because whenever Charlotte's Web was mentioned, everybody that was part of the conversation (even people I didn't know all that well) would start talking about the 2006 movie. So my thought was that the 2006 movie had eclipsed the 1973 one in popularity.

    I turned out to be wrong. Fans are pretty split as to which is better. I'm Team 2006 Charlotte's Web myself. I honestly think it's a better movie. It's really no mistake that I phased out the 1973 version until a few years ago. Upon my re-watch of that version after all these years, it really wasn't as good as I remembered it being.

    The 2006 movie has an all-around great cast. Dakota Fanning looks exactly like Fern from Garth Williams' illustrations from the book. Wilbur is actually voiced by kid, which makes more sense for the way he behaves. The Goose actually has a mate, like she did in the book, and there are no pointless songs.

    It's not perfect. There are a few fart jokes (though I guess I should be thankful, because, according to the commentary, the movie was originally going to be filled with fart jokes. See, this is what any good editor should do. Take notes, other movie editors.), but the movie does not focus on the rude humor, and it is an all-around family-friendly film that proves that you don't need to carry a PG-rating to be a good movie.

    I recently found a DVD copy of this movie in the bargain bin at Walmart and bought it as quick as a flash. Meanwhile, my old VHS copy of the 1973 version sits in the attic, and I haven't bothered even seeking out a DVD or Blu Ray copy. I think that says a lot about my differences in opinion about the two films. In contrast to the 1973 version, the new one could easily make my top movies list.

    Plus, I can't believe this movie is over ten years old now. It feels like only yesterday I was watching this in the movie theatre. Man, I feel old.
     
    #2 filmfan95, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  3. The Seeker

    The Seeker Member: Rank 5

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    The spider looks so much more realistic, which makes her not as cutesy. But spiders don’t have antennae. Or hair. Or two eyes.
     

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