It has been such a long time since I read this book and saw the original animated film in grade school, but as we watched this movie, it all came back to me. Tolerance, difference, acceptance, love, life and sadly even death are issues and topics that are explored and elaborated on. I think Dakota Fanning may soon be getting too old for this type of role, and perhaps this movie would have been better with her equally cute and talented, but several years younger, sister, Elle. Other than that I found this to be a fantastic family film. I enjoyed being able to sit down with my 6 and 7 year old and watch a classic story that I read as a child brought to life, and to see that they were enjoying it made it even better.
They did not go crazy with special effects, they did not add to the story to make it more appealing to the movie-going masses. As far as I can recall (and it was years and years ago so I may be off), they did an excellent job at remaining true to the classic story.
I thought each animal was very well acted, none more or less important than the next. The voices seemed to fit the characters and their mannerisms, so they did a fantastic job with the voice-actor casting.
Kudos to Paramount for putting out a family film that a) isn't animated, and b) doesn't try to outdo the previous one in terms of computer graphics. It was a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed reliving the story.
I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.