Charlotte’s Web (2006) — PICK

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) — PICK

 

Looking for something to watch with the kids? Can’t quite lower your standards enough to stomach The Emoji Movie or Despicable Me 3? (Good for you.)

A couple of recent family-film arrivals on Hulu aren’t exactly classics, but they’re worth checking out.

Walden Media’s Charlotte’s Web follows the basic structure of E.B. White’s beloved children’s story fairly closely, and borrows his dialogue often enough, though it dumbs down White’s characters and sparkling language.

The film’s Wilber is a less passive protagonist than White’s, with a bit of Babe’s pluck and generosity of spirit; his friendship with Charlotte is as much his gift to her as vice versa. Oh, and Steve Buscemi steals the film as Templeton the rat.

Then there’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, a pre-CGI special-effects landmark starring Rick Moranis as a bumbling scientist / suburban father who unknowingly shrinks four kids to insect size.

The giant sets and props and old-school camera effects are even less persuasive today than in the 1980s, but they’re even more charming.

Bonus Pick: Fred Zinnemann’s Western classic High Noon, starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly, is new on Amazon Prime.

 

Caveat Spectator: Charlotte’s Web: Mild crass humor. Kids and up. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Mild fantasy excitement and menace; brief cursing and a few rude words; mild suggestiveness. Kids and up.