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Gary Winick
Dakota Fanning, Julia Roberts, Dominic Scott Kaye
Writing Credits:
Susannah Grant, Karey Kirkpatrick

Charlotte the spider hatches a plan to keep Wilbur the pig from the butcher's axe.

Box Office:
$85 million.
Opening Weekend:
$11,457,353 on 3556 screens.
Domestic Gross:

Rated G.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 3/29/2011

• Audio Commentary with Director Gary Winick
• Audio Commentary with Producer Jordan Kerner and Visual Effects Supervisor John Andrew Berton
• “Making Some Movie” Featurette
• “Some Voices” Featurette
• “Flacka’s Pig Tales” Featurette
• “How Do They Do That?” Featuretter
• “What Makes a Classic” Featurette
• “Where Are They Now?” Featurette
• 2 Music Videos
• “A Day At the Fair!” Featurette
• Photo Album
• Gag Reel
• Deleted Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Charlotte's Web [Blu-Ray] (2006)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 2, 2022)

After its publication in 1952, EB White’s Charlotte’s Web quickly became a children’s classic. The story received an animated big-screen adaptation in 1973 and then found itself in theaters again via a mix of live-action and computer characters in 2006.

Both come with the same story, of course, as we follow Wilbur the pig (voiced by Dominic Scott Adams). Born a runt, he’s destined for the farmer John Arable’s (Kevin Anderson) axe but his daughter Fern (Dakota Fanning) intervenes and saves little Wilbur’s life.

Fern raises him as her own until he gets old enough to be sold. Fern’s intercession doesn’t work this time, and Wilbur heads for the farm of her Uncle Homer Zuckerman (Gary Basaraba).

There Wilbur makes new friends and has a generally good time as he hangs around with a mix of farm animals and Charlotte the spider (voiced by Julia Roberts). Unfortunately, Wilbur again finds himself destined for the slaughterhouse, as Zuckerman plans to kill our little pal once he becomes fat enough.

Charlotte determines to save Wilbur’s life, so she concocts a plan. She spins a web and writes “some pig” in it.

Zuckerman and others see this “miraculous” occurrence and Wilbur becomes the talk of the town. However, this does little more than briefly delay his execution, so Charlotte has to create additional web-based billboards to ensure Wilbur’s continued survival.

I liked Web the book and movie as a kid in the 1970s. I’ve not read the novel since then, but when I revisited the 1973 film in 2001, I found it to seem cute but insubstantial and without the expected emotional impact.

That left plenty of room for improvement via the 2006 Web. Given the value of the source, I hoped the newer adaptation would deliver a more satisfying version of White’s tale.

And it does – to a moderate degree, I guess. The 2006 Web feels a bit better executed than the 1973 version, but it doesn’t quite live up to the potential of the material.

My main complaint stems from my impression that this Web can feel somewhat mechanical at times. It tries to pull all the expected levers – both emotional and comedic – but it doesn’t seem wholly convincing in these domains.

As such, Web can seem a bit by-the-numbers. The production lacks true inspiration and can give off a “made by committee” impression.

That said, Web still manages reasonable charm, and an excellent voice cast helps. In addition to Roberts, the movie boasts a true all-star group of performers, with heavy hitters like Robert Redford, Steve Buscemi, Oprah Winfrey and many others in tow.

All do nicely in their parts. None of them really stretch their legs, but they embrace their animal characters and add charm to the proceedings.

I also like that Web resists the urge to seem overly “modern”. It manages to feel like something of a throwback, as it largely avoids obnoxious nods toward 21st century kids movies.

This means we don’t get gratuitous pop culture references or winking nods in other directions. I like the fairly old-fashioned feel to the project/

The movie’s computer effects show their age, so don’t expect circa 2022 quality. Still, these elements hold up well enough that they cause no real distractions.

Ultimately, I can’t call Web a really good version of the story. Nonetheless, it provides a mostly engaging tale that offers a reasonably positive end result.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus B

Charlotte’s Web appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with an erratic image.

Sharpness turned into the biggest issue. While much of the film brought appealing delineation, more than a few exceptions occurred.

Some of these soft spots related to visual effects, but that didn’t explain all – or even most – of the iffy shots. Though overall clarity worked fine, I found more tentative elements than anticipated.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to appear.

Colors leaned toward a subdued mix of teal and amber. These showed acceptable vivacity, though they could run a little heavy at times.

Blacks felt fairly dark and deep, while shadows brought good clarity. Nothing ever made the image unwatchable, but it seemed underwhelming.

At least the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack fared better, though it didn’t boast a ton of ambition. Most of the mix oriented toward music and general atmosphere, with some localized dialogue as well.

Occasional action-oriented elements added life to the soundscape. These didn’t pop up frequently but they gave the mix pizzazz as necessary.

Audio quality worked fine, with music that seemed lively and full. Speech came across as natural and concise, without edginess.

Effects boasted good accuracy and range. This turned into a more than satisfactory mix.

The disc comes with a bunch of extras, and we find two separate audio commentaries. The first features director Gary Winick, as he offers a running, screen-specific look at the source and its adaptation, story/characters, various effects, sets and locations, cast and performances, working with animals, design choices and related topics.

Overall, Winick brings us a pretty thorough and engaging view of the production. He occasionally simply narrates the movie, but he gives us more than enough useful content to compensate for those moments.

For the second commentary, we hear from producer Jordan Kerner and visual effects supervisor John Andrew Berton. Both sit together for their running, screen-specific discussion of the same domains covered in Winick’s discussion.

Don’t think that means the Kerner/Berton chat feels redundant or repetitive, as it views these topics from a different POV. As expected, Berton’s presence means a lot more about effects, and Kerner’s approach leads to new insights as well. This becomes another informative piece.

Video features follow, and Making Some Movie runs 28 minutes, 48 seconds. It brings notes from Kerner, Winick, Berton, production designer Stuart Wurtzel, executive producer Bernie Williams, screenwriters Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick, director of photography Seamus McGarvey, animation supervisor Todd Labonte, visual effects art director Nick Pill, and actors Reba McIntire, Thomas Haden Church, Julia Roberts, Dakota Fanning, Dominic Scott Kay, Louis Corbett, Nate Mooney, Essie Davis, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Gary Basaraba and Kevin Anderson.

“Movie” looks at the source and its adaptation, Winick’s approach, working with animals and various effects, cast and performances, sets and locations, costumes, and character design. It mixes happy talk with enough useful insights to become worth a look.

Some Voices lasts eight minutes, 46 seconds and offers comments from Winick, Kerner, McEntire, Roberts, Kay, and actors Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Steve Buscemi and John Cleese.

Unsurprisingly, this one discusses voice actors. It delivers another combination of happy talk and minor facts.

Next comes Flacka’s Pig Tales, an 11-minute, 28-second piece that looks at the live-action pigs used for the shoot. Told from the POV of a porcine actor, it offers a very kid-oriented tutorial. That limits its usefulness.

How Do They Do That? spans four minutes, 54 seconds and features Kerner, Williams, head trainer Larry Payne and animal trainers Sarah Healey, Cody Rawson-Harris and April Mackin. This becomes a brief but engaging view of how the live animals worked on the film.

After this comes What Makes a Classic. a five-minute, 19-second reel with Kerner, Kirkpatrick, Grant, and biographer Lucien L. Agosta.

“Classic” addresses the source novel and its legacy. Expect a mix of good details and praise.

Where Are They Now? occupies six minutes, 53 seconds and provides statements from Williams, Animals Australia communications director Lyn White, Edgar’s Mission founder Pam Ahern, pig lover Eliza Haswell, and Brightside Sanctuary founder Emma Haswell.

We learn what happened to the movie’s animals after the movie. It’s nice to see they didn’t go under the knife, but don’t expect a lot of substance.

A Gag Reel fills three minutes, four seconds and delivers the usual goofs and giggles. Don’t expect anything memorable.

Six Deleted Scenes take up a total of six minutes, 51 seconds. The longest shows how Fern’s pet dog tries to get rid of his rival Wilbur. It takes up more than half of the cumulative running time and proves entertaining but unnecessary.

The other five bring pretty brief little additions, with some extra space for minor characters. They fail to contribute much of real interest.

We can view the scenes with or without commentary from Winick. He tells us basics about the sequences as well as why they failed to make the cut. Winick offers some useful details.

The set includes two music videos: “Ordinary Miracle” from Sarah McLachlan, and “Make a Wish” by Bob Carlisle and Lucy Kane. “Miracle” mixes lip-synch shows of McLachlan with movie clips, while “Wish” offers nothing more than film snippets.

Both songs seem mushy, but at least McLachlan offers some personality, whereas Carlisle and Kane boast nothing more than unadulterated goo. Both videos seem blah as well.

A Day at the Fair! offers a 55-second montage with 12 photos from the movie’s scene… at the fair. It becomes wholly forgettable.

A Farm Photo Album brings 65 stills that combine behind the scenes and publicity elements. Nothing memorable appears.

An adaptation of a classic novel for children, Charlotte’s Web manages to become a reasonably effective fable. While not as strong as the source, it still manages to deliver an engaging enough tale. The Blu-ray brings erratic visuals as well as good audio and a nice mix of bonus materials. This winds up as a largely positive version of the novel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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