Will “Charlotte’s Web” Be Broken?

One of my worst film-adaptation nightmares looks like it’s about ready to come true.

Charlotte’s Web, one of my favorite children’s books, was made into a fine animated film decades ago. But with the success of Babe, it became inevitable that the book would be turned into a live-action talking-animal movie.

I hoped and hoped they would do the job with dignity.

But alas, I’ve just seen a preview, and my worst fears are realized:

The trailer prominently displays a moment when a rat is running along a rail and is knocked off by the force of a noisy cow fart.

Yep.

They’ve brought Charlotte’s Web that low.

Sure, it’s only one moment from the preview. But it’s a moment they’re flaunting, and that does not bode well for the film.

I suspect that E.B. White would be even more disappointed than I am.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.

  • M. Dale Prins

    It is now no. 47 in my Netflix queue.

  • Ellen Collison

    Somehow this is reminding me of Spielberg’s bad remake of Peter Pan, with Julia R. as Tinkerbelle… including fart jokes.

  • Adam Walter

    E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web: I’m not a bad Hollywood movie, I’m not a bad Hollywood movie!
    Sir Bedevere: But you’re dressed like one.
    E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web: They dressed me up like this!
    Crowd: We didn’t! We didn’t. . .
    E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web: And this fart gag isn’t mine. It’s not in the book!
    Sir Bedevere: [makes close visual inspection of said fart gag, obviously “tacked on”] Well.
    Peasant: Well, we did do the fart gag.
    Sir Bedevere: The fart gag. . .
    Peasant: And the silly Julia Roberts voice–but she is a bad Hollywood movie!
    Crowd: Yeah! Burn her, burn her!

  • RC

    That’s disappointing about the cow fart blowing templeton off the tracks…

    now babe…i liked that!

    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  • Kim

    Man. What are kids going to grow up to if all we entertain them with are actors pretending to be dogs, and farts. I’m sad. Probably more sad than that rat was when he fell off the rail.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Isn’t this film being produced by Walden Media, the same outfit that tarnished The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and looks set to do the same with Bridge to Terabithia?


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