Hey Guys! Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the 1973 Hanna-Barbera animated film Charlotte’s Web, which is based off a children’s novel by E.B. White. When I saw this movie as a kid, I used to love this movie. I watched it every day when I was a kid. I loved the characters, and the sherman brothers songs. Now that I saw it as an adult, it’s still a great movie but I did notice some flaws in the movie overall.
The story is about a pig named Wilbur befriending a spider named Charlotte after being sold to Mr. Zuckermans farm by his owner Fern. While fearing that he will die at some point, Charlotte helps save his life by writing words on her webs. What I love about this adaptation is that it does stay faithful to the novel for the most part. Unfortunately, there are some issues that makes the plot feel underwhelming. My biggest problem with the story is the execution. Don’t get me wrong, the execution in the film is fine. It’s that when the film talks about the message about death, it feels more watered down. Whenever there is a scene with Wilbur being concerned about dying or an emotional sequence, it gets interrupted by its songs or it talks down to death mostly. It’s like Hanah-Barbera is afraid of teaching kids the harsh reality of death, and they have to play it safe, which does annoy me. There are some good moments in the story. I liked the scenes with Fern and Wilbur bonding. The scenes with them pulls my heartstrings. The scenes at the fair were good too. But the scene where the plot makes the most use of is the death scene of Charlotte. Her death scene is very emotional. This is by far the well-remembered scene in the film by everyone. It made me cry as a kid. The plot may have its issues but the heart is in the right place, which makes it memorable. I give the story seven stars
For Hannah-Barbara’s rare theatrical release, the animation is surprisingly good. The designs are decent where they stay true to designs in any Hanna-Barbara show. The watercolor backgrounds are pretty colorful. I liked the effects shown in most of the songs. If there’s one problem I have with the animation is that it does look a little cheap. But that’s expected coming from a company that is known for using limited animation. But alas, the animation is good and colorful. I give the animation seven stars.
The characters are solid. There are also some characters that dont stick. Let’s start with the titular character, Charlotte. Charlotte is a wonderful character where she is wise and a great mother figure to Wilbur. And the stakes she goes through to save Wilburs life makes her a great role model. The Goose is a memorable character with her repeating random words and being a mother in general. Templeton the rat is great with his hatred towards Wilbur and his love towards food. The Arables and the Zuckerman family are also memorable. What makes these characters loveable are the terrific voice talents of the characters from icons such as Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Bob Holt and Don Messick. The characters I don’t really care about starting off is Wilbur. He is very whiny and he faints too much in the movie which is frustrating. I don’t fault the character much. I think that the voice acting from Henry Gibson makes him not interesting. Plus, his voice acting is very distracting. Just like Wilbur, Fern is also whiny which makes it so hard to like her. Jeffery the Gosling is annoying and pointless. But the voice acting from Don Messick admittedly is nice. The characters despite it’s flaws are great. I give the characters eight stars.
The songs are a classic. Fun fact: E.B. White orginally hated the movie for being too like Disney with its songs. It is understandable. However, the songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers are fantastic, even If most of them arent relevant. The song “there must be more to me starts off very cute and emotional but the later reprise is annoying. “I can talk” is pointless and unmemorable. “Chin Up” is a solid and catchy introduction song of the titular character. I was almost going to call the song “Weve got lots in common” terrible. However, what makes the song good is the messages of getting along and a way to combat racism. It works in the moral a lot more than it does in the story. It’s a good song. “Deep in the dark” is iconic and my favorite song in the movie. “How very special are we” and its reprise are both tear-jerkers. “A fair is a veritable smorgasbord” is great in terms of its effects and the montage in the fair. “Zukermans Pig” is upbeat and catchy. I do understand where E.B. White is coming from when he mentioned that the songs are unnecessary but they are all in all memorable. I give the songs eight stars.
Charlotte’s Web is a what people righteously call as a great classic movie from the book by E.B. White. It does have its flaws with most of the characters and the message being talked down to, but the story, characters and the songs are what makes this film a faithful adaptation of the beloved children’s book. I give this movie eight stars out of ten.

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