What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the younger crowd will probably be very eager to see this one -- and for good reason. It's unusually respectful of its much-loved source (E.B. White's classic novel) and its young audience. While the movie does refer to the farmer's plan to kill Wilbur for Christmas dinner, the pivotal (and most potentially upsetting) moment is the death of a central character, which is followed by appropriate mourning and recovery by her barnyard friends. Some of the animal characters are initially unfriendly to a new arrival, and Templeton the rat scavenges objects and talks about being selfish and sneaky. Crows attack him, with their point-of-view shots suggesting the danger he's in. Although 5 is the ideal age for this movie, 4-year-olds should be fine, too, as long as they're able to handle the sad parts.
- Families can talk about how the different characters learn to accept one another.
- How do they come to see one another as friends, even though at firstthey're put off by their differences?
- Why does Charlotte want to help Wilbur?
- If you've read the book, how does the movie compare to what youimagined in your head?
- Families can also discuss the importance of words and their role in the film. How are words important for communicating, even between species?How do they help shape our impressions of others?