Special spider is key to weaving ‘Charlotte’s Web’

In making the new live-action version of E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, the animators at Australia’s Rising Sun Pictures had to create a spider that stood out from run-of-the-mill arachnids.

They succeeded, says director Gary Winick, by paying special attention to “the eyes. They had to have a quality to them that would be expressive.”

It helps when your animated photo-realistic spider is voiced by Oscar winner Julia Roberts. “Julia’s voice has such a warm and soothing quality,” Winick says. Dakota Fanning plays Fern, and Dominic Scott Kay (Minority Report) is Wilbur.

“What was tougher to get right than the spider itself was the web,” Winick says. “It’s hard for it not to look like fishing line.”

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY

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