"Only because you were born too little, doesn't mean
you are too small for this world." That's the belief
of young Fern and so she takes care of the weakest of the
newborn Pigs on Zuckermanns Farm. She names him Wilbur and
cares for him until he's strong enough to live in the barn
and ready for the biggest Adventure of his life. Not only
a bunch of belligerent animals is waiting for him also a great
danger from which only a miracle can save him. But Miracles
are the speciality of the wise spider Charlotte who also lives
in the Barn. She becomes Wilbur's Guardian Angel and only
has to make him "something special" to save him
form his fate.
can anyone not like this charming movie? The star here is
not Dakota Fanning (whom many find irritating in movies like
The Cat in the Hat and War of the Worlds), but the lovely
talking animals. You may have seen them in countless many
other movies like Babe and Animal Farm, but admit it, there’s
always something wowing about this talking creatures.
film adaptation of E.B. White’s beloved novel tells
the story of Wilbur the pig who may just end up on the dinner
table when winter comes. With the help of Charlotte the spider
and his other barnyard animal friends, he may just escape
this terrible fate.
our humble opinion, this is the perfect story for anyone growing
up (shame on you if you do not already know this classic tale
of friendship and loyalty). And with this movie, it is the
perfect movie to own for kids to learn and enjoy at home.
And besides the young ones, cynical adults like you and I
will like the simple charm this 97-minute movie has to offer.
Winick (Tadpole, 13 Going on 30) directs a brilliant cast
of all-star top-notch voice talents to bring the barnyard
creatures to life. There is Steve Buscemi’s (Big Fish,
Paris, he t’aime) sneaky rat, Robert Redford’s
(The Horse Whisperer, Spy Game) ageing horse, Kathy Bates’
(Rumour Has It, Failure to Launch) perky cow and Thomas Haden
Church’s (Sideways, Spider-Man 3) slimy crow. Also,
listen out for John Cleese as a sheep, Cedric the Entertainer
as a goose and even a certain talk show host Oprah Winfrey
as his wife.
the “lead role” as Charlotte, Julia Roberts (Mona
Lisa Smile, Ocean’s Twelve) brings a nice maternal touch
to the otherwise scary spider which may scare off kids in
real life. Her kind and tender voice plays out nicely in this
high-tech computer animation employed in the picture will
also awe you with its flawless rendition of talking animals.
You’ll almost feel like it is only normal for animals
to converse with each other in real life.
and don’t say we didn’t warn you – do get
a tissue or two ready. Whether you are young or old, male
or female, you may need to wipe those tears come the end of
the touchingly likeable movie.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains a whole load of wonderfully
fun special features which definitely makes your money’s
worth. It is a must-have for every family’s DVD collection.
by director Gary Winick – The solemn-sounding
director gives a detailed commentary about how various inspirations
for the Australia-shot movie came about. The wonderful opening
titles music score by Danny Elfman, the intricate watercolor-inspired
opening sequence and the casting of Fanning as Fern are all
explained by Winick in this subtitled-enabled (wow!) commentary.
by producer Jordan Kerner and visual effects supervisor John
Andrew Berton Jr. – How generous of the DVD
producers to include two commentary tracks for this movie.
In this more interactive commentary, we find out that this
movie took five years to make, and how the several voice talents
came together to make an A-cast list. The looks of the animal
characters are also kept as realistic as possible, and the
filmmakers took care not to make Templeton the ray look too
cute and adorable.
Some Movie – This 28-minute feaurette has the
cast and crew talking about how the classic children’s
novel was such an inspiration for them and what it is like
being part of the motion picture. Interestingly, there are
about 40-odd pigs (there is no general consensus amongst the
interviewees) playing Wilbur.
Voices – The filmmakers tell us how they simply
“closed their eyes and imagined the animals talking
in the actors’ voices” to decide whether they
have made the right choice. In this 9-minute clip, see how
Cedric the Entertainer and Oprah Winfrey make a good pair
of bickering geese.
Pig Tales – Flacka (one of the many pigs who
played Wilbur in the movie) brings the younger ones on a behind-the-scene
journey of the movie in this 11-minute featurette, and we
see how the animals were trained by the humans in the silliest
ways. Oh, and did you know that every animal has a name like
Vickie, Joanna, Larry and Mrs. Green?
Do They Do That? – The 5-minute clip showcases
the animal trainers who take their jobs really seriously and
professionally. You’d see how the pigs have exact positions
at scenes to get the correct camera angle.
Makes A Classic – Another 5-minute clip where
academics talk about how the American culture is brilliantly
portrayed in E.B. White’s novel about growing up, friendship
and other important life lessons.
Are They Now? – Somehow, the sows don’t
look that cute anymore in this 7-minute clip about where the
pigs are now. They wallow in mud, they snort and boy, they
have grown in size! Who knows, some of them have already become…
Videos – Watch the beautiful “Ordinary
Miracle by Sarah McLachlan” and the lyrical “Make
A Wish by Bob Carlisle and Lucy Kane” and be enchanted
by the voices and music.
Day At The Fair! – A 55-second slideshow of
stills from the fun fair scene in the movie.
Photo Album – The name says it all: a collection
of farm animals pictures.
Reel – In this creatively-put-together 3-minute
clip, you see several NG takes. We particularly love the one
where a trainer tries to get some geese to react to a plastic
goose head, with not much of a success.
Scenes – There are six deleted scenes with
a total runtime of seven minutes, and optional director commentaries
on all of them.
The disc’s visual transfer maintains the fresh and lovely
cinematography of the movie, while there are English, Mandarin
and Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks to choose from.
by John Li