Charlotte's Web | Chicago Reader

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The E.B. White classic about a young pig who fears the frying pan and a spider who spins promotional billboards to save him was first adapted to the screen in 1973, as a bad Hanna-Barbera animation with such sterling voice talents as Agnes Moorehead, Henry Gibson, Pamelyn Ferdin, and Paul Lynde as Templeton the rat. This passable live-action feature from Christian mogul Philip Anschutz (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) also relies heavily on the voices, though the actors are sometimes miscast (Julia Roberts as the spider) or chosen more for their on-screen personas than their pipes (Steve Buscemi as the rat). Gary Winick (13 Going On 30) directed; among the barnyard animals are Robert Redford, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, and Cedric the Entertainer. G, 97 min.

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