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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), G [G*] (1hr 26min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Walden Media, Nickelodeon Movies, Kerner Entertainment Company, Sandman Studios
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Gary Winick
Producer(s): Edgar Bronfman Sr., Jordan Kerner, Paul Neesan, Julia Pistor, Karen Rosenfelt, Bernard Williams, Tony Winley
Screenplay: Susannah Grant, Karey Kirkpatrick
Film Story: Earl Hamner Jr.
Book: E.B. White
Cinematography/Camera: Seamus McGarvey
Music: Danny Elfman
Film Editing: Susan Littenberg, Sabrina Plisco
Casting: Ellen Lewis, David Rubin
Production Design: Stuart Wurtzel
Art Direction: John Kasarda, Tom Nursey
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
This is a book-to-screen adaptation of the children's novel Charlotte's Web already loved by many, there is little need to go into any great detail in this Summary/Commentary other than it is the story of a runt-of-the-litter spring pig named Wilbur (voice of Dominic Scott Kay), one too many for the sow to handle and originally slated for slaughter, adopted by young Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning). As the summer approached fears of Wilbur becoming the Christmas ham led farm characters to bond together to find a way to make Wilbur more desirable than bacon on the table.
The local garden spider, Charlotte A. Cavatica (voice of Julia Roberts) spun words into her web to make the Wilbur entity a novel and welcome thing. And it worked. "Some Pig", "Terrific", "Radiant" and "Humble" are the words Charlotte spun into her web which made Wilbur famous ... and much more desirable than bacon. Indeed, the words Charlotte spun into her web form a good description of this film ... some terrific, radiant, humble movie. It was not long until all the farm animals, Gussy Goose (voice of Oprah Winfrey), Templeton Rat (voice of Steve Buscemi), Samuel Sheep (voice of John Cleese), Bitsy and Betsy Cow (voices of Kathy Bates and Reba McEntire) and others were behind Wilbur as Charlotte shaped Wilbur's image and appeal to keep him off the Christmas menu. A cast of high wattage talents combined to make voice characterizations about as ideal as possible.
Some of the finest artwork ever produced in a film was abundant as the farm animals, and Charlotte, were personified to form the fabric of this delightful tale of friendship, loyalty, strength, forgiveness and other noble traits of goodness and love. The attention to detail is outstanding, especially in portrayal of a garden spider, not only in appearance but in doing the things she does. Countryside imagery was warm and fulfilling, leading the viewer to imagine comfort, peace and family togetherness.
Since this report is being posted before the first showing I choose to not reveal any more of the story in case you have not seen the animated Charlotte's Web or read the book and decide this film is fit for your family.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
There was nothing noted to even approach violent or criminal behavior in the entire 86 minutes of the film from the first scene to the last.
There are, however, a number of instances of adolescent arrogance and defiance of parental authority as Fern looks down her nose at her father and argues with him, more so than in the animated version. In the animated version Fern's aggression was more of the request nature. In this film, Fern's aggression is more of the command and even hateful threat nature. These transgressions are later forgiven as the plot manipulates the viewer into one of those "as if nothing ever happened" Hollywood absolutions. While such adolescent behavior was apparently necessary to the plot and story, we must remember that a noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path. [Exod. 20:12, Eph. 6:1 - 3, Col. 3:20] Nor does the need of the story to portray adolescent rebellion excuse the teaching and/or causing our youth to sin [Luke 17:2, Matt 25:40] let alone for the sake of entertainment. Fern also tells a couple lies. God is very stern about lying. [Prov. 19:5] There is also an instance of class warfare name-calling among the farm animals. Two instances of flatulence, once as a "projectile" to topple a rat were somewhat offensive. [Eph. 5:4] But not once did any character/actor utter a single word of profanity.
Sexual Immorality (S)
Not one instance of any form of sexually immoral behavior or even innuendo was noted.
No form of drugs/alcohol/tobacco or abuse of prescription drugs was found.
Offense to God (O)
Not once was God's name used in vain with or without the four letter expletive. Indeed, God and His many miraculous works were, though in fantasy, heralded in a couple ways. Nor were any forms of witchcraft, sorcery, or any other form of evil practices noted.
Not once was any form of murder and/or suicide found.
Note that this film clearly earned a final score equivalent to the scores earned by G-rated films in the comparative baseline database (87 to 100 out of 100) but because of Fern's arrogance toward parental authority, the lies and the flatulence the Impudence/Hate investigation area earned a score equivalent to many PG films (73 out of 100) in the baseline database. Thus is the reason for the yellow CAPCon Alert light atop this page. The yellow CAPCon Alert light means the subject movie earned a score of 86 or less in any one of the six CAP Investigation Areas. It suggests a lesser urgency than indicated by the red CAPCon Alert light but the need for your attention to the findings in the report is still urgent: that you should give serious consideration to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section. See CAPCon Alerts for more information.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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