Charlotte's Web (U)

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The Independent Culture

This Babe-like mix of live action, CGI and pigs is based on EB White's much loved children's book about a piglet, Wilbur, who may or may not be saved from the chop by the other animals in the barn, principally a spider named Charlotte.

It's a lavish production with splendid scenery, seamless effects, and an A-list voice cast, including Julia Roberts as Charlotte. But speaking as someone who's never read White's book, I just didn't get it. If a spider can write English words in her web, why is the pig getting all the attention? And if the animals want to save Wilbur, why don't they care that his 10 siblings are going to finish up as sausages?

The inevitable Dakota Fanning plays Wilbur's human pal.