Charlotte’s Web (1973)

Article 2516 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-23-2008
Posting Date: 7-2-2008
Directed by Charles A. Nichols and Iwao Takamoto
Featuring the voices of Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Henry Gibson
Country: USA

A piglet who is the runt of the litter is saved by a young girl from being killed, who then raises the piglet by hand. The pig is sold to another farmer. The pig befriends a spider, who hatches a plot to keep the pig from being slaughtered.

I’ve not read the classic children’s book by E.B. White on which this movie is based, but if I were to judge the book based on this animated movie version of it, I would have no desire to read it. Fortunately, my wife has read the book, and she assures me that this movie does not do it justice, choosing to emphasize only the sentimental and schmaltzy aspects of the story. I’m highly resistant to the whimsy of this movie, but the movie could have overcome my resistance had the animation or the songs been inspired. Alas, the animation is only adequate, and the songs are utterly forgettable. About the only inspired touch to the movie is casting Paul Lynde as the voice of Templeton the rat, and even that character wears thin very quickly. I doubt I’ll be revisiting this one any time soon; I’d sooner read the book first, so I’d have more of an idea of what this movie is missing.


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