To watch the trailer of the movie click here. I took my fourth grade class to see this movie when it first came out in 2006. I was so excited that Julia Roberts (she's always been a beloved actress of mine, I love her style, her grace, her sense of humor, and that loud boisterous laugh of hers) voice was that of Charlotte, the spider.
To find out more details about the movie click here. Now, as a teacher, of course I encourage you as a parent or care giver to read the book first! Novels just have so much more depth than a movie (although this movie did a GREAT job in recreating it...very true to the book). But if you have toddlers like I do, right now the movie might just be the best start and here's why...
* I love how the movie shows the true nature of farm life, and all the hard work that comes into play
* The movie celebrates life, human life and animal life, and I especially love how Fern (the main character little girl played by Dakota Fanning) sticks up for a runty pig, when she saw that her dad was going to "do away" with him just because he was small
* Fern is loyal and takes good care of her pig, who she names Wilbur...our favorite scene, especially Julia's is when Fern takes Wilbur into her bed and sings a lullaby to her
*Fern makes a promise to care for Wilbur and keeps her promise even when its difficult (perseverance)
*Accepting others even when we look different on the outside, Charlotte is not liked by all the barn animals because she is a spider and considered "gross and ugly" but Wilbur the pig thinks she is beautiful and amazing
*Talks about loneliness...all children at one point or another will feel lonely, and this movie shows how Wilbur didn't give up, but was friendly and was able to make friends by his kindness towards others.
*I love the vocabulary in the book and in the movie, it is great for children to hear
*I like how the movie touches on death, and how Charlotte shares with Wilbur that death is a part of life, it's totally natural, and nothing to fear, even though of course Wilbur and (all of us are sobbing by now) the movie watcher feel it is unfair and unjust, Charlotte handles her life and her passing with such strength and grace...I know she's only a spider, but I think who ever wrote this book (and movie) did a great job of showing how we live, and die
* I felt that this is a great movie for toddlers and children and adults
* I love how Charlotte made a promise to her friend Wilbur (who finds out he may become Christmas dinner) and she risks her own life to keep her promise, she even says, "It was my pleasure..." It reminded me of how lovingly Christ spread his arms wide on that cross and died for our sins so that we can have eternal life with Him...I can't wait to make all these connections to my children as we grow with this movie
* Finding Miracles in God's creation...from a simple thing like how a spider makes it's web, to the fact that no two snowflakes are the same
*Finding the miracle in friendship..."It is not often someone comes along that is a true friend and a good writer, and Charlotte was both." (Suzette, I thought of you with that last line...not only do you bless people with your loving friendship but you use your blog and your written word to reach out and show us your love and kindness and you allow us into your daily happenings)
* I love movies that make you cry...and this one definitely did! (Watch it with a box of Kleenex people!)
* Every good movie has good vs evil, and I love how Templeton the Rat, was definitely the little selfish villan, but the barn animals including Wilbur and Charlotte draw even the despised rat into their lives and soften his heart, and by the end of the movie even he is changed...but you'll have to see the movie to find out how!
* I really couldn't find any, but I didn't like how Fern sassed her parents, and talked back, so I would probably talk to my kids about how that was disrespectful, but sometimes she was just defending what she was doing...so it wasn't too terrible
* Nature and life were honored, but God wasn't, so as a parent sitting side by side watching this with my kid I would definitely be sharing how amazing God is who created the animals, and the spiders to spin webs, and do such miraculous things
I give this movie a 9.8!
Don't forget to stop by Suzette's blog today to view her take on this movie! I remember this movie from when I was little and I always loved Jiminy Cricket who was Pinocchio's conscience. I haven't showed this movie to my kids yet but we just got the video and I'm excited to see their reaction. I love how Pinocchio's bad behavior gets him into a heap of trouble and how his conscience is always trying to get him to make the right choice and tell the truth! This is a great movie to discuss with kids about the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit reveals our sins to us and allows us to feel convicted when we do something wrong...I can't wait to read what Suzette has to say!