Celebrity voice casting in animated films are older than you'd probably think, and usually as bad you'd probably expect. But sometimes, it works out well enough; sometimes, in fact, it turns into stone-cold classic cinema, as happened the first time Debbie Reynolds lent her voice to an animated feature. The film was Charlotte's Web from 1973, adapted from E.B. White's great 1952 children's book by Hanna-Barbera, the nation's leader in dismal television animation in the '60s and '70s. Ah, but Charlotte's Web is the exception: the handsomest and most emotionally rich thing Hanna-Barbera ever made by far, and Reynolds is the primary reason for that emotional richness.
She plays the title character, Charlotte A. Cavatica, a barn spider. Should I assume you've all read Charlotte's Web? You really ought to have. [More...]