Animal movies are my kryptonite. I bawled my way through Babe, Homeward Bound, even King Kong. And it wasn’t any different with the new live-action version of Charlotte’s Web, based on E.B. White’s classic children’s novel.
If you are looking for wholesome family entertainment these holidays, and can’t stomach the manic childness of Night at the Museum, Charlotte’s Web offers an engaging alternative with emotional depth. Walden Media, behind last year’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, continues with its commitment to educational, moral movies that don’t talk down to audiences, and are of exceptionally high production values. The CGI used in Charlotte’s Web to animate the film’s farmyard animals is stunning.
Charlotte’s Web might be a little too ‘Golly gee whizz’ sweet for many of today’s cynical movie goers – Wilbur the pig is especially loveable and loving – but it is one of those sincere, optimistic family films you hardly see anymore, and that’s where its power lies. It’s definitely worth taking your kids to see it, or, if you are looking for some gentle, non-wacky entertainment, viewing it yourself.
Sidenote: As a warning to all South African filmgoers, if you value your sanity, don’t go to see movies on Half-price Movie Tuesday until the school holidays are over. The crowds are crazy.