Scenes from "Charlotte's Web" (1973), contributed by Emily Mitchell (TF, 2021)
Charlotte's Web was one of my favorite films when I was a child. It introduces children to the concept of loss in an age-appropriate way while simultaneously delivering a profound message. Although the film does not shy away from depicting the reality of death and the devastating effect that it can have on those left behind, it also emphasizes that death is a natural part of life. In her final moments, Charlotte sings a song about the passing of time and the changing of the seasons; her last words ("How very special are we / For just a moment, to be / Part of life's eternal rhyme") are a celebration of life rather than a lamentation of her own mortality. She demonstrates to Wilbur, and to the audience, that death is not something to be afraid of. In addition, the final scene, in which Wilbur befriends Charlotte's daughters, shows that life goes on even in the face of loss. While we may never fully 'get over' a loss, we can find meaning in remembering the deceased and cherishing the relationships that we have.