Nutty Fairy Tale Comes Alive
Starring: Gena Davis, Hugh Laurie &
Jonathan Lipnicki; & THE
VOICES OF: Michael J. Fox,
Nathan Lane, Chazz Palminteri,
Steve Zahn, Jennifer Tilly, &
Genre: Fantasy Comedy
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 84 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/Sony
Director: Rob Minkoff
Executive Producer: Jeff Franklin & Steve Waterman
Producer: Douglas Wick
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan & Gregory
Address Comments To:Amy Pascal, President
A Division of Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Michael J. Fox gives voice to Stuart Little, a small white mouse adopted by the Littles, a human family in New York City played by Geena Davis, Jonathan Lipnicki and Hugh Laurie. At first, Mr. and Mrs. Little’s human son, George (Lipnicki), is upset that his parents didn’t return with a human baby brother. Moreover, when relatives come over bearing gifts, including a bowling ball and a bicycle, George exclaims, “Are you nuts! He’s a mouse!” George and Stuart become friends one day, however, when they play with George’s toys, which are, of course, just the right size for Stuart.
Based on their new friendship, George and Stuart decide to finish a toy boat that George and his dad plan to enter in the annual race in Central Park. When a man carelessly steps on the controls, Stuart takes over at the wheel of the boat and wins the race. Stuart finally feels like he is part of the family, especially when George tells another kid, “He’s not a mouse. He’s my brother!”
All is not well, however. The family housecat, Snowball, voiced by comic actor Nathan Lane, asks a villainous alley cat named Smokey to help him get rid of Stuart. Smokey forces two adult mice to claim that they’re Stuart’s real family. When that plan goes awry and Stuart starts to return home to the Littles, Smokey and his pals decide they have to “scratch him out.” The rest of the movie is an exciting, funny chase sequence, with some interesting plot developments that reveal what it really means to be a family.
STUART LITTLE is a cute family movie with excellent special effects that make the action come alive. It is also a little marvelously nutty at times. The children in the screening audience generally seemed to enjoy the story and the characters. Michael J. Fox does a wonderful job of being the voice of Stuart the mouse. Nathan Lane gives his usual sarcastic performance as Snowball the housecat. Furthermore, Geena Davis is positively endearing as Mrs. Little.
There are only a couple minor problems in the story. The pro-family message could have been stronger, without the very mild politically correct elements about Stuart not fitting in with the human world and not fitting in with the cat-mouse world, where mice are supposed to be the cat’s dinner, not one of the cat’s owners. One cat even says, “That’s against the laws of nature.” Despite this, there is a redemptive aspect to the story, where three shady characters have a change of heart and help out Stuart, at the potential cost of their own safety.
Also, unlike last year’s A BUG’S LIFE, to which MOVIEGUIDE® gave a slightly higher acceptability rating, STUART LITTLE contains two uses of the “d” word and a crude use of “b-tt,” plus several jokes about characters passing gas. Even so, most parents will probably feel pretty safe taking their children to see STUART LITTLE. It’s a nutty fairy tale with much to recommend it.
STUART LITTLE is a cute family movie with excellent special effects that make the action come alive. It is also wonderfully nutty at times. The children at the screening seemed to enjoy the story and the characters. Michael J. Fox does a marvelous job of being the voice of Stuart the mouse. Nathan Lane gives his usual sarcastic performance as Snowball the housecat. Furthermore, Geena Davis is positively endearing as Mrs. Little. The pro-family and redemptive messages in the movie are marred only by four mild obscenities and a very mild possible nod to the politically-correct philosophies behind today’s identity politics